“The Ballad of Bunker Hill”


"The soldiers from town to the foot of the hill... They pottered and dawdled and twaddled until We feared there would be no attack at all." The Colonials inflict heavy casualties on the British, but then "We used up our powder and had to go home!"


Recorded by John and Lucy Allison. There is no reason to believe this song ever circulated in oral tradition. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 17, 1775 - American defeat at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Americans are pushed from their positions, but inflict heavy casualties on the British, and so feel they have earned some bragging rights.


  1. Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 541-542, "The Ballad of Bunker Hill" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, BNEF541


Author: Words: Edward Everett Hale? / Music traditional, set by John Allison
Earliest date: 1908
Keywords: battle patriotic
Found in: US