U.S. had the Star Spangled Banner as their national anthem, a tune called was the unofficial anthem. Chester
William Billings wrote the tune
as a patriotic song used during the American Revolution. Chester Billings was born in in 1746 and by the age of 14, his formal education ended with the death of his father. Boston pursued music as a way to help support his family. He had a strong addiction to tobacco, which he indulged by inhaling handfuls of snuff. One contemporary described him as “a singular man, of moderate size, short of one leg, with one eye, without any address & with an uncommon negligence of person. Still, he spake & sung & thought as a man above the common abilities.” Billings
It is believed that these lyrics were written by
Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav'ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton too,
With Prescot and Cornwallis join'd,
Together plot our Overthrow,
In one Infernal league combin'd.
When God inspir'd us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke, their lines were forc'd,
Their ships were Shatter'd in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our Coast.
The Foe comes on with haughty Stride;
Our troops advance with martial noise,
Their Vet'rans flee before our Youth,
And Gen'rals yield to beardless Boys.
What grateful Off'ring shall we bring?
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud Halleluiahs let us Sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry Chord.
On September 26, 1800, William Billings died at the age of 54 in poverty, leaving behind a widow and six children.