Don’t Tread on Me: Happy Birthday America!

The Gadsden Flag

In some old dusty attic
Undisturbed for many years
There lies a tattered banner
That is stained with blood and tears
By men who knew that freedom
Must be fought for by the free
And died to save a ragged flag
That said Don’t Tread on Me

Don’t Tread on Me
I’m a rattlesnake with
Diamonds down my back
When other men retreat
That’s just the time that I attack
Because a dream that’s worth defending
Is a dream that’s bound to be
A ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

Two hundred years of glory
And the glory’s just begun
We may have lost some battles
But these colors never run
We drew the line at Valley Forge
We held at Bunker Hill
The cannon smoke is lifting
I can see that banner still

Don’t Tread on me
I’m a mountain lion
And courage is my name
I tamed a wild country
But I’m wild just the same
And from that rocky Boston harbor
To the California Sea
A ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

This nation isn’t what we’ve done
It’s what we’ve got to do
Remember that United States
Can only start with you
We better be recalling
What this country’s all about
And rally round that ragged flag
And hear the people shout
Don’t Tread on Me
I’m a grizzly bear
That’s not afraid to bite
I don’t look for trouble
But when trouble comes I fight
Because my daddy taught me freedom
Has no lifetime guarantee
A ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

The winds of change are blowing
And they’re sure to shake this land
We stood all we can take
And now it’s time to take a stand
Let’s tell the men who make the laws
In Washington D.C.
Unfurl again
That ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

Don’t Tread on me
I’m an eagle
Who is clawing at the sky
I want that banner waving up
Where eagles dare to fly
And blazing in the sunlight
So that friend and foe can see
A ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

Don’t Tread on us
We’re Americans
And we were born to lead
Our skin is every color
And our faith is every creed
We are 300 million people
But on one thing we agree
A ragged flag that said
Don’t Tread on Me

Michael O’Donoghue
© 1983 Least Loved Music, BMI

The Gadsden Flag

The Gadsden Flag

The Gadsden Flag History

7 Responses to “Don’t Tread on Me: Happy Birthday America!”

  1. linda whitley Says:

    Where did you find this song and do you know its origins?

    • steadyjohn Says:

      At the bottom of the posted lyrics is the name “Michael O’Donoghue”; and the credit “Leeast Loved Music, 1983”. The song can be found at a couple of places on You Tube. However, no one seems to know if he is the singer as well as the songwriter. In my opinion, via quite a bit of research which consumed most of my day* today, this is the Michael O’Donoghue (1940-1994) who for several years was associated with SNL. In fact he appeared in the very first skit in the first season of the program. He also appeared in and produced a film titled “Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video“. He had a country music side also; he’s credited with writing the Dolly Parton hit, “Single Women”. And, he wrote a few outrageously humorous columns for “Spin” magazine in the 1990’s.

      Michael O’Donoghue wrote for National Lampoon during the underground humor magazine’s 1970s glory days. That led to a writing job on the premiere season of Saturday Night Live, where he appeared on-camera in some of his own sketches. Revered for his oddball and subversive humor, O’Donoghue became a kind of elder statesman for the show. He also wrote the movie Scrooged.

      Read more:'donoghue

      Later, (on SNL) O’Donoghue cultivated the persona of the grim “Mr. Mike”, a coldly decadent figure who favored viewers with comically dark “Least-Loved Bedtime Stories” such as “The Little Engine that Died”. That sketch’s catchphrase — “I think I can, I think I can – HEART ATTACK! HEART ATTACK! Ohmygodthepain! Ohmygodthepain…” — turned out to be strangely prescient of O’Donoghue’s own last words.(see below) His other SNL sketches range from a black-and-white Citizen Kane parody to a Star Trek spoof that was a tour-de-force for Belushi.


      His own last words:

      On the morning of November 8, 1994, O’Donoghue awoke early in the morning to what he thought was just another migraine. He took some medication for the pain and went back to bed. He later woke up a second time in immense pain and exclaimed “Oh, my God!”. His wife, Cheryl Hardwick whom he married in October 1986, immediately called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, he went into convulsive seizure. Three hours later, Cheryl was informed that he was brain dead. He was taken off life support and his organs were donated to children

      I still have not learned who the singer is!
      *My day:
      “Today is the first day of the rest of your life…and already you’ve fucked it up.”
      Michael O’Donoghue

      Later: Looks like I’ll have to turn this into a blog post!

  2. linda whitley Says:

    I know who the singer is because I paid him. I produced that song.

    I am wondering how you found it.

  3. linda whitley Says:

    btw….MO’D is not the singer.

  4. steadyjohn Says:

    Who is the singer so I may give credit where it is due? And, did you know Michael O’Donoghue?

  5. linda whitley Says:

    yes…I knew him very well….

    The singer was a rocker who used a different name for this song, so I won’t go into who he is. I’m still a bit shocked to find this, myself.

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