How Stands the Glass Around (General Wolfe's Song)

DESCRIPTION: "How stands the glass around? For shame, ye take no care, my boys.... Let mirth and wine abound, The trumpets sound." As the soldiers set out, the singer asks, "Why, soldiers, why Should we be melancholy?" Live or die, they should drink and be happy
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1729 (ballad opera "The Patron, according to Chappell)
KEYWORDS: soldier drink nonballad
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Chappell/Wooldridge II, pp. 134-135, "The Duke of Berwick's March, or Why, Soldiers, Why, or How Stands the Glass Around" (1 text, 1 tune)
DallasCruel, pp 146-147, "Why, Soldiers, Why?" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #9397
NOTES [83 words]: This is called "General Wolfe's Song" because there was an account that he wrote the song. Perhaps he sang it, but the tune "Why, Soldiers, Why" dates at least to 1729, and the lyrics are found in an old manuscript book as "Duke of Berwick's March," so we can assume it is older, (Whether it is traditional is another matter -- it doesn't appear so.) Nonetheless it seems to have been widely printed as "General Wolfe's Song." For background on Wolfe, see the notes to "Brave Wolfe" [Laws A1]. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: DalC146

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.