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Roast Beef of England

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Uploaded on Jan 14, 2011

Here is the voiced song of the famous English song, with the famous painting and etching from the 1700's. The song was written by Henry Fielding for his play The Grub-Street Opera, which was first performed in 1731. The lyrics were added to over the next twenty years.

The painting titled The Gate of Calais or O, the Roast Beef of Old England was done in 1748 by William Hogarth, reproduced as an engraving print the next year. Hogarth produced the painting directly after his return from France, where he had been arrested as a spy while sketching in Calais. The scene depicts a side of beef being transported from the harbour to an English tavern in the port, while a group of undernourished, ragged French soldiers and a fat friar look on hungrily. Hogarth painted himself in the left corner with a "soldier's hand upon my shoulder."

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