Friday Night Concert: Shovels & Rope, “The Fall of Charleston”
Here’s a third track from the new album, Divided and United. This one is by Shovels & Rope, the Charleston husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. You can read more about them and their recording of “The Fall of Charleston” here, or hop over to NPR for a mini-concert. A contemporary broadside of the lyrics is available here.
Oh have you heard the glorious news, is the cry from every mouth,
Charleston is taken, and the rebels put to rout;
And Beauregard the chivalrous, he ran to save his bacon—
When he saw General Sherman’s “Yanks,” and “Charleston is taken!” With a whack, rowdy-dow, A hunkey boy is General Sherman, Whack, rowdy-dow, Invincible is he! This South Carolina chivalry, they once did loudly boast,
That the footsteps of a Union man, should ne’er pollute their coast.
They’d fight the Yankees two to one, who only fought for booty, But when the “udsills” came along it was “Legs, do your duty!” With a whack, rowdy-dow, Babylon is fallen, Whack, rowdy-dow, The end is drawing near! And from the “Sacred City,” this valiant warlike throng;
Skedaddled in confusion, although thirty thousand strong—
Without a shot, without a blow, or least sign of resistance,
And leaving their poor friends behind, with the “Yankees” for assistance! With a whack, rowdy-dow, How are you, Southern chivalry? Whack, rowdy-dow, Your race is nearly run! And again o’er Sumter’s battered walls, the Stars and Stripes do fly,
While the chivalry of Sixty-one in the “Last ditch” died;—
With Sherman, Grant and Porter too, to lead our men to glory,
We’ll squash poor Jeff’s confederacy, and then get “Hunkydory!” With a whack, rowdy-dow, How are you, neutral Johnny Bull? Whack, rowdy-dow, We’ll settle next with you!