Learn American History through 50 pop songs

The Rev Up! (to Revolution)

Synopsis

The American Revolution was predicated by a number of ideas and events that, combined, led to a political and social separation of the colonies from England, the Motherland. During this time people fell into two camps, Patriots, who supported Revolution, and Loyalists, who supported King George.

Lyrics

© Copyright 2010 by Mr. and Mrs. Gillenwater

“These colonies belong to us!” railed King George to Parliament
British sweat and British blood they call ‘American’
Well, they’re not American - they belong to England!
They’re not American - they belong to England!

“The pompous British fools!” screamed Patrick Henry in Virginia
We’re more than British tools we are ‘America’
We are American – and we don’t need Mother England!
Yes, now we are American – and we don’t want Mother England!

We’ve defended them from Indians and we’ve built their infrastructure
We’ll tax them for the debt we’re in and with the Stamp Act they will suffer
They call themselves Americans but they belong to England!
They’re not American - they belong to England!

Now they’re charging us for paper, we oppose this damn taxation
As unlawful and unfair without representation

Because we are American and we don’t need Mother England!
Yes, now we are American – and we don’t want Mother England!

They’re boycotting all our goods! Those colonists defy us
But pay their share they should so on the Townsend Act we’ll focus
Because they’re not American – they belong to England
They’re not American - they belong to England!

Now there are levies on our glass, our lead, paper, paint, and tea
We will not pay the tax we will rally in the street
For we are Americans – and we don’t need Mother England
Yes, now we are American – and we don’t want Mother England!

In a snowy Boston square an angry mob descended
Our troops fired in despair because they felt their lives were threatened
They call themselves Americans but they belong to England!
They’re not American - they belong to England!

Those Redcoat British thugs, an atrocity’s occurred
They murdered in cold blood, it was a ‘Boston Massacre’
It happened to Americans damn those bloody English!
We must protect Americans from those bloody English!

We’ll repeal the Townsend duties but a tea tax must remain
Our East India Tea Company from ruins must be saved
For the colonists in America they don’t realize we are England!
They think that they can break the rules but we’ll show them they need England!

Dressed as Mohawks undercover, we Sons of Liberty
We’ll sneak into the harbor and have a ‘Boston Tea Party’
They say we’re not Americans but we’ll show Mother England
They can have back all their tea, DRINK UP Mother England!

“That’s it I’ve reached the end,” King George yelled when the tea was tossed
“Now Coercive Acts we’ll send, until these rebel thoughts are lost”
Take that ‘Americans’ don’t play with Mother England!
Stand back ‘Americans’ cause here comes Mother England!

Now we’re forced to house their soldiers and our ports are closed throughout Boston
These Intolerable Acts we’ll shoulder as we prepare for ‘Revolution!’
Because we are American – and we don’t need Mother England!
Yes, now we are American – and we’re done with Mother England!

Vocabulary

King George— King George (1738-1820) was the King of England during the time of the American Revolution.

Parliament— The legislative body of England.

Patrick Henry— Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who gave speeches against the British government and its policies urging the colonies to fight for independence. In one speech in 1775 Henry said the famous words "Give me liberty or give me death."

Stamp Act— On March 22, 1765 Britain passed a law that required all official documents used in the colonies, such as wills, deeds and contracts, had to be written on special, stamped British paper. It was so unpopular it caused riots and most of the stamped paper sent from Britain was burned by angry mobs. This convinced Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act in 1766

Taxation Without Representation— No taxation without representation was a slogan in the period of 1763–1776 that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies. In short, many in those colonies believed the lack of direct representation in the distant British Parliament was an illegal denial of their rights as Englishmen, and therefore laws taxing the colonists were unconstitutional.

Townsend Act— Series of 1767 laws named for Charles Townshend, British Chancellor of the Treasury. These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. Colonial reaction to these taxes was the same as to the Stamp Act, and Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea.

Boston Massacre— On March 4, 1770, a group of colonists started throwing rocks and snowballs at some British soldiers; the soldiers panicked and fired their muskets, killing a few colonists. This outraged the colonies and increased anti-British sentiment.

East India Tea Company— The Tea Act gave the East India Company a monopoly on the trade in tea, made it illegal for the colonies to buy non-British tea, and forced the colonies to pay the tea tax of 3 cents per pound.

Boston Tea Party— British ships carrying tea sailed into Boston Harbor and refused to leave until the colonists took their tea. Boston was boycotting the tea in protest of the Tea Act and would not let the ships bring the tea ashore. Finally, on the night of December 16, 1773, colonists disguised as Indians boarded the ships and threw the tea overboard.

Coercive/Intolerable Acts— The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America. The acts sparked outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies and were important developments in the growth of the American Revolution

Tiered Questions

Tier 1 Questions

Name three ‘acts’ Britain imposed on the colonies in America.

Tier 2 Questions

What are the two points of view being illustrated in this song?

Tier 3 Questions

Pretend you are an American newspaper reporter in the American Colonies. You support revolution, you are a Patriot. Report on what is happening around you.

Now pretend you are a British newspaper reporter in the American colonies. You support the King, you are a Loyalist. Report on what is happening around you.

Test Prep Questions

1) Which title is most accurate for this time line?

  • (1) Forms of Colonial Protest
  • (2) Effects of British Navigation Laws
  • (3) Causes of the American Revolution
  • (4) Abuse of Power by Colonial Legislatures

2) The colonists’ slogan, “No taxation without representation,” expresses a belief in

  • (1) free trade
  • (2) economic interdependence
  • (3) the supremacy of Parliament
  • (4) the consent of the governed

3) Which statement is most accurate about the movement for independence in the thirteen colonies?

  • (1) The independence movement began soon after the founding of the Plymouth Colony.
  • (2) Protests against British colonial policies gradually led to demands for independence.
  • (3) The King of England required the colonists to become economically self-sufficient.
  • (4) The movement for independence was equally strong in all of the colonies.

4) Which heading best completes the partial outline below?

  • I. ____________________________________
  • A. Committees of Correspondence
  • B. Nonimportation Agreements
  • C. Boston Tea Party
  • D. First Continental Congress
  • (1) Protests Against Slavery in the American Colonies
  • (2) British Parliamentary Actions to Punish Colonial Americans
  • (3) Colonial Responses to British Mercantile Policies
  • (4) Colonial Attempts to End the British Policy of Salutary Neglect