The Free Gardeners Battle Song

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The Free Gardeners' Battle Song is a title for an unnamed song of Peter Forbes, written during the Napoleonic War for a procession in Dalkeith of the Free Gardeners, the largest of the societies set up in imitation of the Masons. All the anti-French songs of the period were fairly silly, and this one, to the tune of Johnnie Cope, is no more or less silly than the average. In 1812 when it was printed, there was a nationwide panic about the threat of a French invasion, which might have been reinforced in Dalkeith by the great fire of that year, reminding people of what such an invasion might mean.

To meet this day we all agree,

We're brothers bound an' brothers free,

Let love an' unity then be,

Our public name this mornin'.


Hey Bonaparte are ye wakin' yet,

Or are your drums a beatin' yet?

Invade us now when ye think fit,

An' we'll meet you any mornin'.

Wi' music fine an' garlands gay,

Our flags an' flowers we display,

Resolv'd to have a cheerfu' day,

Like brothers free this mornin'.

For Bonaparte wi's army strong,

Is now encampin' round Boulogne,

But soon he'll find that he is wrong,

For we'll catch him there some mornin'.

Come Bonaparte wi' ye'r deep laid plots,

Invadin' rafts an' strong gun boats,

Our British tars count them but moats,

An' they'll tow them hame some mornin'.

When gardeners free do take the field,

They conquer shall, but never yield;

Each apron blue is a hero seal'd,

For victory any mornin'.

Wi' hedge bill, scythes an' garden shears,

If you come here we'll crop your ears,

An' tak' you captive wi' three cheers,

An' we'll have a joyful mornin'.



Free Gardeners Battle Song Lyrics web site (Website no longer exists -

Free Gardeners Battle Song Tune Web Site