Original Words & Story behind Blacksmith of Brandywine

Words: Pat Garvey
Music: Victoria Garvey Armstrong.
Source: Lovers, Heroes and Rogues, Michael Longcor (Moonwolf) tape
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Song History

Pat Garvey was inspired by the story in the LIFE Treasury of American Folklore. Mr. Garvey wrote the lyrics in 1963 and his (then) wife Victoria (now Victoria Armstrong) made up the tune on her guitar. They recorded it it on a reel to reel machine and sent it to Randy Sparks and his New Christy Minstrels. Mr. Sparks changed some of the words in the verses (adding his name to the copyright) and the New Christy Minstrels recorded it in 1964 on the album "Land Of Giants"

I was able to contact Mr. Garvey and he furnished me with the above information, as well as the original lyrics below. He has a webpage with contact information and recordings for sale at Pat Garvey

Original Words by Pat Garvey

Sep 26 - '63

Make it one for Washington and all his gallant men
And one for the girl that once was mine.
Make it one for the darlin' boy I'll never see again
And don't forget the Blacksmith of Brandywine.

As we rode down to Brandywine
There was a sight to see
A giant man with a hammer in his hand
Lying dead 'neath a cherry tree
And all around him on the ground
In fatal disarray
A score of men who would never fight again
Nor travel on the King's Highway.

Then quietly we dug a grave
And gave him burial there
And passed the day a ridin' on our way
Till we met with a musketeer.
From him we learned the story of
A brave and angry man
Who undertook the British enemy
With a hammer in his hand.


There lived a man in Chester town
Away from the cannon's roar
Of manner mild, he'd a woman and child
And he loved them twenty times o'er
Till a Tory spoke of a plot one day
To waylay Washington
He left his home and family alone
And to the General he did run.

When he returned the next morning
A horror struck his eyes
His family slain by Tory gun
And his house it burned the skies
The Blacksmith reached for his heavy sledge
And gave a practice swing.
Next day at the line on the field of Brandywine
You could hear his hammer ring:


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