Banks of Champlain


Macomb, Catherine (Macomb), 1786-1822, “Banks of Champlain,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 19, 2024,

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Banks of Champlain


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Folk songs--United States
Lake Champlain, Battle of, N.Y., 1814--Songs and music
Macomb, Alexander, 1782-1841--Songs and music
United States. Navy--History--War of 1812
Love--Songs and music


Macomb, Catherine (Macomb), 1786-1822


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








The Banks of Champlain

It was autumn, and round me the leaves were descending,
And lonely the woodpecker pecked on the tree,
Whilst thousands their freedom and rights were defending,
The din of their arms sounded dismal to me,
For Sandy, my love, was engaged in the action,
Without him I valued the world not a fraction,
His death would have ended my life in distraction,
As lonely I strayed on the banks of Champlain.

Then turning to listen to the cannon's loud thunder,
My elbow I leaned on a rock near the shore,
The sounds nearly parted my heart-strings asunder,
I thought I should see my dear shepherd no more.
But soon an express all my sorrow suspended,
My thanks to the Father of mercies ascended,
My shepherd was safe, and my country defended,
By freedom's brave sons on the banks of Champlain.

I wiped from my eyes the big tear that had started,
And hastened the news to my parents to bear,
Who sighed for the loss of relations departed,
And wept at the tidings that banished their care.
The cannons now ceased, the drums still were beating,
The foes of our country far north were retreating,
The neighboring damsels each other were greeting,
With songs of delight on the banks of Champlain.

Our squadron triumphant, our army victorious,
With laurels unfaded, our Spartans returned,
My eyes never dwelt on a scene half so glorious,
My heart with such rapture before never burned.
But Sandy my darling that moment appearing,
His presence to every countenance cheering,
Was rendered to me more doubly endearing,
By feats he performed on the banks of Champlain.

But should smiling peace, with her blessings and treasures,
Soon visit the plains of Columbia again,
What pen can describe the inrapturing pleasures,
That I shall experience through life with my swain?
For then no wild savage will come to alarm us,
Nor worse British foes send their minions to harm us,
But nature and art will continue to charm us,
While happy we live on the banks of Champlain.

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