To Marblehead the news had come,

The people cheered and shouted;

The freedom of the seas was won,

The British had been routed.


The town that night was a blaze of light

†† And flags flew through the day,

The women cried, "At last, at last,

††† Our men'll be home to stay!"


The joy was tempered by the news

Which came when day was done,

That though they gained a victory,

†† They'd lost a favorite son.


For off an island far away

Out on the ocean blue,

The cannon's roar and scream of shot

Had pierced the morning new.


Old Ironsides, the frigate great,

Was fighting British Ships,

When suddenly a cannon shot

Shattered John Lancy's hips.


The surgeon took him down below

And told him he would die;

"I only wish their ships would sink,"

That was his brave reply.


A moment leter cheers sparng up,

He rolled o'er on his side;

He raised hes head, echoed a cheer,

A moment later died.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ‑‑ Pamela Lancy (aged 16)

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †1956


Note: Ordinary Seaman John Lancy (or Lancey) fought in Constitution on 20 February 1815 when she defeated HMS Cyane and HMS Levant.Pamela is his great, great, great granddaughter.


The Captainís Clerk
1989, TGM