The Ballad of Captain John Alden
Alden & Billy 303
General Information

The Heart Is A Devil
The Reckoning


Salem, Massachusetts


celebrating the several exploits of John Alden in battle.

When you've tasted war, you'll know the difference between battles and ballads.
— John Alden to Billy

The Ballad of Captain John Alden is a ballad composed in honor of John Alden to celebrate his adventures against Indians and the French troops in the Northlands.

Throughout the Salem series Edit

To cheer up the understanding between the various recruits of the Salem militia, Billy toasted the countless adventures of John Alden, offering beer to the comrades and the same John Alden at the local tavern. However, the captain was not cheered by what his troops were toasting, mocking such heroic deeds as mere fairy tales since at war there was not no hero. (The Heart Is A Devil)

Days later, headed to Deerfield to discover the mysterious causes that had dyed red the sky, Billy whistled a tune bringing the discourse back on the past heroic exploits of John Alden, making him aware of how he is a national hero like Cromwell or Robin Hood. Once again, John Alden denied such honors, pointing out to the young Billy the difference between actual battles and ballads. For example, he fought no wolf pack, but a lone wolf. In doing so he made sure to bring the recruit down to earth. (The Reckoning)

Memorable Quotes Edit

Billy: To Captain John Alden! Hero of Bloody Brook, the Great Swamp, Turner's Falls, and Mount Hope! To your honor, Sir!
John Alden: You're full of shit, little man, and so are your fairy tales. There weren't any heroes at any of those battles, least of all me. Only difference between me and everyone else there is I'm still alive, more or less.
-- The Heart Is A Devil
Billy: I think my favorite is the one about how you faced down that wolf pack up in the White Mountains.
John Alden: Wolf pack? There was only one.
Billy: "He was weaker and hungrier than me." No, I remember it well. "Alden swung it off his back. But as he slew the mighty beast. Three more leapt from out the night to rend his flesh And on it feast..."
John Alden: What the hell is that?
Billy: The Ballad of Captain John Alden.
John Alden: A ballad? About me?
Billy: Sure. In the northland you're a regular hero like Pilgrim or Cromwell or Robin Hood!
John Alden: If it smells like bullshit, it is bullshit. And if it don't, it's bullshit wearing French perfume.
Billy: What about all the other stories?
John Alden: When you've tasted war, you'll know the difference between battles and ballads. Slow down.
Billy: Oh, so not only aren't you half the man the ballads say, you're old and slow.
-- The Reckoning

Trivia Edit

  • Billy compared John Alden to several heroic figures of the time.
    • Oliver Cromwell, a key figure of the English Civil War and fervent Protestant.
    • Robin Hood, a semilegendary English medieval outlaw, reputed to have robbed the rich and helped the poor. He's generally associated with Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
    • A pilgrim, led by Providence to the promised land.

See Also Edit

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