On "A Jug of Punch" - (2018)
The drinking song is traditional, its composer unknown, with an earliest known date of 1897. Several variants exist across Ireland, as well as eastern Canada. The choruses are made up of nonsense words alongside the last lines of each verse as the stages of life -- and drinking -- are surveyed. The first verse begins: 'Twas early, early, in the month of June / I was sitting with my glass and spoon. / A small bird sat on an ivy bunch / And the song he sang was a jug of punch."
The last sentiment treats death as a part of the drinking life: "And when I'm dead and in my grave / No costly tombstone will I have, / I'll dig a grave both wide and deep / With a jug of punch at my head and feet. / Toor-a-loora-la, toor-a-loora-lie / Toor-a-loora-la, toor-a-loora-lie / I'll dig a grave both wide and deep / With a jug of punch at my head and feet."
3 pages, circa 3' 15" - an MP3 demo is here:
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 score.
On "A Jug of Punch"