“Immortal Washington”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1836 (The American Songster)
Keywords: patriotic death nonballad recitation
Found in: US(Ap)


"Columbia's greatest glory Was her loved chief, fair Freedom's friend." Listeners are urged to respect and praise the (recently deceased?) Washington, and God is asked to "Receive into thy bosom Our virtuous hero -- Washington"


Almost makes you forget, in your nausea at such saccharine stuff, that Washington was a slaveowner who lost more battles than he won in his career.

I've tagged this with the "recitation" keyword because the only traditional text seems to be the badly garbled version in Cox. Even this is from manuscript, but certainly from memory (it contains too many senseless errors to be taken from print). There is no indication that it ever possessed a tune (it is hard to imagine a tune to this metrical pattern anyway). - RBW

Historical references


  1. JHCox 59, "Immortal Washington" (2 texts, though only the first is from tradition)
  2. Roud #5465
  3. BI, JHCox059