[BROADSIDE]. [PRIME, Benjamin Youngs (1733-1791)]. An Excellent New Song, For the Sons of Liberty in America. By a Gentleman in the City of New-York. N.p., n.d. [ca. 1769]. 1 page, a narrow song slip, 347 x 110mm. (13 x 4 = in.), deckle edges preserved at top, bottom and right-hand edge. Fine condition.
"TO OUR MONARCH WE KNOW, DUE ALLEGIANCE WE OWE...AND OUR ENEMIES KNOW, THAT AMERICANS SCORN TO BE SLAVES"
An apparently unrecorded song-sheet printing of popular verses, probably provoked by the Stamp Act or the Townshend Acts (the first of which, June 15, 1767, suspended the New York provincial Assembly). The poet, a Yale-educated physician, proclaims strong Revolutionary sentiments while conceding allegiance to the King. It comprises 13 five-line rhymed stanzas, commencing: "In story we're told, How our fathers of old, Brav'd the Rage of the Winds and the Waves, And cross'd the Deep o'er To this desolate Shore, All because they were loth to be Slaves; Brave boys, All because they were loth to be Slaves." Each final line ends with the word "slaves." Stanza 2 attacks the British Parliament: "Yet a strange Scheme of late, Has been form'd in the State, By a Knot of political Knaves, Who in Secret rejoice, That the Parliament's Voice, Has condemn'd us by Law to be Slaves." Stanza 8 is more submissive: "To our Monarch we know, Due allegiance we owe, Who the Scepter so rightfully waves; But no Sovereign we own, But the King on the Throne, And we cannot to Subjects be Slaves." The final stanza is emphatic: "The Birthright we hold, Shall never be sold, But sacred maintain'd to our Graves; Nay, and ere we'll comply, We will gallantly die, For we must not and will not be Slaves, Brave Boys. We must not, and will not be Slaves."
For his revolutionary writings, Prime, who had moved to Huntington, L.I., was forced during British occupation to flee to Connecticut. Wegelin 315 and Evans 11429 record a printing with a [New York]: John Holt  imprint, of which Wegelin notes "the original broadside is very scarce; in fact I know of but one copy, the one in the Smithtown, L.I. N.Y. Library". Shipton & Mooney (1969) say that the copy "could not be confirmed." The present printing, with no imprint, appears unrecorded.