Let the Music Sprightly Play
DESCRIPTION: A series of toasts for a marriage: "Let the music sprightly play, This is Hymen's holiday." Toasts to "roseate" Hymen, "dimpled Innocence," "captivating Modesty, "country, friend and king"
AUTHOR: Leonard Mac Nally (source: Mac Nally)
EARLIEST DATE: 1788 (Mac Nally)
KEYWORDS: marriage drink nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Williams-Thames, p. 305, "Fill the Foaming Horn Up High" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 571)
ADDITIONAL: The Universal Songster or Museum of Mirth (London, 1834 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol III, pp. 308-309, "Let the Music Sprightly Play" ("Let the Music Sprightly Play") (1 text)
Leonard Mac Nally, Robin Hood; or, Sherwood Forest: a Comic Opera as Performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden (Dublin, 1788 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 62-63, ("Let the Music Sprightly Play") (1 text)
NOTES: This song is the Finale for Mac Nally's play, each verse being sung by two or three of the characters. The verse printed in Williams-Thames, which begins "Fill the Foaming Horn up High," is marked "catch" by Mac Nally and is sung by Friar, Ruttekin, and John. The Universal Songster text treats the whole of Mac Nally's text as a simple song, retaining the attribution to "M'Nally."
Jones has a translation from Welsh of "Hirlas Owain", "The Drinking Horn of Owen", "composed by the Bard Owain Cyveiliog, Prince of Powys, about the year 1160, and immediately after his great victory over the English at Maelor ...." The translation includes a number of lines very close to Mac Nally's catch, though the 181 line translation of Cyveiliog's song is full of battle references and Mac Nally's comedy finale celebrates "Hymen's holiday."
Cyveiliog translation (line numbers are in parentheses):
(13) Fill the Hirlas Horn, my boy,
(14) Nor let the tuneful lips be dry
(57) Let the brimming goblet smile,
(58) And Ednyved's cares beguile;
Mac Nally's catch:
(13) Fill the foaming horn up high
(14) Nor let tuneful lips be dry;
(15) Let the brimming goblet smile,
(16) Blood-red wine our cares beguile.
Jones (1794) notes that the poem had been recently reported (and translated)? Did Mac Nally have the translation, or did the translator have Mac Nally's text, or is this a coincidence? See Edward Jones (Bard to the Prince of Wales), Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (London, 1794 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 118-120. - BS
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