A Tankard Of Ale - online songbook

An Anthology Of 120 Drinking Song Lyrics

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Introduction
" So thank the Lord for the temporal sword, And for howling heretics too, And for all the good things that our Christendom brings, But especially barley brew ! "
It is perfectly true that wine is intimately, although obscurely, connected with the Faith, and Mr. Belloc is quite right when he shouts out at the top of his voice that barley brew is one of the good things that we owe to Christendom ; but this, though consoling to the soul and clarifying to the mind, certainly makes our drinking songs complicated. The boozer's thoughts ought to be on his potónot on the Pope. But what with having Catholicism bellowed in at one ear and Puritanism snuffled in at the other, the poor man in the pub must get sorely distracted at times. Cannot he be left alone with his beer in peace ?
II
In this book I have tried (I trust successfully) to offer to my readers practically the whole cream of our con≠vivial songs. But since a man must set a limit to his work, I tried to omit everything that was not English in its spirit and in its authorship. So strict a line being im≠possible, I have compromised to the extent of admitting poems by Scotsmen and Irishmen, while excluding their work when in dialect. It was, however, with real sorrow that I had to stop my ears to the rollicking chorus of Burns :
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