FAMOUS PUPILS -TOM SAYERS -BALLADS & VERSES
First an American account of the 'World Championship' fight -
Heenan and Sayers
It was in the merry England, that home of Johnny Bull.
Great Britain filled her glasses, and filled them brimming full,
Says, "There's a toast to Drake, likewise to Britons brave,
For the champions we are on the land and the wave.
Then up rose Uncle Sam, and he looked far o'er the main,
"Is that the British Bull that's a-bellow'ing again?
Has he so soon forgotten the giant on the plain
That was always playing lightning when his day's work was done!"
"Or does he yet remember the Bunker Hill of old,
Or once upon Lake Erie with Perry brave and bold,
Or the bold charge at Yorktown when we caused him for to sigh?
Beware of Yankee muscle, Johnny Bull, mind your eyes!"
It was in the merry England, all in the bloom of spring,
When Britain's noble champion stood stripped all in the ring
To meet our noble Heenan, the gallant son of Troy
To try his British muscle on our bold Benicia boy,
There was two heavy flags that floated o'er the ring-
And the Briton's was the lion, just ready for to spring,
Ana tne Yankee's was the eagle, and a noble bird she was,
For she carried a bunch of thunderbolts in each of 'er claws.
Now the coppers they were tendered as the milling match began.
To the one on bold Sayers the bets came rolling in,
They fought like noble heroes, till one received a blow,
And the red crimson tide from our Yankee's nose did flow.
"First blood!" cried Johnny, "Let England shout for joy!"
They cheered their British bully whilst our bold Benicia boy
Says, "Let the tiger entertain them," and lightning flashed his eyes,
Saying, "Smile away old England, but Johnny mind your eyes."
The grand round of all, boys, this world has never beat
He grabbed their English boy, and he hurled him from his feet,
His followers they cheered him as he held him in the air
And from his grasp he flung him, which made the Britons stare.
Now come all ye jolly young men who'd friends and fortune make
Come look upon the eagle, and never be afraid
May our Union stand forever, and our flag will be unfurled,
And the Star Spangled Banner will float 'round the world.
From Traditional American Folk Songs, Anne and Frank Warner
Collected from John Galusha 1946
Sing along to these verses by downloading the tune here
from The Police Gazette
Another American ballad (the 'Benicia Boy'
is Heenan's nick-name) -
GREAT CHAMPION PRIZE FIGHT
By REMSEY ROE, Jr. of New Brunswick’ N. J.
Air: Tippacanoe and Tyler too.
What wonderous news have come to light,
Respecting England’s Champion Fight,
Which must have been a jolly sight--
If not an awful mean ‘un;
To see Tom Sayers, which all did own--
Was Champion of Great Britain’s Throne,
Laid on his back, and all alone--
By gallant John C. Heenan.
With gunning phiz, each monster stood,
Resolved to do the best he could--
To gain the day, which only would
Result from great defiance:
When “time” was called, the fight begun,
“Benicia Boy” backed to the sun,
And soon commenced the long wished fun
Of muscle, strength and science.
“Benicia boy” struck left and right,
But Tom Sayers show’d no signs of fright,
‘Till “Yankee muckle” in its hight--
Commenced to tell its story;
Then finding strength began to leave him,
Tom’s tiger-heart began to grieve him,
And Heenan’s muscle to deceive him,
With stars and stripes of glory.
Full forty rounds were fought or more--
Before the battle was given o’er,
When every heart from shore to shore,
Much antipithy felt;
Some cried “go home” whil’st other’s prayers--
Rose far and near for Thomas Sayers;
And now ‘tis said, the ref’ree swears--
The “boy” shan’t wear the BELT.
H DE. MARSAN PUBLISHER OF SONGS AND BALLADS
PAPER DOLLS TOY BOOKS 38 & 60 CHATHAM ST N.Y.
A feature on the fight in Sports Illustrated magazine
And finally some English verses on Tom
Tom Sayers, Champion of England
You lovers of the pugilistic ring, attend with mirth and cheers,
Whilst I here pen down and will expound the merits of Tom Sayers,
He is the noble champion, who in honour does uphold
The belt of merry England, and her laurels tipped with gold.
His first battle was with Andy Crouch in the year of '49,
He polished off that hardy son, in 13 minutes time;
He fought next with Dan Collins, and in round then two full score,
He thrashed his brave opponent in minutes 84.
He fought the Tipton Slasher, and brought him to the dust,
And on the banks of the Medway, he emptied many a purse;
He conquered the great Bill Bainge, and Tom Paddock of Redditch,
So brave a man as Tom Sayers, ne'er came from proud Sussex.
And last he fought Bob Brettle, a man of courage bold,
Whose mighty deeds of manly art the pages doth unfold;
But from an accidental fall, Bob Brettle he must yield,
Leaving Tom Sayers the winner, and the victor of the field.
Now the praises of Tom Sayers, I could not full extol,
He's the champion of proud England, and the conqueror of all;
His manly determination, as in the ring he does appear,
Declares him as the Champion, the Belt of England to wear.
A Tom Sayers commemorative medal - 1859