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The Anacreontic Song—18c. Source Tune for U.S. National Anthem

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Published on Feb 26, 2013

"The Anacreontic Song"
Soloist: Jacob Wright
Conducted by Jerry Blackstone
From recording Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of "The Star-Spangled Banner," see http://starspangledmusic.org/poets-pa...

Chorus: Justin Berkowitz, George Case, Mark Clague, Nicholas Davis, Stephen Gusukuma, Phillip Harris, John Hummel, Tim Keeler, Jonathan King, Nicholas Nestorak, Brandon Pemberton, Glen Thomas, and Scott Walters

Music edited by Mark Clague
Produced by Andrew Kuster
Audio and video engineering and production by Dave Schall

"The Anacreontic Song," or "To Anacreon in Heaven" with words by Ralph Tomlinson and music by John Stafford Smith is the source for the tune Francis Scott Key had in mind when he composed the lyric "In Defence of Fort McHenry" to celebrate the victory of American troops and the people of Baltimore against the British Fleet on 14 September 1814.

The precise date this club anthem of London's Anacreontic Society was written is unknown, but it was likely written in 1775/76. This performance is realized from first 1779 imprint, published by Longman and Broderip [London], a copy of which is held by the University of Michigan's Clements Library.

See http://osaycanyouhear.wordpress.com for more on the history of the United States National Anthem or visit http://www.starspangledmusic.org

Lyrics by Ralph Tomlinson

To Anacreon, in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of harmony sent a petition,
That he their inspirer and patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the jolly old Grecian --
Voice, fiddle and flute, no longer be mute.
I'll lend ye my name, and inspire you to boot,
And, besides, I'll instruct you, like me, to entwine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

The news through Olympus immediately flew;
When Old Thunder pretended to give himself airs --
If these mortals are suffer'd their scheme to pursue,
The devil a goddess will stay above stairs.
Hark! already they cry in transports of joy.
Away to the Sons of Anacreon we'll fly...
And there with good fellows, we'll learn to entwine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

The yellow-hair'd god, and his nine fusty maids,
From Helicon's banks will incontinent flee.
Idalia will boast but of tenantless shades,
And the biforked hill a mere desert will be.
My Thunder, no fear on't shall soon do its errand,
And dam'me! I'll swing the ringleaders, I warrant.
I'll trim the young dogs for thus daring to twine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

Apollo rose up; and said, Pr'ythee ne'er quarrel,
Good King of the gods, with my vot'ries below!
Your thunder is useless -- then, shewing his laurel,
Cry'd, Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
Then over each head my laurels I'll spread;
So my sons from your crackers no mischief shall dread,
Whilst snug in their club-room, they jovially twine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

Next Momus got up, with his risible phiz;
And swore with Apollo he'd cheerfully join --
The full tide of harmony still shall be his,
But the song, and the catch, and the laugh shall be mine;
Then, Jove, be not jealous of these honest fellows.
Cry'd Jove, We relent, since the truth you now tell us;
And swear by Old Styx that they long shall entwine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

Ye sons of Anacreon, then, join hand in hand;
Preserve unanimity, friends and love.
'Tis your's to support what's so happily plan'd;
You've the sanction of gods, and the fiat of Jove.
While thus we agree, our toast let it be.
May our club flourish happy, united, and free!
And long may the sons of Anacreon entwine,
The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's vine.
-- CHORUS --

The Star Spangled Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that needs your support, please donate at http://starspangledmusic.org/?page_id...

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