Be Merry and Wise (1)
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BE MERRY AND WISE . English, Country Dance Tune (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A song (without music) called "Be Merry and Wise" was printed in The Goldfinch, or, New Modern Songster. Being a select collection of the most admired Scots and English Songs (Glasgow, 1782, Song 287)
To be merry and wise is a proverb of old,
But a maxim so good can't too often be told;
Then attend to my song, nor my counsel despise,
For I mean to be merry,--but merry and wise.
Ye bucks, who then toping such rapture exress,
And yet find the next day dismal proofs of excess;
Avoid all extremes, and mark well my advice,
'Tis to drink and be merry,--but merry and wise.
In women, all lovely, is center'd each bliss,
But let prudence give sanction, 'twill sweeten the kiss?
If not beauty or folly your senses surprise,
You may kiss and be merry,--but merry and wise.
Then ye topers and rakes, who would lead happy lives,
All excess avoid, and chuse modest wives;
While prudence presides, it is thus I advise,
Love and drink, and be merry,--but merry and wise.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: John Johnson (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1766), 1766; p. 81.