You’ll Be Back

“You’ll be back, Like before, I will fight the fight and win the war. For your love, For your praise, And I’ll love you till my dying days.”

The primary dialogue within this song can be found in an October 1775 speech that King George III made to Parliament. In it, he says, “Those who have long too successfully laboured to inflame My People in America, by gross Misrepresentations, and to infuse into their Minds a System of Opinions repugnant to the true Constitution of the Colonies, and to their subordinate Relation to Great Britain, now openly avow their Revolt, Hostility, and Rebellion.” Like many in England, the King believed that the people within his American colonies had been led astray. In some ways, he was right.

Since the end of the Seven Years’ War, Parliament had passed legislation intending to raise funds to pay for the war while also meaning to agitate the colonists. “The Resolutions of Parliament breathed a Spirit of Moderation and Forbearance: conciliatory Propositions accompanied the Measures taken to enforce Authority, and the coercive Acts were adapted to Cases of criminal Combinations amongst Subjects not then in Arms.” The Coercive Acts were designed to annoy the colonists in an effort to get Parliament to agree on something and work together.

Now, the King recognizes that they have gone too far. “On Our Part, though it was declared in your last Session that a Rebellion existed within the Province of the Massachusets Bay, yet even that Province We wished rather to reclaim than to subdue.” George III is conveying a message of blame on Parliament while also saying they still need to welcome these colonies back with open arms. He appears to be saying that, although Parliament has declared that Massachusetts is in a full-on rebellion, they should still find ways to welcome said colony back into the commonwealth.

King George III’s speech is very much two-toned. On the one hand, he appears to say that “…I shall be ready to receive the Misled with Tenderness and Mercy…” He also adds that he will “…receive the Submission of any Province or Colony, which shall be disposed to return to its Allegiance.” However, in the midst of this soft-sounding speech meant to welcome colonists back with open arms, he adds his warning of just how bad the colonists have become. “They have raised Troops, and are collecting a Naval Force; they have seized the publick Revenue, and assumed to themselves Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Powers, which they already exercise in the most arbitrary Manner over the Persons and Properties of their Fellow Subjects.” He goes on to say, “The Authors and Promoters of this desperate Conspiracy have, in the Conduct of it, derived great Advantage from the Difference of our Intentions and theirs. They meant only to amuse, by vague Expressions of Attachment to the Parent State, and the strongest Protestations of Loyalty to Me, whilst they were preparing for a general Revolt.” It could be easy for someone to argue that the founding fathers would gain a lot by breaking off from England and forming their own government. However, revolution is not an easy thing; neither is building a new country. The founding fathers that would go on to sign the Declaration of Independence knew that they were potentially signing their death warrant. These men left their families behind in the hope that they could make the world a better place. When they initially met, they had no intention of declaring independence. However, after Lexington and Concord, and then with the Battle of Bunker Hill, most of those men knew there was no turning back. Bloodshed meant there would be no peaceful solution.

King George III portrays himself as an anxious parent. “I have acted with the same Temper, anxious to prevent… the Effusion of the Blood of My Subjects, and the Calamities which are inseparable from a State of War; still hoping that My People in America would have discerned the traiterous Views of their Leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a Subject of Great Britain, with all its Consequences, is to be the freest Member of any Civil Society in the known World.” Any and all Empires are known to believe that their Empire is the greatest and freest in all of the land. King George III wants the world to see that he and his people have been hurt because of the colonists’ actions. He almost sweetly asks them to come home to daddy so that they can be one happy family again. However, his speech also seems to hint that he knows that this will not be the case. If he genuinely believed that the colonies would come back without any bloodshed, even though British troops had already partaken in colonial bloodshed, then he most likely would not go on to say that he has dramatically increased the amount of naval and land forces that Great Britain can use.[1]

The fact of the matter is that by the time George III gave this speech in October 1775, much bloodshed had already occurred. On April 19, 1775, the infamous shot heard around the world happened, and the Battle of Lexington and Concord commenced. On that day, forty-nine colonists were killed. A few months later, on June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill occurred. Colonists were defeated by a swift and brutal force. One hundred and fifteen colonists were killed, three hundred and five were wounded, and thirty were captured. Twenty of those thirty POWs would die. Perhaps the last nail in the metaphorical coffin was the brutal murder of Dr. Joseph Warren, who had been commissioned a major general only three days before. The British would strip the deceased Dr. Warren of his clothes, bayonet him until he was unrecognizable, and shove him into a shallow ditch. British Captain Walter Laurie said he “stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain.”[2] Benjamin Hichborn wrote to John Adams that British Lieutenant James Drew “…went upon the Hill again opened the dirt that was thrown over Doctor Warren, spit in his face jumped on his stomach and at last cut off his head and committed every act of violence upon his body.”[3] It would be ten months before Warren’s brother and Paul Revere were able to find his body and give him a proper burial.

England would be made to pay for what they did to Dr. Joseph Warren.

The Death of General Warren by John Trumbull

You’ll Be Back

You say
The price of my love’s not a price that you’re willing to pay.
You cry
In your tea which you hurl in the sea when you see me go by.
Why so sad?
Remember we made an arrangement when you went away.
Now you’re making me mad.
Remember, despite our estrangement, I’m your man.
You’ll be back.
Soon you’ll see.
You’ll remember you belong to me.
You’ll be back.
Time will tell.
You’ll remember that I served you well.
Oceans rise.
Empires fall.
We have seen each other through it all,
And when push
Comes to shove,
I will send a fully armed battalion
To remind you of my love!

Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da
Da da dat dat da ya da!
Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da
Da da dat dat da…

You say our love is draining and you can’t go on.
You’ll be the one complaining when I am gone…

And no don’t change the subject,
Cuz you’re my favorite subject,
My sweet, submissive subject,
My loyal, royal subject,
Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever…

You’ll be back,
Like before,
I will fight the fight and win the war
For your love,
For your praise,
And I’ll love you till my dying days.
When you’re gone
I’ll go mad,
So don’t throw away this thing we had.
‘Cause when push comes to shove
I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.

Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da
Da da dat dat da ya da!
Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da
Da da dat—


Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da
Da da dat dat da ya da!
Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da da da da
Dat dat da ya da!

[1] King George III, “George III’s Address To Parliament” (Hall & Sellers, October 27, 1775).
[2] David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1994).
[3] “To John Adams from Benjamin Hichborn, 25 November 1775”. National Archives. Retrieved 1 August 2014.

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