Yankee Frolics is a project by traditional singers to revive a corpus of American topical songs from the War of 1812.
An oft overlooked sector of folk music, the War of 1812 was a defining moment for American idealism that bequeathed to the United States a corpus of vibrant, national songs. To citizens of the early Republic, the gallant actions of American commanders, sailors, soldiers, and patriotic citizens were electrifying, and became the inspiration for sweeping patriotic narratives spun out in verse. These songs, birthed in those early days, are the heirlooms of a popular tradition that still informs our perspective on American liberty and the right to self-government.
Yankee Frolics (later amended "Yankee Frolics, brought down to April 27th, 1813") refers to a catalog-style broadside that commemorates a few signal American victories early in the War of 1812. Within a year of the ballad's composition, it was updated to include USS Constitution vs HMS Java, USS Hornet vs HMS Peacock, and the Battle of York (now Toronto).
It was notably collected in Edward Gillespie's Columbian Naval Songster (1813) to the tune of Moll Roe in 9/8. Peter revived the song using the Connemara air Na Ceannabháin Bhána.