I love Mormon folk songs. Except for a few very well known folk songs (“Whoa! Haw! Buck and Jerry-boy” and “Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys”), and our pioneer hymns and anthems, true Mormon songs can be hard to find.
Below is a lesser known song of defiance, of whistling in the face of danger, dating from the Utah War of 1857-58 — do you realize that we’re entering another great sesquicentennial period, by the way? Ever hear this song before? know any other songs connected to the Utah War?
When Uncle Sammy first sent out his army to destroy us,
Says he, â€œThose Mormons we will rout! They shall no more annoy us!
Weâ€™ll send a force quite competent to hang them all for treason!â€
But this, you know, they didnâ€™t do, and do you know the reason?
As they were going up the Platte, they sang a lusty ditty,
Saying, â€œWeâ€™ll do this,â€ and â€œWeâ€™ll do that, when we get to Salt Lake City.â€
And sure enough, when they got there they made the Mormons pay, sir.
That is â€“ I mean â€“ they would have done, but, oh, they didnâ€™t get here!
They got within two hundred miles, and their officers were saying,
â€œIt will be but a little while â€˜till the Mormons we are slaying!
Weâ€™ll hang each man that has two wives. Weâ€™ve plenty of rope quite handy â€“
That is â€“ I mean â€“ we would have had, but Lot Smith burned it on Sandy.â€
When Uncle Sam first heard that news, it made him feel quite wrathy.
â€œWhoâ€™ll go and fetch those burners in?â€ â€œI will!â€ said Captain Marcy.
â€œIâ€™ll go and fetch those burners in, and by the necks weâ€™ll stretch â€˜em.â€
And this you know they would have done â€“ but, oh, they couldnâ€™t ketch â€˜em!
Then on Hamâ€™s Fork they camped and said, â€œLetâ€™s wait a little longer
Till Johnston and his troops come up to make us all the stronger.
Then weâ€™ll go in and take olâ€™ Brig, and Heber, his companion.â€
That is â€“ I mean â€“ they would have done, except for Echo Canyon.
Now, Uncle Sam, take our advice. Youâ€™d better stay at home, sir.
Youâ€™ll need your money and your men to defend your rights at home, sir.
But if perchance you need some help, the Mormons theyâ€™ll prove kind, sir.
Theyâ€™ve helped you once. They can again â€“ that is, if theyâ€™ve a mind to.
Thereâ€™s a great commotion in the East about the Mormon question.
The subject is, to say the least, too much for their digestion.
We claim the rights of liberty; weâ€™ll break our bonds asunder.
They want us all to bear their yoke, but we never will come under!