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The Anacreontic Song

31 Jan 13 - 05:35 AM (#3473835)
Subject: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Leadfingers

Listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning - a programme about the war of 1812 - had me wondering about the 'Popular British Drinking Song' which was the original tune for 'The Star Spangled Banner'
I see the lyrics ARE in the D T , and wondered if this could EVER be a drinking song today >

                                                    1
          To ANACREON in Heav'n, where he sat in full Glee,
          A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
          That He their Inspirer and Patron wou'd be;
          When this Answer arriv'd from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
                        "Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
                        "No longer be mute,
         "I'll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
         "And, besides, I'll instruct you like me, to intwine
         "The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS's Vine.

                                                    2
          The news through OLYMPUS immediately flew;
          When OLD THUNDER pretended to give himself Airs_
          If these Mortals are suffer'd their Scheme to pursue,
          The Devil a Goddess will stay above Stairs.
                            "Hark! already they cry,
                            "In Transports of Joy
         "Away to the Sons of ANACREON we'll fly,
         "And there, with good Fellows, we'll learn to intwine
         "The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.

                                                    3
         "The YELLOW-HAIR'D GOD and his nine fusty Maids
         "From HELICON'S Banks will incontinent flee,
         "IDALIA will boast but of tenantless Shades,
         "And the bi-forked Hill a mere Desart will be
                      "My Thunder, no fear on't,
                      "Shall soon do it's Errand,
         "And, dam'me! I'll swinge the Ringleaders I warrant,
         "I'll trim the young Dogs, for thus daring to twine
         "The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.

                                                    4
          APOLLO rose up; and said, "Pr'ythee ne'er quarrel,
         "Good King of the Gods with my Vot'ries below:
         "Your Thunder is useless_then, shewing his Laurel,
          Cry'd. "Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
                      "Then over each Head
                      "My Laurels I'll spread
         "So my Sons from your Crackers no Mischief shall dread,
         "Whilst snug in their Club-Room, they Jovially twine
         "The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.

                                                    5
          Next MOMUS got up, with his risible Phiz,
          And swore with APOLLO he'd cheerfull join_
         "The full Tide of Harmony still shall be his,
         "But the Song, and the Catch, & the Laugh shall bemine
                     "Then, JOVE, be not jealous
                      Of these honest Fellows,
          Cry'd JOVE, "We relent, since the Truth you now tell us;
         "And swear, by OLD STYX, that they long shall entwine
         "The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.

                                                    6
          Ye Sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;
          Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
         'Tis your's to support what's so happily plann'd;
          You've the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of JOVE.
                         While thus we agree
                         Our Toast let it be.
          May our Club flourish happy, united and free!
          And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
          The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.


31 Jan 13 - 06:15 AM (#3473855)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Ross Campbell

Strawhead, where are you when we need you?


31 Jan 13 - 12:02 PM (#3473885)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: GUEST,leeneia

No, it wouldn't be a drinking song today and it almost certainly didn't make it as a drinking song back then.

Let's just say that as poetry, it trips over its own feet.


31 Jan 13 - 01:15 PM (#3473919)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Reads like a number of other pretentious poems written by university students back in the 17th-19th C.
Many Baroque operas make use of the doings of the gods. Today we listen to the music, but literature taught in schools today (outside of Italy?) no longer includes material rich in Grecian-Roman mythology, so the librettos have lost much of their meaning.

Is the tune to "To Anacreon in Heaven" older than the song?


31 Jan 13 - 01:31 PM (#3473925)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Manitas_at_home

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Anacreon_in_Heaven


31 Jan 13 - 01:34 PM (#3473927)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: GUEST,999

The Anacreontic Song was written for the Anacreontic Society. This London
gentlemen's club was named after the Greek poet Anacreon (c. 570-485 BC),
who was known for his poems on love and wine. The words are credited to
Ralph Tomlinson (1744-1778), and the tune is commonly attributed to John
Stafford Smith (1750-1836). The tune is most famous for its use with Francis
Scott Key's The Star Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the United
States.) The earlier political song Adams and Liberty also used the same tune.

from

http://www.potw.org/archive/potw234.html


31 Jan 13 - 11:22 PM (#3474209)
Subject: RE: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Ron Davies

Sure, why not?    Would it be the firsr time college students were a bit pretentious? And they may have laughed at each other's stumbling over some of the words--and not exactly hitting the notes of a demanding piece--while in their cups.


31 Jan 13 - 11:23 PM (#3474210)
Subject: RE: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: Ron Davies

"first time"


01 Feb 13 - 12:06 AM (#3474217)
Subject: RE: Tha Anacreontic Song
From: ClaireBear

My pals Oak, Ash & Thorn do a bang-up version of this drinking song. Never fails to make me order a beer.


01 Feb 13 - 03:04 AM (#3474233)
Subject: RE: The Anacreontic Song
From: Joe Offer

There's a performance of "The Anacreontic Song" by the Georgia Tech Glee Club here (click). Interesting, but watching makes me seasick.

This one is a bit more sedate. Marylond Public TV has a piece on the song, with an (uncredited) mandolin player with a very familiar face.

I'll agree with Claire - Dave Swan and Oak, Ash, and Thorn do the best version I've ever heard.
-Joe-