“Doomed” Isn’t the Word I Would Have Chosen

A Political Movement


CLAY, OUR NATION’S GLORY.

Tune,— March to the Battle Field

A Chief’s in the gallant West,
His name is high in story,
He’s doomed to make us blest,
‘Tis Clay, our nation’s glory.
Then swell on high.
The Tariff cry,
And keep his name before ye,
And honest Hal,
Presiding shall,
To happy days restore ye.

A chief’s in the gallant West,
His name is high in story,
He’s doomed to make us blest,
‘Tis Clay, our nation’s glory.

Hail, Clay, great freedom’s star,
From thee naught can divide us,
Whose eloquence can fire in war,
Whose words in peace can guide us.
Then freemen rouse,
His cause espouse,
A brighter day’s before ye,
The bright star, Clay,
Illumes your way,
To happiness and glory.

A chief’s in the gallant West,
His name is high in story,
He’s doomed to make us blest,
‘Tis Clay, our nation’s glory.

 


Notes:

 

“Doomed” is used in its older sense; “destined.”

Hal, the Chief of the West, is Henry Clay.

The only thing of interest in this song is the mention of tariffs.  The Whigs favored high tariffs; the Democrats favored free trade.

The tune is better known today as  Oft in the stilly night.

Here are the words to the original song that were filked by Clay’s supporters:

March to the Battle Field
[B. E.  O’Meara]

March to the battle-field,
The foe is now before us;
Each heart is Freedom’s shield,
And heaven is shining o’er us!
The woes and pains, the galling chains,
That kept our spirits under,
In proud disdain we’ve broke again
And torn each link asunder.

March to the battle-field,
The foe is now before us!
Each heart is Freedom’s shield,
And heaven is smiling o’er us!

Who for his country brave
Would fly from her invader?
Who, his base life to save,
Would, traitor-like, degrade her?
Our hallow’d cause, our home and laws,
‘Gainst tyrant Power sustaining;
We’ll gain a crown of bright renown,
Or die, our rights maintaining!

March t the battle-field,
The foe is now before us;
Each heart is freedom’s shield,
And heaven is smiling o’er us!

 

The same tune was used later by the Free Soilers:

March to the battlefield
The foe is now before us;
Each heart is freedom’s shield,
And heaven is smiling o’er us.
The woes and pains
Of slavery’s chain,
That bind their millions under;
In proud disdain we’ll burst in twain,
And tear each link asunder.
March, &c.

Who for his country brave,
Would fly from her invader?
Who his base life to save
Would traitor like degrade her?
Our hallowed cause –
Our homes and laws,
‘Gainst tyrant hosts sustaining,
We’ll win a crown of bright renown,
Or die, man’s rights maintaining.
March, &c.


Tomorrow: The Clay Gathering

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One Response to “Doomed” Isn’t the Word I Would Have Chosen

  1. Pingback: 1844 Whig Songbook Index | Madhouse Manor

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