Come then all ye social powers

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COME THEN ALL YE SOCIAL POWERS. AKA and see "Once a Night," "Ye Social Powers." English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). D Major (Raven): G Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCC. "Come then, all ye social powers" (often shortened to "Ye Social Powers") was the finale song in the opera Lionel and Clarissa, or a School for Fathers (1768), libretto by Bickerstaffe with music by Charles Dibdin. The song was reprinted in numerous late 18th and early 19th century songsters, such as Calliope (1788). The lyric in Lionel and Clarissa begins:

Come then, all ye social powers,
Shed your influence o'er us,
Crown with bliss the present hours,
And lighten those before us.
May the just and gen'rous kind,
Still see that you regard 'em;
Clarissas to reward 'em.

Other versions go:

Come then, all ye social powers,
Shed your influence o'er us,
Crown with bliss the present hours,
Enliven those before us:
Bring the flask, the music bring,
Joy shall quickly find us;
Sport and dance, and laugh, and sing,
And cast dull care behind us.

The tune was entered into the music manuscript collections of violinist Eleazer Cary (Mansfield, Conn., 1797), Joseph Akerman (Portsmouth, N.H., 1795), Luther Kingsley (Mansfield, Conn., 1795), Abel Shattuck (Colrain, Mass., 1801), and George White (Cherry Valley, N.Y., 1790).

"Once a Night" is a dance, for which "Ye Social Powers" is the tune.

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; No. 407, p. 157. Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986 (appears as "Once a Night"). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 30 (as "Ye Social Powers"). Thompson (Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1774), 1774; p. 16 (as "Once a Night").

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