The Life and Times of the Star-Spangled Banner

Ye Parliament of England

This song was written after the burning of Washington by the British. While destroying the capital was a strategic goal in warfare, usually signalling the defeat of the foe, in this case, it just outraged the Americans. But Americans are not victims, this song says. It is belligerent about American strength in the area where England supposedly ruled — the sea. It is true that many of America's successes in the war were at sea. Both the words and tune are anonymous. I have been unable to find anything about their origin. I have not even been able to find anything about the early history of the song. Based on the events it describes, it must have been written in 1813 or shortly thereafter. Other than that, it is a folk song.

Parliament in Session, 1911

Ye Parliament of England


Ye Parliament of England, ye Lords and Commons too,

Consider well what you're about, what you're about to do,

For you're to war with Yankees, and I'm sure you'll rue the day

You roused the Sons of Liberty in North Americay!

You first confined our commerce, and said our ships shan't trade,

You next impressed our seamen, and used them as your slaves,

You then insulted Rogers, while plying o'er the main,

And had we not declared war you'd have done it o'er again!

You tho't our frigates were but few, and Yankees could not fight,

Until brave Hull your Guerriere took and banished her from your sight.

The Wasp then took your Frolic, we'll nothing say to that;

The Pointiers being of the line of course she took her back.

The next, your Macedonian no finer ship could swim,

Decatur took her gilt work off, and then he sent her in.

The Java by a Yankee ship was sunk, you all must know;

The Peacock fine, in all her plume, by Lawrence town did go.

Then next you sent your Boxer, to box us all about,

But we had an Enterprising brig that boxed your Boxer out;

She boxed her up to Portland and moored her off the town,

To show the Sons of Liberty the Boxer of renown.

The next upon Lake Erie, where Perry had some fun,

You own he beat your naval force and caused them for to run;

This was to you a sore defeat, the like ne'er known before —

Your British squadron beat complete — some took, some run ashore.

There's Rogers in the President, will burn, sink and destroy;

The Congress, on the Brazil coast, your commerce will annoy;

The Essex, in the South Seas, will put out all your lights;

The flag she waves at her mast-head — "Free trade and Sailor's Rights."