“The American Volunteer”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935 (Gardner/Chickering)
Keywords: Indians(Am.) revenge family fire
Found in: US(MW)


"Hark, hark, hear that yell, tis the war whoop's dread sound." Indians attack and set a cottage on fire. Our Hero pursues, finds an Indian whose weapon was broken, kills him (?), attacks the Indian band, and rides away to the thanks of the community

Supplemental text

American Volunteer, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering,
Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, p. 234. "From the Gernsey

The vale where the stream steals softly along
Trough the green that did echo with music, but now
Looks mournful; and mute is the meadowlark's song,
For the sun had retired from the hill's shady brow.

Hark, hark, hear that yell, 'tis the war hoop's dread sound;
'Tis the murdering voice that bids pity retire.
Behold from yon woods where the savages bound,
See they enter yon cottage. Ah, shriek, 'tis on fire.

(6 additional stanzas)


This looks very much like a defective memory of a historical broadside (though one suspects the original of magnifying both the Indians' villainy and the hero's bravery). But the text as it stands contains neither a single proper name (of a person or a place) nor a single date, making it quite untraceable. - RBW


  1. Gardner/Chickering 93, "The American Volunteer" (1 text)
  2. ST GC093 (Partial)
  3. Roud #3696
  4. BI, GC093