Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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amount of a yearly pension of £30, awarded to Mrs. Arne (as the eldest surviving descendant of Anthony Young, the composer of the Royal anthem) by King George III., through the representation of Francis Godolphin, then Marquis of Carmarthen, afterwards Duke of Leeds." I suppose the words in the parenthesis, " as the eldest surviving descendant," &c, to be Mrs. Henslowe's inference; but if not, it would appear that George III. granted a pension to the widow of Dr. Arne, not on account of her deceased husband's great eminence as a composer, but because she was the granddaughter of a musician who composed a national anthem for the Stuarts. Mrs. Henslowe does not explain how, if Mrs. Arne's grandfather composed the air, Dr. Arne could have been so ignorant of the fact, as to have ssaid, when interrogated upon the subject, that " he had not the least knowledge, nor could he guess at all, who was the author or the composer." Even if Mrs. Arne only made the discovery after her husband's death, Dr. Burney, who was a pupil of Dr. Arne, would surely have heard of it; but he also expressed his inability to give any account of the authorship. This claim is too feebly supported to receive any serious attention.
The enquiry into the three remaining claims, will be best prefaced by the accounts that were given at the time of the first public performance of " God save the King " at the theatres. In the month of September, 1745, and during the rebellion, it was sung both at Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres; Dr. Arne harmonizing it for Drury Lane, and his pupil, Burney, for Covent Garden. The first of these performances is thus noticed in The Daily Advertiser of Mon­day, Sept. 30, 1745 :—" On Saturday night last, the audience at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, were agreeably surprised by the gentlemen belonging to that house performing the anthem of God save our nolle King. The universal iipplause it met with,—being encored with repeated huzzas,—sufliciently denoted in how just an abhorrence they hold the arbitrary schemes of our insidious ene­mies, and detest the despotick attempts of Papal power." Next, in The General Advertiser of Oct. 2, 1745:—" At the Theatre in Goodman's Fields, by desire, God save the King, as it was performed at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, with great applause." Thirdly,—among the published letters of " that dramatic enthusiast," Benjamin Victor (i. 118, 8vo., 1776), is one addressed to Garrick, bearing the date of Oct., 1745, in which he says, "The stage (at both houses) is the most pious, as well as the most loyal place in the three kingdoms. Twenty men appear at the end of every play; and one, stepping forward from the j est, with uplifted hands and eyes, begins singing, to an old anthem tune, the following words:—
" 0 Lord, our God, arise,                           Send him victorious,
Confound the enemies                              Happy and glorious,
Of George our King!                          Long to reign over us,
God -save the King!
which are the very words, and music, of an old anthem that was sung at St. James's Chapel, for King James the Second, when the Prince of Orange landed to deliver us from popery and slavery; which God Almighty, in his goodness, was pleased not to grant."







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