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We'll Fight for Uncle Sam

Union Troops Soldier
The lyrics to this tune written by an unknown poet are typical of the kind of song that would have been the stock and trade of the many music hall performers of the period. In a time when there were none of the forms of modern, electronic entertainment, perhaps the most popular venue for the masses was the music hall. These were especially popular with the large populations of Irish in the larger northern cities. This lyric, which is set to the well known tune of Whiskey in the Jar, is written in the somewhat forced and stylized "brogue" often seen in such tunes. A common theme of tunes aimed at the Irish residents of the North was the notion that "John Bull" (England) had better watch out. Not only was there the promise that England would rue the day should it chose to interfere in American affairs, but that the best reason to enlist in the Union army was to learn how to handle modern arms, learn to be a soldier and be ready to return and liberate Ireland from English oppression.

6. We'll Fight for Uncle Sam

Air: Whiskey in the jar.

I am a modern hero: me name is Paddy Kearney;
Not long ago, I landed from the bogs of sweet Killarney;
I used to cry out: SOAP FAT! because that was my trade, sir,
Till I 'listed for a Soldier-boy with Corcoran's brigade, sir.

Chorus:
For to fight for Uncle Sam;
He'll lead us on to glory, O! He'll lead us on to glory, O!
To save the Stripes and Stars.

Ora, once in regimentals, my mind it did bewilder.
I bid good-bye to Biddy dear, and all the darling childher;
Whoo! says I, the Irish Volunteer, the divil a one afraid is,
Because we've got the soldier bold, McClellan, for to lead us.

Chorus:
For to fight for Uncle Sam, &c
.

We soon got into battle: we made a charge of bay'nets:
The Rebel blackguards soon gave way: they fell as thick as paynuts.
Och hone! the slaughter that we made, by-god, it was delighting!
For, the Irish lads in action are the divil's boys for fighting.

Chorus:
They'll fight for Uncle Sam, &c.

Och, sure, we never will give in, in any sort of manner,
Until the South comes back again, beneath the Starry-Banner;
And if John Bull should interfere, he'd suffer for it truly;
For, soon the Irish Volunteers would give him Ballyhooly.

Chorus:
Oh! they'll fight for Uncle Sam, &c.

And! now, before I end my song, this free advice I'll tender:
We soon will use the Rebels up and make them all surrender,
And, once again, the Stars and Stripes will to the breeze be swellin',
If Uncle Abe will give us back our darling boy McClellan.

Chorus:
Oh! we'll follow Little Mac, &c
.