“Root, Hog, or Die! (IV)”


"I'll tell you all a story that happened long ago, When the English came to America... The Yankees boys made 'em sing 'Root hog or die.'" The singer describes various English defeats: the Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Yorktown, Baltimore, New Orleans

Historical references

  • Dec. 16, 1773 - Boston Tea Party. Americans protest the British tax on tea by dumping a shipload into Boston Harbor
  • June 17, 1775 - Battle of Bunker Hill (fought on Breed's Hill, and won by the British, though at heavy cost)
  • Oct 19, 1781 - Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown (not really as a result of being defeated; his supply line had been cut by the French navy)
  • Aug 24, 1814 - A British force under Robert Ross captures Washington, D.C. after brushing aside the incompetent defenders. (Madison's administration had already fled). Two days later the British leave for Baltimore.
  • Sept 13, 1814 - Battle of Fort McHenry, which saves Baltimore from the British attack.
  • Jan 8, 1815 - Battle of New Orleans. Although a peace had already been signed, word had not yet reached Louisiana, which British General Pakenham sought to invade. Andrew Jackson's backwoodsmen easily repulse Pakenham.

Cross references


  1. Belden, p. 334, "Root Hog or Die" (1 text)
  2. Roud #4734
  3. BI, Beld334


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (a text reported by Belden to be this was found in the 1859 Dime Song Book)
Keywords: battle patriotic
Found in: US(So)