The Liberty Song (1768)

The Liberty Song was sung to the tune of a popular English sailing tune called Heart of Oak. One of the first patriotic songs in America, its lyrics were written by John Dickinson, a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly. The lyrics first appeared in the Boston Gazette in 1768. An audio version of this song is available on Youtube. Dickinson also penned Letters from a Farmer (1768) and contributed to both the Stamp Act Congress resolutions (1765) and the Olive Branch petition (1775).

“Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty’s call.
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim
Or stain with dishonour America’s name.

In freedom we’re born and in freedom we’ll live.
Our purses are ready. Steady, boys, steady.
Not as slaves but as Freemen our money we’ll give.

Our worthy forefathers, let’s give them a cheer
To climates unknown did courageously steer.
Through oceans to deserts for freedom they came
And dying, bequeath’d us their freedom and fame.


The tree their own hands had to Liberty reared
They lived to behold growing strong and revered.
With transport they cried, now our wishes we gain
For our children shall gather the fruits of our pain.


Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed
For heaven approves of each generous deed.