To Pot and Kettle.

Yankee Doodles,
Oh, you noodles!
Why prolong this idle strife,
Costing treasure,
Without measure,
Waste of money and of life?
You will never
More for ever,
North and South, together, pull;
Each from other
Rent, as Brother
Jonathan from old John Bull.
When war’s ended,
For expended
Wealth, you’ll nothing have to show
But taxation;
Sad temptation
To repudiate what you owe.
All your cotton
Will get rotten,
As your brave who fall in vain;
You’ll have wreck’d your
No advantage to obtain.
Doubt there none is
But mere money’s
That for which you’ve gone to war;
And in using
Up, you’re losing
Just what you are fighting for.
Never murder
Was absurder
Than this bloodshed, which denotes
Stupid bad men,
Fools and madmen,
Cutting one another’s throats.

Title:To Pot and Kettle (from Punch)


Publication:Ormskirk Advertiser

Published in:

Date:September 2nd 1861

Keywords:politics, war


This Punch poem bemoans the effects of the relatively newly declared American Civil War, including those on the cotton trade. It is interesting that there is no mention of slavery here – that issue only rose in prominence later into the conflict. The term ‘Yankees’ here in its British usage refers to the whole of America, rather than exclusively north, as it came to be associated with. – SR