Educator's Guide: The Arts: Singing Soldiers: "A Life on the Vicksburg Bluff"

A Life on the Vicksburg Bluff

Words: A. Dalsheirner

Music: "A Life On The Ocean Wave" by Henry Russell

Henry Russell was an Englishman who lived in America from 1833 to 1841. He was a very successful song writer and this tune, composed in 1838, was one of the most popular pieces before and during the war. The writer of the lyric was a member of the Third Louisiana Regiment during the siege. The song vividly and humorously describes the hardships of the famished garrison and the pandemonium caused by the incessant bombardment. General John C. Pemberton surrendered to Grant on July 4, 1863.


1. A life on the Vicksburg bluff, A home in the trenches deep, Where we dodge "Yank" shells enough, And our old "pea-bread" won't keep. On "old Logan's" beef I pine, For there's fat on his bones no more Oh! give me some pork and brine, And truck from a sutlers store.

Chorus: A life on the Vicksburg bluff, A home in the trenches deep, When we dodge "Yank" shells enough, And our old pea-bread won't keep, Pea-bread Pea-bread, our old pea-bread won't keep.

2. Old Grant is starving us out, Our grub is fast wasting away, Pemb' don't know what he's about, And he hasn't for many a day, So we'll bury "old Logan" tonight, From tough beef we'll be set free We'll put him far out of sight, No more of his meat for me.


3. Texas steers are no longer in view, Mule steaks are now "done up 'brown, " While peabread, mule roast and mule stew, Are our fare in Vicksburg town; And the song of our hearts shall be, While the Yanks and their gunboats rave; A life in a bomb-proof for me, And a tear on "old Logan's" grave.



Last updated: April 14, 2015

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