Drink On - (2012)
for baritone and piano
Come, lay by your cares, and hang up your sorrow;
Drink on, he's a sot that e'er thinks on to-morrow;
Good store of good claret supplies everything,
And the man that is drunk is as great as a king.
Let none at misfortune or losses repine.
But take a full dose of the juice of the vine;
Diseases and troubles are ne'er to be found,
But in the damned place where the glass goes not round.
3 pages, circa 1' 45"
The text comes from The Miser (1692), an adaptation from Molière with the full title The Miser: a comedy acted By His Majesties Servants, at the Theater Royal, by Thomas Shadwell (1642?-1692?), an an English poet and playwright who was appointed poet laureate in 1689. Shadwell's mentor was Ben Johnson, such that Shadwell fell to a feud with Dryden over style, manner and taste in writing, the both lampooning each other, especially given that Shadwell followed Dryden as poet laureate with the change in the politics of the day.
This drinking song as a "catch" finds some hidden voicing leading in the accompaniment of a song setting for single singer, while the other title given to the poem is "A Catch, in Four Parts." The center of the song sinks a half-step before regaining its original tonic, and the suggested rubato is encouraged, for the character in the play assigned this text is named Rant, and is described as one of the "Gamesters" in the cast.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.