Audio & Video Sources

Jefferson and Liberty (1801)

Download Audio (MP3)

Right-click (Ctrl-click for Mac users) the above link and select "Save Link As..."

»Sample Media Worksheet

Click here to show/hide Media Worksheet.

Transcript

This popular political ballad celebrated the victory of Thomas Jefferson over his Federalist opponent in the sharply contested election of 1800. As you listen to the song and read the lyrics, consider what principles it associated with Jefferson. What specific acts of the previous administration could have inspired the song’s concern that America, without Jefferson, would have slipped into a state of enslavement like the Old World.


Jefferson and Liberty
The gloomy night before us lies, The reign of terror now is o’er;
Its gags, inquisitors and spies,
Its hordes of harpies are no more   Rejoice, Columbia’s sons, rejoice   To tyrants never bend the knee   But join with heart, and soul and voice
For Jefferson and Liberty.
O’er vast Columbia’s varied clime Her cities, forests, shores and dales;
In riding majesty, sublime,
Immortal liberty prevails,
  Rejoice etc.
Hail! long expected glorious day Illustrious memorable morn:
That freedom’s fabric from decay Secures - for millions yet unborn.
  Rejoice etc.
His country’s glory, hope and stay,
In virtues and in talents tried;
Now rises to assume the sway,
O’er freedom’s temple to preside.
     Rejoice etc.
Within its hallow’d walls immense No hireling band shall e’er arise;
Array’d in tyranny’s defence,
To hear an injur’d people’s cries.
     Rejoice etc.
No lordling here with gorging jaws.
Shall wring from industry its food;
No fiery bigot’s holy laws,
Lay waste our fields and streets in blood.
  Rejoice etc.
Here strangers from a thousand shores Compell’d by tyranny to roam;
Shall find, amidst abundant stores,
A nobler and a happier home.
  Rejoice etc.
Here art shall lift her laurel’d head Wealth industry and peace divine;
And where dark forests lately spread Rich fields and lofty cities shine.
  Rejoice etc.
From Europe’s wants and woes remote A dreary waste of waves between;
Here plenty cheers the humble cot,
And smiles on every village green.
  Rejoice etc.
Here, free as air’s expanded space,
To every soul and sect shall be;
That sacred privilege of our race,
The worship of the Deity.
  Rejoice etc.
These gifts, great Liberty, are thine,
Ten thousand more we owe to thee;
Immortal may their mem’ries shine,
Who fought and died for Liberty.
  Rejoice etc.
What heart but hails a scene so bright What soul but inspiration draws;
Who would not guard so dear a right Or die in such a glorious cause.
  Rejoice etc.
Let foes to freedom dread the name,
But should they touch the sacred tree Twice fifty thousand swords would flame,
For Jefferson and Liberty.
  Rejoice etc.
From Georgia up to Lake Champlain From seas to Mississippi’s shore;
Ye sons of freedom loud proclaim,
The Reign of Terror is no more.
  Rejoice-Columbia’s sons, rejoice!
To tyrants never bend the knee;
But join with heart, and soul and voice For JEFFERSON and LIBERTY.


"For Jefferson and Liberty (Thomas Jefferson)" by Oscar Brand from the recording entitled Presidential Campaign Songs, 1789-1996, SF45051 provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (p) © 1999. Used by Permission.

From Address of the Democratic-Republican Society of Pennsylvania (December 18, 1794)

Download Audio (MP3)

Right-click (Ctrl-click for Mac users) the above link and select "Save Link As..."

»Sample Media Worksheet

Click here to show/hide Media Worksheet.

Transcript

Freedom of thought, and a free communication of opinions by speech through the medium of the press, are the safeguards of our Liberties. . . . By the freedom of opinion, cannot be meant the right of thinking merely; for of this right the greatest Tyrant cannot deprive his meanest slave; but, it is freedom in the communication of sentiments [by]speech or through the press. This liberty is animprescriptable [unlimitable] right, independent of any Constitution or social compact; it is ascomplete a right as that which any man has to the enjoyment of his life. These principles are eternal--they are recognized by our Constitution; and that nation is already enslaved that does not acknowledge their truth. . . .If freedom of opinion, in the sense we understand it, is the right of every Citizen, by what mode of reasoning can that right be denied to an assemblage of Citizens? . . . The Society are free to declare that they never were more strongly impressed with . . .the importance of associations . . . than at the present time. The germ of an odious Aristocracy is planted among us--it has taken root. . . . Let us remain firm in attachment to principles. . . . Let us be particularly watchful to preserve inviolate the freedom of opinion, assured that it is the most effectual weapon for the protection of our liberty.