American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0643

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American Ballads and Folk Songs
Until on our last battle-field the lights of heaven shall glow, We'll never fail to drink to her and Benny Havens, oh!
May the Army be augmented, promotion be less slow, May our country in the hour of need be ready for the foej May we find a soldier's resting-place beneath a soldier's blow, With room enough beside our graves for Benny Havens, oh!
' And if amid the battle shock our honor e'er should trail, And hearts that beat beneath its folds should turn or basely quailj Then may some son of Benny's, with quick avenging blow, Lift up the flag we loved so well at Benny Havens', oh!
To our comrades who have fallen, one cup before we go, They poured their life-blood freely out pro bono publico. No marble points the stranger to where they rest below; They lie neglected far away from Benny Havens', oh!
When you and I and Benny, and all the others, too, Are called before the "final board" our course in life to view, May we never "fess" on any point, but straight be told to go, And join the army of the blest at Benny Havens', oh!
{Old Cavalry Song)
"The history of this well-known and widely sung song, like that of so many others, is an illusive and tantalizing will-o'-the-wisp. One follows a promising clue only to find that the end of one trail is but the beginning of another. The song has been sung in different forms as a soldier song and as a sea chantey. Captain W. B. Whall, in his Ships, Songs, and Shanties, concludes that it was originally a song, not a sea chantey, and ascribes its probable origin to American
♦Words and tune from Major Isaac Spalding, Office Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.
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