Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke ; As the loud blast, that tears the skies, ||: Serves but to root thy native oak. :|| Rule, Britannia! etc.
Thee, haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; All their attempts to bend thee down, "Will but arouse thy gen'rous flame, |: To work their woe, and thy renown. :|| Rule, Britannia! etc.
To thee belongs the rural reign,
Thy cities shall with commerce shine ; All thine, shall be the subject main, ||: And ev'ry shore it circles, thine. :|| Rule, Britannia! etc.
The muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair; Blest Isle! with matchless beauty crown'd, ||: And manly hearts to guard the fair. :|| Rule, Britannia! etc.
The origin of this national song of Great Britain has been matter for endless discus­sion. The most generally accepted theory seems to be, that the words were written by Henry Carey, author of " Sally in our Alley," for James II., the exiled King, and that it was revived and sung during the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, and then silenced by the failure of the Jacobites, until it reappeared with the reading " God save Great George, our King," substituted for the original one, which is admitted to be "God save Great James, our King." On no other hypothesis could a meaning be found for the lines:
" Send him victorious Long to reign over us,"
4 " O Lord, our God, arise, Scatter his enemies,
And make them fall. Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks," etc.
Even this interpretation hardly explains the allusions of the last two lines given, which probably refer to the gunpowder plot.
Richard Clark, a well-known English composer, wrote a defence of Carey's claim, but subsequently was shaken in his belief, and devoted eight years to research on the subject, when he published a book (London, 1821) in which he asserts that the anthem was writ­ten in the reign of James I., by Ben Jonson, who was Poet Laureate. He says it was written at the particular request of the Merchant Tailors' Company, and was sung in their

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