Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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He that drinketh small beer, And goes to bed sober, —
Falls as the leaves do fall. That die in dull October,
Come, landlord, etc.
Punch cures the gout,
The colic and phthisic; So it is to all men
The best of physic.
Come, landlord, etc.
He that courts a pretty girl, And courts her for his pleasure,
Is a knave unless he marries her Without store or treasure.
Come, landlord, etc.
So now let us dance and sing, And drive away all sorrow, —
For perhaps we may not Meet again to-morrow.
Come, landlord, etc.
The writer and composer of this song are unknown. It appeared as a broadside in 1710. In 1729 it was produced at a little theatre in the Hay Market, London, under the title " Why, Soldiers, why ? " in " The Patron, or the Statesman's Opera." Collections made in 1775 have both words and music, and Shield introduced the song into "The Siege of Gib­raltar." It is usually called " General Wolfe's song," and is said to have been sung by him on the eve of the battle of Quebec. There is a story, which seems to be authentic, that as his night expedition against the city was floating down the St. Lawrence, he repeated several stanzas from Gray's " Elegy," and remarked that he " would rather have written that poem than take Quebec to-morrow." It is not unhkely that this anecdote, together with the fact that he had sometimes sung " How stands the glass around ? " was what gave rise to the story which makes it his death-song.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III