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Song Parodies -> "A Band of Cowards"

Original Song Title:

"The Bonnie Blue Flag"

Original Performer:

Traditional

Parody Song Title:

"A Band of Cowards"

Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

When the Civil War began, young men lined up to join. Some were motivated by patriotism, some by a spirit of adventure, and more than a few to collect the enlistment bounties offered by States, cities, and wealthy individuals who were able to form their own regiments. As is so often the case, those with the least to gain suffered most of the losses. And all other incentives took second place to self-preservation.
We are a band of cowards
From violence we recoil
And when the cannon thunder
Our trousers we will soil
Should we receive the order
"Ride forth and meet the foe".
We'll turn around and ride for home
Oh, see how fast we go

Hurrah, hurrah, deserters take to flight
Hurrah for the sensible men who are too scared to fight

Here's to George McClellan
As good as generals come
We march around in circles
To the beating of a drum
And should some day by accident
The Rebel host be seen
We'll march straight north to Canada
And sing "God Save The Queen"

Hurrah, hurrah, you'll see us here no more
We'll hunker down in Ottawa until the battle's o'er

We have a new commander
Ulysses Simpson Grant
He promised Abe, "Yes, I shall fight"
We promised him, "We shan't"
Grant said, "Jump in the saddle
And draw your guns and knives"
We joined the great skeedaddle
A runnin' for our lives

Hurrah, hurrah, my feet just hit the ground
I'm running with the infantry, no horse to slow me down

The President has sent us here
To liberate the slaves
Instead of picking cotton
They're now digging soldiers' graves
"When you work that shovel, boy
You won't need one for me
I'll be a thousand miles from here
And still alive and free

Hurrah, hurrah, the President's decree
I'm taking the initiative, emancipating me

And when the war is over
And noble words are said
They'll place some marble tombstones
To mark the honored dead
I'll listen to the eulogies
Dressed in my Sunday suit
Then mingle with the rich old men
Who hired a substitute

Hurrah, hurrah, I'd rather drink a toast
To all the men who gave their lives, than join them as a ghost



I assume most of those readers here will have at least a basic knowledge of history, and will grasp the references. General McClellan assembled a vast army, but to President Lincoln's frustration, seemed slow at times to take it into battle. He was so popular, he later ran for president. Grant, on the other hand, would fight to the last drop of his men's blood. During the war, a man with money could hire some poor immigrant to take his place in the ranks.

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