James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

September 10

Perry’s Victory

By Old Ballad

  • A naval victory gained by the Americans under Perry over the English under Barclay on Sept. 10, 1813.

  • WE sailed to and fro in Erie’s broad lake,

    To find British bullies or get into their wake,

    When we hoisted our canvas with true Yankee speed,

    And the brave Captain Perry our squadron did lead.

    We sailed through the lake, boys, in search of the foe,

    In the cause of Columbia our brav’ry to show,

    To be equal in combat was all our delight,

    As we wished the proud Britons to know we could fight.

    And whether like Yeo, boys, they’d taken affright,

    We could see not, nor find them by day or by night;

    So cruising we went in a glorious cause,

    In defense of our rights, our freedom, and laws.

    At length to our liking, six sails hove in view,

    Huzzah! says brave Perry, huzzah! says his crew,

    And then for the chase, boys, with our brave little crew,

    We fell in with the bullies, and gave them “burgoo.”

    Though the force was unequal, determined to fight,

    We brought them to action before it was night;

    We let loose our thunder, our bullets did fly,

    “Now give them your shot, boys,” our commander did cry.

    We gave them a broadside, our cannon to try,

    “Well done,” says brave Perry, “for quarter they’ll cry,

    Shot well home, my brave boys, they shortly shall see,

    That quite brave as they are, still braver are we.”

    Then we drew up our squadron, each man full of fight,

    And put the proud Britons in a terrible plight,

    The brave Perry’s movements will prove fully as bold,

    As the famed Admiral Nelson’s prowess of old.

    The conflict was sharp, boys, each man to his guns,

    For our country, her glory, the vict’ry was won,

    So six sail (the whole fleet) was our fortune to take,

    Here’s a health to brave Perry, who governs the Lake.