When Sweet Lips Spoke

October 7, 1780, Kings Mountain, South Carolina.

It was back in ’81 that a man named Washington
Was 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 he’d hang a man to every tree,
But the news that he was coming
Raced across the mountain tops,
And they heard about it over in Tennessee.

At the shoal of old Watauga, where the sycamores grow tall,
They rallied around ol’ Nolichucky Jack,
And they said, “We’ll drive the Redcoats
Back across the briny deep.
Yes, we’ll lick ’em, or we’re never coming back!”

There was Chucky Jack and Campbell, Colonel Shelby in their band,
Mountaineers who loved their liberty,
And a lovesick boy named Gillam
With a brand new rifle gun,
Named for his girl in Tennessee.

Sweet Lips was a rifle named for a girl in Tennessee.
When Sweet Lips spoke,
The chains that bound us broke.
She struck a mighty blow for liberty.

When they rode across the mountains onto Carolina soil,
The Tarheels with their muskets gathered ’round
To go and head off Ferguson
Before he got to them
To hang ’em all and burn their houses down.

When Ferguson heard the mountain men were camping on his trail,
He first began to laugh and then to scoff,
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,
And John Sevier ~ ol’ Nolichucky Jack ~
Well, they loaded up their rifles,
And they climbed the mountainside,
Said, “We’ll lick ’em, or we’re never coming back!”

Oh, he blew his silver whistle, and he shouted and he cursed,
“Use your bayonets to drive the rebels back!”
But the Redcoats never made it,
For before they reached the line,
The mountain rifles jumped them in their tracks.

Sweet Lips was a rifle named for a girl in Tennessee.
When Sweet Lips spoke,
The chains that bound us broke.
She struck a mighty blow for liberty.

Ol’ 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 Gillam with his brand new rifle gun,
Named for his girl back home. He said,
“Well, I wonder what Sweet Lips can do?”
And 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 off to Yorktown,
Where he laid his weapons down,
And ever since this country has been free.

Sweet Lips was a rifle named for a girl in Tennessee.
When Sweet Lips spoke,
The chains that bound us broke.
She’s gone and did her part for liberty.

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