Perry’s Victory jig

Also known as Butler County, Commodore Perry’s Victory, Commodore Perry’s Victory March, Perry’s Victory March, Perry’s Victory On Lake Erie.

Perry's Victory has been added to 14 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Perry's Victory
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B2B Bcd|GAG E2 D|GBd GBd|ABA A2 d|
B2 B Bcd|GAG E2 D|GBd edB|ABA G3:|
|:e2 e efg|ded dBA|GBd GBd|ABA A2 d|
e2 e efg|ded B2 A|GBd edB|ABA A2 G:|

Nine comments

Perry’s Victory

Someone entered Perry’s Victory as an alternate title to St Patricks Day in the Morning here on The Session, but Perry’s Victory is generally known as a different tune which I have posted here. Although it bears resemblance to other jigs, it seems to be a uniquely American 6/8.

Isn’t this a march?

"Commodore Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie" / "Butler County" ~ etc…

AB or AABB ~ known as both a march and a jig…

1813, September 10th: The Battle of Lake Erie, U.S.A. (The War of 1812) ~ This particular ‘victory’ was the defeat and capture of British warships by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, which gave the ‘Americans’ control of the lake and means to invade that area of Canada. More can be read here:

The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz

Where listed relatives to the melody include an Irish song tune called "A Ghaoith o’n Deas" / "O Southern Breeze", "The Men of Garvagh" and "The Black Dance."


It seems to have served as both throughout its history and may have been originally a ballad about the victory.

Yup! Did you leave your trifocals off again MH, check the line just before yours ~ "AB or AABB ~ known as both a march and a jig…" Ballad eh? Alright, here’s your challenge, I want the words for it! 😉

Source of text below

Ye Tars of Colombia, give ear to my story, Who fought with brave Perry, where cannons did roar;
Your valor has gain’d you an immortal glory, A fame that shall last until time is no more. Colombian tars, are the true sons of Mars, They rake fore and aft, when they fight on the deep;
On the bed of Lake Erie, commanded by Perry, They caus’d many Britons to take their last sleep.
The tenth of September, let us all remember, So long as the globe on her axis rolls round;
Our tars and marines, on Lake Erie was seen, To make the proud flag of Great Britain come down; The van of our fleet, the British to meet, Commanded by Perry, the Lawrence bore down.
Her guns they did roar, with such terrific power, That savages trembled at the dreadful sound.

The Lawrence sustain’d a most dreadful fire, She fought three to one, for two glasses or more;
While Perry undaunted did firmly stand by her, The proud foe on her, heavy broad-sides did pour. Her masts shatter’d, her rigging all tattr’d, Her booms and her yards being all shot away;
And few on deck to manage the wreck, Our hero on board her no longer could stay.

In this situation, the pride of our nation, Sure heaven had guarded unhurt all the while;
While many a hero, maintaining his station, Fell close by his side, and was thrown on the pile. But mark you and wonder, when elements thunder, When death and destruction are stalking all round;
His flag he did carry on board the Niagara, Such valor on record was never yet found.

There is one gallant act of our noble commander, While writing my song, I must notice with pride;
While launch’d in the boat, that carried the standard, A ball whistled through her, just close by his side. Says Perry, "the rascals intend for to drown us, But push on, my brave boys, you need never fear!"
And with his own coat, he plugg’d up the boat, And through fire and sulphur away, he did steer.

The famed Niagara, now proud of her Perry, Display’d all her banners in gallant array;
And twenty-five guns on her deck she did carry, Which soon put an end to this bloody affray.
The rear of our fleet was brought up complete, The signal was given to break through the line;
While starboard and larboard, and from every quarter, The lamps of Colombia did gloriously shine.

The bold British Lion, roar’d out his last thunder, When Perry attacked him close in the rear;
Colombia’s Eagle soon made him crouch under, And roar out for quarter, as soon you will hear. Oh, had you been there, I vow and declare, Such a sight as you never had seen before;
Six red bloody flags, that no longer could wag, All lay at the feet of our brave Commodore.

Brave Elliot, whose valor must now be recorded, On board the Niagara so well play’d his part;
His gallant assitance to Perry afforded, We’ll place him the second on Lake Erie’s chart. In the midst of the battle, when guns they did rattle, The Lawrence a wreck, and the men most all slain;
Away he did steer and brought up the rear, And by this manoeuvre the victory was gain’d.

Oh, had you but seen those noble commanders, Embracing each other when the conflict was o’er:
And viewing all those invincible standards, That never had yielded to any before. Says Perry,"brave Elliot, come, give me your hand, sir, This day you have gain’d an immortal renown;
So long as Colombia, Lake Erie commands, sir, Let brave Captain Elliot with laurels be crown’d.

Great Britain may boast of her conquering heroes, Her Rodneys, her Nelsons, and all the whole crew;
But none in their glory have told such a story, Nor boasted such feats as Colombians do. The whole British fleet was captured complete, Not one single vessel from us got away;
And prisoners some hundreds, Colombians wondered, To see them all anchor’d and moor’d in our bay.

May heaven still smile on the shades of our heroes, Who fought in that conflict their country to save;
And check the proud spirit of those murdering bravos, Who wish to divide us, and make us all slaves. Colombians sing, and make the woods ring, We’ll toast these brave heroes by sea and by land;
While Britons drink cherry, Colombians, Perry, We’ll toast him about with full glass in hand.

I love it when the bits come together. Thanks a bunch MH. So, this is sung to which version of this air? ~ more homework for you, eh… 😉

Perry’s Victory March

Saw a piece of sheetmusic on Ebay, Commodore Perry’s Victory March, by John Martin….published by Brehm Brothers Publishing, Erie, PA…1913….Unfortunatley, lost the bid on the item….