To Britain

Language: English

Canzone di anonimo partigiano americano pubblicata sul “The Craftsman; or Say's Weekly Journal” nel pieno della Rivoluzione.

Certo, si tratta di una canzone di propaganda pro ribelli, ma non così fortemente anti britannica, piuttosto un appello per il riconoscimento dell'indipendenza, la fine della guerra fratricida e la pace che sola può garantire la prosperità.

“During the Revolutionary period, music was spread primarily through the print media; therefore, it was tightly controlled by the social elites of the time. Songs were written by well-educated individuals whereas common folk, the ones most affected by war and thus the ones most likely to argue for peace, didn’t have a public voice. Thus, the vast majority of protest songs from this era followed a propaganda-like style.

This perspective is epitomized by tunes like “To Britain,” a song originally published in The Craftsman’s Journal and then redistributed by a number of other American newspapers. It opens with the line “Blush Britain! Blush at thy inglorious war!” Its purpose is twofold. First, the song explains the mires of armed conflict, and second, it blames the fighting on the British. A similar tune, “The Rebels,” was written by Captain Smyth of the British Army; it has a very similar message but shifts blame for the destruction of war towards the colonists. Although both songs could be considered propaganda since they were written by army elites, they also reflected the anti-war sentiment relatable to much of the populace.” (da “Songs of War: The Evolution of Protest Music in the United States”, di Frankie Hill, su Harvard Political Review)
Blush Britain! Blush at thy inglorious war,
This civil contest, this ignoble jar;
Think how unjustly you've begun the fray,
With cruel measures rous'd America.

To arms: each swain must leave the peaceful field,
And 'gainst his brethren lift the sword and shield.
Their spacious commerce, now in ruin lies,
And thro' their land the hostile standard flies.

Britain, what laurel canst thou hope to gain?
Can any action give a hero fame?
In brother's blood our soldiers hands imbru'd,
And barb'rous hostiles by our chiefs pursu'd.

Afflicting Britain, thus to spoil thy name,
Defeat's a scandal, conquest but a shame.
Our senators all lost in dire excess,
Lovers of pleasure, luxury, and dress.

Almighty ruler, stretch thy potent hand,
And o'er Britannia wave the olive wand;
Preserve our nation from th'impending fate,
Drive clouds of Scotchmen from the British state;
Fair peace descend, with all thy prosp'rous train,
And spread thy blessings o'er our spacious plain.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/4/11 - 13:57

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