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Sweet Lips (Battle of King's Mountain)

This song is by Grandpa Jones and appears on the album What's for Supper? (1974).

It was back in eighty one, that a man named Washington
Put fighting hard for freedom in this land
But his men were poor and ragged and against the British gun
Well he didn't even dare to make a stand

Old Ferguson was marching toward the Carolina hills
Making brags, saying "Hang a man to every tree"
But the news that he was coming raced across the mountaintop
And they heard about it over in Tennessee

At the shuls of old Watauga, where the sycamores grow tall
They rallied around old Nolichucky Jack
And they said "We'll drive the redcoats back across the briny deep
Yes, we'll lick 'em hard, we're never comin' back"

There was 'chucky Jack and Campbell, Colonel Shelby and their band
Mountaineers who loved their liberty
Then a lovesick boy named Given with a brand-new rifle gun
Named for his girl in Tennessee

Sweet Lips, blows the rifle
Named for a girl in Tennessee
When Sweet Lips spoke, the chains about it broke
She struck a mighty blow for liberty

When they rode across the mountain, toward the Carolina soil
The tarheels with the muskets gathered 'round
To go and head off Ferguson before he got to them
To hang 'em all and burn the houses down

When Ferguson heard the mountainmen were camping on his trail
He first began to laugh and then to scoff
He said, "We'll go up on King's Mountain, and then let the rebels come"
"For the powers of hell will never drive me off"

But Campbell and Ben Cleveland, Colonel Shelby and their men
Had knowledge of old Nolichucky Jack
Well, they loaded up their rifles and they combed the mountainside
Said, "we'll lick 'em hard, we're never coming back"

Oh, he blew his silver whistle, and he shouted, and he cursed
"Use your 'vantage to drive the rebels back!"
But the redcoats never made it, for before they reached the line
The mountain rifle jumped them in their tracks

Sweet Lips, blows the rifle
Named for a girl in Tennessee
When Sweet Lips spoke, the chains about it broke
She struck a mighty blow for liberty

Old Ferguson was dashing up and down the battlefield
And it seemed that he must lead a life of charm
For the mountaineers were aiming at his gaudy checkered coat
But their bullets passed him by and did no harm

Then up stepped young John Given with his brand-new rifle gun
"Named for his girl back home", he said
Well, I wonder what Sweet Lips can do", and he when he took his aim
Sweet Lips spoke, and Ferguson fell dead

Cornwallis heard that Ferguson and all his men were lost
And he said, "This place is just too hot for me"
So he soon went onto Yorktown, where he laid his weapons down
And ever since this country has been free

Sweet Lips, blows the rifle
Named for a girl in Tennessee
When Sweet Lips spoke, the chains about it broke
She sure did did her part for liberty

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