1790—Era & Topic: Drinking Song
The first known American parody lyric written to “The Anacreontic Song” is likely by Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1. On the top of a rock quite remote from the tide, A few jolly mortals were peaceably seated; With the juice from the vine, all the roughness of pride Was mellowed—and care from their mansions retreated: With friendship divine Gay pleasures entwine While Bacchus still lent them his tankards of wine; And thus cries the rosy God, “tis from the bowl “Flow the joy of the heart and the peace of the soul.” 2. Apollo enraged that these mortals should bow To Bacchus alone, and neglect his high station, Contrived with old Neptune, and both made a vow To dry up their fountains and spoil their potations No dew drop nor rain Shall moisten the plain Their springs shall sink down and run back to the main; Let Bacchus his vintage give up, they will know From the mixture of water and wine, pleasures flow. 3. Thus deprived of the bev’rage that mellows the grape, A council was called at which Bacchus presided, Who swore he’d have water in some other shape; His subjects by Neptune should not be divided. Down, down let us bore Thro’ rock and thro’ ore ’Till with chisel we knock at the water God’s door We’ll drain out his fountain, his coral cave dry, His green wreath of sea-weed shall wither and die.
An Anacreontic Song
Era and Topic
Handwritten manuscript held in the Music Division of the Library of Congress; reprinted in Richard S. Hill, "The Melody of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in the United States before 1820," in Essays Honoring Lawrence C. Wroth (Portland, ME: Frederick R. Goff, 1951), 155–56.
Poets & Patriots Track Number