9. Battle of Trenton

Songs of the Revolution – 9. Battle of Trenton


Whilst in these icebound boats we stand

The current makes toward enemy land

A lead ball death or an ice water tomb

Awaits us in this snow-blind gloom

‘Twas in his dreams our General schemes

That without God’s grace remains but a dream

To make surprise on Christmas Day

While the foe in drunken stupor lay

For after defeat so hard to shun

Our leader’s options are now but one

‘tis only he gives our password thus

“Victory or Death” for all of us

On Christmas Day in ’76 our ragged troops with bayonets fixed

for Trenton marched away

Oh the Delaware sea, the boats below, the light obscured by hail and snow

               But no sign of dismay my lads, no sign of dismay

Our object was the Hessian band that dared invade fair freedom’s land

               and bordered in that place

Brave Washington he led us on his banner raised in storm and sun

Had never known disgrace my lads, never known disgrace

In silent march we passed the night, each soldier anxious for the fight

               the river we did cross

Green on the left at six began, our right was led by Sullivan

Never a moment lost my lads, never a moment lost

Their pickets stormed, alarm was spread, rebels risen from the dead

                Are marching into town

Some scampered here, some scampered there, and some for action did prepare

               but soon their arms laid down my lads, soon their arms laid down

Now brothers of the patriot bands had seen deliverance from the hands

               of arbitrary sway

And as our life is but a span let’s touch the tankards while we can

in memory of that day my lads, in memory of that day