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SONGS AND BALLADS
HEARTS OF OAK. (In Harlequin's Invasion, sung by Champness, 1759).
The words by David Garrick. The music by Dr. Boyce.
Come cheer up, my lads, 'tis to glory we steer, To add something new to this wonderful year : To honour we call you, not press you like slaves, For who are so free as we sons of the waves?
Hearts of oak are our ships,
Hearts of oak are our men,
We always are ready,
Steady, boys, steady,
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
We ne'er see our foes but we wish them to stay; They never see us but they wish us away : If they run, why we follow, and run them on shore, For if they won't fight us, we cannot do more. Hearts of oak, etc. ,
They swear they'll invade us, these terrible foes, They'll frighten our women, and children, and beaux; But should their flat-bottoms in darkness get o'er, Still Britons they'll find to receive them on shore. Hearts of oak, etc.
We'll still make them run and we'll still make them sweat, In spite of the Devil and Brussels Gazette. Then cheer up, my lads, with one voice let us sing, Our soldiers, our sailors, our statesmen, and King. Hearts of oak, etc.
The twenty-first of February, as I've heard the people say, Three French ships of war came and anchored in our bay : They hoisted English colours and landed at Kilroot, And marched their men for Carrick without further dispute.