Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

YANKS

O’Leary, from Chicago, and a first-class fightin’ man,
For his father was from Kerry, where the gentle art began:
Sergeant Dennis P. O’Leary, from somewhere on Archie Road,
Dodgin’ shells and smellin’ powder while the battle ebbed and flowed.

And the captain says: “O’Leary, from your fightin’ company
Pick a dozen fightin’ Yankees and come skirmishin’ with me;
Pick a dozen fightin’ devils, and I know it’s you who can.”
And O’Leary, he saluted like a first-class fightin’ man.

O’Leary’s eye was piercin’ and O’Leary’s voice was clear:
“Dimitri Georgoupoulos!” And Dimitri answered “Here!”
Then “Vladimir Slaminsky! Step three paces to the front,
For we’re wantin’ you to join us in a little Heinie hunt!”

“Garibaldi Ravioli!” Garibaldi was to share;
And “Ole Axel Kettleson!” and “Thomas Scalp-the-Bear!”
Who was Choctaw by inheritance, bred in the blood and bones,
But set down in army records by the name of Thomas Jones.

“Van Winkle Schuyler Stuyvesant!” Van Winkle was a bud
From the ancient tree of Stuyvesant and had it in his blood;
“Don Miguel de Colombo!” Don Miguel’s next of kin
Were across the Rio Grande when Don Miguel went in.

“Ulysses Grant O’Sheridan!” Ulysses’ sire, you see,
Had been at Appomattox near the famous apple-tree;
And “Patrick Michael Casey!” Patrick Michael, you can tell,
Was a fightin’ man by nature with three fightin’ names as well.

“Joe Wheeler Lee!” And Joseph had a pair of fightin’ eyes;
And his granddad was a Johnny, as perhaps you might surmise;
Then “Robert Bruce MacPherson!” And the Yankee squad was done
With “Isaac Abie Cohen!” once a lightweight champion.

Then O’Leary paced ‘em forward and, says he: “You Yanks, fall in!”
And he marched ‘em to the captain. “Let the skirmishin’ begin.”
Says he, “The Yanks are comin’, and you beat ‘em if you can!”
And saluted like a soldier and first-class fightin’ man!

–James W. Foley

Thanks to Tam, at "View From the Porch" http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/
and Munchkin Wrangler. http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/

Point of History: Congress voted for independence on 2 July, accepted the text of the declaration on 3 July, which was copied out by a minor civil servant over night. On the 4th of July, Congress left town.

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