SAM SMALL CROSSES THE DELAWARE
by Paul Gerard Smith performed by Pat O'Malley Sam Small Delaware America's a lovely place, the land of liberty, Back years ago the Minute Men got mad and set it free, Led by that gallant gentleman, the great George Washington Some say 'twas due to him alone that liberty was won. Some others say that Lafayette was the deciding force, Still others say 'twas Paul Revere, and Agatha, 'is 'orse. Such thoughts are idle rumor; they're not the facts at all. The question is "'Oo won the war?" The answer is "Sam Small." If Sam 'ad not come over with the British Fusileers The war for Independence might 'ave dragged along for years, From the moment Sam Small stepped upon the cold New England shore The odds on Britain went from four to one to one to four. I've told 'ow Sam met Paul Revere and rode to Lexington And lost a lovely battle that the British should 'ave won. And now I'm going to tell you, if you've 'arf a mo' to spare, Of 'ow Sam Small rowed Washington across the Delaware. When Lexington was over, Sam found 'imself alone The army 'ad gone elsewhere, Sam was strictly on 'is own; So with 'is 'ands in pockets, 'e just wandered 'ere and there And found 'imself one evening down beside the Delaware. Sam was lonesome, cold and 'ungry, 'e'd 'ad nought to eat since noon, 'Is stomach was the size and architecture of a prune, A bite of something edible was Sam's consuming wish, And even Sam could figure, "Where there's rivers... there is fish." So Sam took out 'is shoestring from the place that it 'ad been. And cut 'imself a willow branch and searched round for a pin And finally 'e found one, and 'e took an awful chance, For you see 'e'd lost 'is buttons and the pin 'eld up 'is pants. Without the pin Sam 'ad to 'old 'is trousers up by 'and And every time 'e'd scratch 'is nose, 'e looked like Sally Rand, It was a rare predicament, it made poor Samuel frown To stand there fishing with 'is London breeches falling down. Then Sam was fair disgusted, and 'e sadly cleared 'is throat, "I can't fish standing up," 'e said, "I wish I 'ad a boat." As if in answer to 'is prayer, 'e 'eard a funny sound And, looking, saw a rowboat which 'ad some'ow gone aground. So with 'is bit of shoestring and 'is willow twig and pin Sam got the boat afloat, and 'eld 'is pants and scrambled in 'E fished till 'e got itchy and 'is legs began to squirm And then 'e made another wish... "I wish I 'ad a worm." Again Sam's prayer was answered, a sparrow over'eard, And you know English sparrows are a patriotic bird; 'E wos taking 'ome a worm for lunch, but 'earing Sam's command 'E said, "For King and Country," and 'e dropped it in Sam's 'and. Sam baited up 'is trouser pin and started in to wish, And then 'e made another wish: "I wish I 'ad a fish." But this time 'twas no use, although 'e fished from morn till night And wished and fished and fished and wished, 'e never got a bite. And by and by 'e went to sleep, and by and by 'e woke For 'e'd 'eard somebody speaking, and 'e knew 'e 'adn't spoke; And looking up 'e saw some men... and then the tallest one Stepped up and said, "Good evening, friend, my name's George Washington." "We'd like to cross the river, there are Hessians over there, And we'd like to sneak up on them, sort of take them unaware; Per'aps you'd let us rent your boat for half an hour or so, It's really quite important." Sam just looked and answered, "No." "Come, come, my man," said Washington, "We've got to get across, Or what might be a victory will be a total loss. If you'll do this for us we'll give you anything you wish." Sam merely looked at them and said, "I wish I 'ad a fish." "And you shall 'ave your wish, my man," George Washington replied, "You're fishing where there are no fish, they're on the other side. And if you'll take us over there, I promise you, my lad, You shortly will be surfeited with 'alibut and shad." "Okay! 'op in!" said Samuel Small, and manfully 'e rowed 'Is muscles bulged, for seven men is quite an 'eavy load. One man sang Yankee Doodle, and one baited Sam Small's hook, And Washington stood in the bow to 'ave 'is picture took. And when they reached the other side, George Washington got out With all 'is men and Sam just sat and caught a dozen trout. There was a bit of shooting, and Sam thought it rather queer When 'e 'eard five 'undred 'essians singing, "I surrender, dear." Then Washington returned to Sam and gave 'im a salute And as Sam wos a sojer, 'e stood up and followed suit, Then Sam Small felt a draft, and looking down, to his chagrin 'E saw that there wos nothink where 'is trousers should 'ave been. And Washington said, "Never mind, just be informal, Sam, You've really saved America, and grateful as I am, I must repay with gratitude this noble deed you've done. Just mention anything you wish, and you shall 'ave it, son." Sam scratched 'is 'ead and pondered, and 'e seemed to 'esitate "Come, come," said Washington. "Make up your mind, it's getting late." And Sam Small said to Washington with an embarrassed glance, "All I want, George, is a button... just a button for my pants."
The end