The French Squadron

The French in this War, design'd for Dunbar,
To plunder the great Provost Faa, man;
The town was in steer, they trembled with fear,
Old wives they were greeting an' a', man.

CHORUS:  So he ran and she ran, and she ran and he ran,
         They frightened both great and sma', man;
         If the French they come o'er, to our unguarded shore,
         They'll burn and plunder us a', man!

Upon Berwick sand were thousands to land,
To plunder both great and sma', man;
The people, for fear, having pack'd up their gear,
Cry'd "The French dogs will worry us a', man".

To Haddington bent, for Dragoons they sent,
They mounted their horse and awa', man;
And when they came there, they loudly did swear,
They'd slaughter the French with their paw, man.

But in spite of their teeth, they came to Inchkeith,
As the folk in Edinburgh saw, man;
They bred such a steer, round about the Leith pier,
They thought they would burn them a', man.

Some swore, by their soul, 'twas plundering Jack Paul!
The greatest rogue ever you saw, man;
And on the Fife shore they heard the guns roar;
They were near to Wemys Castle and a', man.

Sir John sent to see what ships they could be,
With a boat, a pilot, and a', man;
But instead of tea, they some powder did gi'e,
And the pilot did take awa', man,

Oh! such preparation was ne'er seen in our nation;
The men they got broadswords, and a', man.
I laugh'd at the fun, with their auld rusty guns,
They look'd as they were to shoot craws, man.

Then from Edinburgh town the cannon came down,
They placed them a' in a raw, man;
Such battering before, placed on a shore,
In my life be sure I ne'er saw, man.

They'd great pocks of woo', their cannon were few,
But were to slaughter down a', man;
The French took a fright, got off in the night;
They hoisted their sails and awa', man.

Some say they were "Dens", other folk say "Frenchmen",
While others say "smugglers and a', man";
But if I tell aright, for a' our great fright,
Ne'er a Frenchman was e'er there at a', man!

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin