With yesterday being American Independence Day, it seemed topical to use a Revolutionary War reference to respond to Jim Adams song lyric challenge to use Best/Better/Good/Great as our lyrical prompts. The first clip below (tune only) is actually depicting the Seven Years War, but it gives a general period feel.
Most everyone in the English speaking world has probably at some time or another heard the tune The British Grenadier. It is a marching tune with its origins in the 17th Century, and was (is) the “theme tune” of the Grenadiers or grenade throwers of the British Army. While this is no longer an “elite” skill, the traditional Grenadier units are proud of their heritage.
The lyrics of the song probably date back to the War of Spanish Succession (1702–1713) [known as Queen Anne’s War in America]. The song makes reference to the special equipment and uniforms of these troops that distinguished them as grenadiers.
Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world’s brave heroes, there’s none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.
Those heroes of antiquity ne’er saw a cannon ball,
Or knew the force of powder to slay their foes withal.
But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.
Whene’er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.
We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies’ ears.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.
And when the siege is over, we to the town repair.
The townsmen cry, “Hurrah, boys, here comes a Grenadier!
Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears!
Then sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.
Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health of those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.”