Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pete Seeger ~ going strong at 89.5 years young!

~ and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, THE RIFLEMEN OF BENNINGTON, 11/14/08

Liberty Tree Dedication
By Newburgh Advocate
On Saturday, November 14, dignitaries and citizens of Newburgh joined together for the dedication ceremony of the New York State Liberty Tree at Washington’s Headquarters. Pete Seeger and his grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, ...
The Newburgh Advocate - http://www.newburghadvocate.com/

The song lyrics are in the "Early American Life" area of Pete's website.

May 21, 1972

Dear Editor,

Early Americans had no TV, no hi-fi. If they were of the 90% that lived outside cities, they had no theaters or concert halls. They sang in church, at quilting bees and barn raisings, and many of their songs sound just as good now as they ever did.

I often sing this song with my audiences helping me out on the handclaps in the chorus. It really brings back the patriotic enthusiasms of the early American farmers, and has a double meaning for 1972. I hope some of your readers will learn it and sing it. No accompaniment is really needed, if the singer has spirit.

This song has been passed on to us by John Allison of Westchester county, New York.

Best wishes,
Pete Seeger

(The song referred to is "The Riflemen of Bennington.")


Why come ye hither, Redcoats,
Your mind what madness fills?
In our forest there is danger,
And there's danger in our hills.
Hear ye not the singing
Of the bugle loud and free?
Soon you'll hear the ringing
Of the rifle from the tree.

For the rifle, For the rifle
In our hands will prove no trifle.
For the rifle, For the rifle
In our hands will prove no trifle.

Ye may ride a goodly steed,
Ye may know another master;
Ye forward came with speed,
But ye'll learn to back, much faster!
If we the work must do,
Then the sooner 'tis begun,
If flint and trigger hold but true,
The sooner 'twill be done.

Had ye no graves at home,
Far across the briny water?
That thither ye must come
Like bullocks to the slaughter?
When you meet our Mountain Boys
And their leader, Johnny Stark,
Lads who make but little noise,
But who always hit the mark!

(c) 1940 John Allison; Stormking Music, Inc.

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