Four Excellent Songs. A New Song. To the plaintive Tune of Hosier's Ghost. American Revolution.
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Very Rare Broadside Printing of the Lyrics to a Boston Tea Party Song

Four Excellent Songs. A New Song. To the plaintive Tune of Hosier's Ghost.

Norwich: Sold at Spooner's Printing Office, [1774].

Letterpress broadside, text in two columns. 12 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches. Very Rare Broadside Printing of the Lyrics to a Boston Tea Party Song. Folds, some minor separations and paper loses affecting just a few letters of text near the center of the broadside, foxing. Early child inscriptions on verso including signatures of Hannah Craft ESTC W33580. Not in Evans, Bristol or Shipton & Mooney. See Lawrence, Music for Patriots, Politicians and Presidents, p. 45 (from the newspaper printing). Item #322693

As near beauteous Boston lying
On the gently swelling flood,
Without jack or pendant flying
Three ill-fated Tea ships rode.

Just as glorious Sol was setting,
On the wharf a numerous crew
Sons of Freedom, fear forgetting
Suddenly appeared in view.

Armed with hammers, axe and chisels
Weapons new for warlike deed,
Towards the herbage-freighted vessels,
They approached with dreadful speed.

Quick as thought the ships were boarded,
Hatches burst and chests displayed;
Axes, hammers help afforded;
What a glorious crash they made.

Sqush into the deep descended
Cursed weed of China's coast;
Thus at once our fears were ended;
British rights shall ne'er be lost.

Captains! Once more hoist your streamers
Spread your sails, and plow the wave,
Tell your masters they were dreamers,
When they thought to cheat the brave.

This is the only broadside (i.e. non-newspaper) printing of the lyrics to this patriotic song, celebrating the December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party. The lyrics first appeared in the January 3, 1774 issue of Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet, signed in print by "Brittano-Americanus" and dated Philadelphia, January 1, 1774. After appearing in the Pennsylvania Packet the song was reprinted in newspapers from Virginia (Virginia Gazette, January 20) to Boston (Massachusetts Gazette, January 24). Although ESTC suggests a printing of 1775 for this broadside, it seems more likely to have been in 1774.

The identity of "Brittano-Americanus" is unknown, but one wonders whether the song was penned by musical Philadelphian Francis Hopkinson. The other songs on the broadside comprise: Winter. A Pastoral Song [first line, When the trees are all bare, not a leaf to be seen]; [Untitled song with first line, There liv'd long ago in a country place]; A Song [first line, The world, my dear Myra, is full of deceit]. Only the AAS copy is recorded.

Spooner imprints from this period are desirable as their printing press was an historic one. The only printers in Norwich, Judah and Alden Spooner began printing in Norwich in 1772 by purchasing Timothy Green's New London printing press. Green had inherited the press from famed printer Samuel Green, who had succeeded Matthew Daye as printer in Cambridge, Boston; Matthew Daye had inherited the press from his father, Stephen Daye, the first American printer, the printer of the Freeman's Oath, the Bay Psalm Book, etc.

Price: $7,500.00 Free International Delivery