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Quotations about Liberty and Power

About this Quotation:

After having played a significant role in both the American and French Revolutions, Paine had fallen into almost complete obscurity by the time of his death. William Cobbett tried to repatriate Paine’s body to Britain but somehow “lost” it en route. It is in keeping with Paine’s efforts to delegitimize the British monarchy by rewriting traditional pro-monarchy and pro-empire songs and putting new republican words to them. This hymn to the republic uses the tune of “Rule Britannia” to new effect.

Other quotes about Literature & Music:

13 December, 2004

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During the American Revolution Thomas Paine penned a patriotic song called “Hail Great Republic” which is to be sung to the tune of Rule Britannia (of course!) (1776)

Read the full quote in context here.

Paine is well known for having penned a number of patriotic songs during the period of the American Revolution such as "The Liberty Tree", "The Boston Patriotic Song", and the one which is our quote of the week - "Hail Great Republic" (which is to be sung to the tune of "Rule Britannia").

HAIL great Republic of the world,
Which rear’d her empire in the west,
Where fam’d Columbus’ flag unfurl’d,
Gave tortured Europe scenes of rest ;
Be thou forever great and free,
The land of Love, and Liberty !

Where’er the Atlantic surges lave,
Or sea the human eye delights,
There may thy starry standard wave,
The Constellation of thy Rights!
Be thou forever, &c.

The full passage from which this quotation was taken can be be viewed below (front page quote in bold):

HAIL GREAT REPUBLIC.
Tune—Rule Britannia.

HAIL great Republic of the world,
Which rear’d her empire in the west,
Where fam’d Columbus’ flag unfurl’d,
Gave tortured Europe scenes of rest ;
Be thou forever great and free,
The land of Love, and Liberty !…


Beneath thy spreading, mantling vine,
Beside each flowery grove and spring,
And where thy lofty mountains shine,
May all thy sons and fair ones sing.
Be thou forever, &c.

From thee may hellish Discord prowl,
With all her dark and hateful train ;
And whilst thy mighty waters roll,
May heaven-descended Concord reign.
Be thou forever, &c.

Where’er the Atlantic surges lave,
Or sea the human eye delights,
There may thy starry standard wave,
The Constellation of thy Rights!
Be thou forever, &c.


May ages as they rise proclaim
The glories of thy natal day ;
And States from thy exalted name
Learn how to rule, and to obey.
Be thou forever, &c.

Let Laureats make their birthdays known,
Or how war’s thunderbolts are hurl’d ;
Tis ours the charter, ours alone,
To sing the birthday of a world!
Be thou forever great and free,
The land of Love and Liberty!

[More works by Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809)]