Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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The above letter is the authority for the fifth claim, and it derives some sup­port from the evidence of Dr. Burney, who tells us that, when Dr. Arne was applied to for information about it, he said, "He had not the least knowledge, nor could he guess at all, who was either the author or the composer, but that it was a received opinion that it was written for the Catholic Chapel of James II." Dr. Burney stated to the Duke of Gloucester, that " the earliest copy of the words with which we are acquainted, begins ' God save great James our King' " (see Morning Post, Nov. 2, 1814); and in Rees's Cyclopaedia, he says, " We believe that it was written for King James II., while the Prince of Orange was hovering over the coast; and when he became king, who durst own or sing it ? " It also appears that Dr. Benjamin Cooke, organist of Westminster Abbey, from about 1780 to 1790, had heard it sung, " God save great James our King." (See letter of B. J., in the Gentleman's Magazine, Jan. 20, 1796.)
It is singular that neither Hawkins nor Burney should have mentioned " God save the King " in their respective histories of music. In the year 1745, Hawkins was twenty-six years of age, and Burney nineteen. Burney came to London the year before, and was then a performer in the orchestra. He therefore had peculiar facilities for obtaining information, if he had desired it. No interest seems to have been taken in the enquiry, until some years after those histories were published.
The sixth claim is on behalf of Henry Carey. About the year 1795, when a pension of £200 a year had been granted to Charles Dibdin, on account of the favourable influence which his naval songs had over the British seamen, George Savile Carey made a journey to Windsor in the hope of a similar recompense. He relates in his Balnea, that he was advised to beg the inter­ference of a gentleman residing in the purlieus of Windsor Castle, that he would be kind enough to explain this matter rightly to the Sovereign, " thinking it not improbable that some consideration might have taken place, and some little compliment be bestowed on the offspring of one ' who had done the state some service.' " He was met with this answer, " Sir, I do not see, because your father was the author of God save the King, that the king is under any obligation to his son." G. S. Carey could not assert anything respecting the authorship from his own knowledge, having been born in 1742, and his father having died in 1743.
Henry Carey is the first person who is recorded to have sung " God save the King " in public, and he was in the habit of writing both the words and music of his songs. John Christopher Smith, who composed the music to an opera called Teraminta, of which Carey wrote the drama, asserts that Carey took the words and music of " God save the King " to him, to correct the base. His evi­dence is contained in a letter from Dr. Harington, the celebrated physician and amateur musician of Bath, addressed to G. S. Carey, and dated June 13th, 1795 :
" Dear Sir,—The anecdote you mention, respecting your father's being the author and composer of the words and music of ' God save the King,' is certainly true. That most respectable gentleman, my worthy friend and patient, Mr. Smith, has often told me what follows: viz., ' that your father came to him with the words and music,

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