Printed broadside, approx. 5.25 x 10 in. The Awkward Recruit. Anonymous. This ditty was printed in a number of English songsters just after the turn of the century. It appeared in Meadows, Thomas. Thesbian Gleanings: A Collection of Comic Recitals, Songs, Tales, &c. Including a Variety of Comic Sketches, from Dodd's Lecture on Hearts; a Farce Called, Who's to Blame; Or, No Fool Like an Old One; and Many Originals. London, 1805. And also Anon. The Patriotic Miscellany; Or, Vocal Museum: Being a Selection of the Most Approved Songs, for the Year 1814. [English Chapbooks]. So it apparently made its debut during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) between England and France. This version has a shield-breasted eagle with ribbon in its beak. The left side has been cut off, but the right side still reads "Unum." One assumes the missing part was "E Pluribus." This would indicate that it was adopted in America, possibly during the War of 1812. The soldier beside the eagle seems to be dressed in colonial or Revolutionary War clothing, also suggesting the song came to America earlier rather than later. It has been reported that this ridiculous ditty would send soldiers into fits of hysterics!
A few brown spots, but overall very good.
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