From the recording Jefferson and Liberty

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It was common in the 18th & 19th centuries to add new words to popular tunes of the day. In fact, our national anthem takes its melody from a British drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." This tune was originally known in Ireland as "The Gobby-O." It got its latest title after a poem attributed to ornithologist-painter Alexander Wilson was added to the tune to turn it into Thomas Jefferson's 1800 presidential campaign song. We played an instrumental arrangement, but have included the words here.


The gloomy night before us flies, The reign of terror now is o'er;
Its gags, inquisitors, and spies, Its herds of harpies are no more!

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice! To tyrants never bend the knee,
But join with heart, and soul, and voice, For Jefferson and Liberty!

No lordling here, with gorging jaws shall wring from industry the food;
Nor fiery bigot's holy laws lay waste our fields and streets in blood!

Here strangers from a thousand shores compelled by tyranny to roam,
Shall find amidst abundant stores, a nobler and happier home.

Here Art shall lift her laurelled head, wealth, Industry, and Peace, divine;
And where dark, pathless forests spread, rich fields and lofty cities shine.

From Europe's wants and woes remote, a friendly waste of waves between,
Here plenty cheers the humblest cot, and smiles on every village green.

Here free as air, expanded space, to every soul and sect shall be --
That sacred privilege of our race -- The worship of the Deity.

Let foes to freedom dread the name; but should they touch the sacred tree,
Twice fifty thousands swords would flame for Jefferson and liberty.

From Georgia to Lake Champlain, from seas to Mississippi's shore,
Ye sons of freedom loud proclaim - "The reign of terror is no more."