Drink to me only

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X:1 T:Drink to me only M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air B:Aird – Sixth and Last Volume of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs (1803, No. 148, p. 59) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A V:1 ccc d2d|(ed)c (Bc)d|(eA)d c2B|!femata!A6:| e|ece a2e|(ec)e e2e|f2e d2c|(c3B2)z!D.C.!|| V:2 AAA B2B|(cB)A (GA)B|(Ac)B A2 [EG]|!fermata![C6A6]:| c|cAc c2c|(cA)c c2c|d2c B2A|(A3 G2)z!D.C.!||



DRINK TO ME ONLY. English, Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABA. Long a favorite song air, "Drink to Me only with Thine Eyes," is sometimes attributed to John Wall Callcott (1766-1821) a pupil of composer Joseph Haydn, and first published in Callcott's A Select Collection of Catches, Canons and Glees (c. 1790), set for two trebles and a bass. However, the melody now associated with the tune is thought to predate Callcott's publication and it is thought that he only arranged the piece. Antiquarian William Chappell could find no definitive information regarding the origins of the tune and though that the composer would remain unknown. The words to the song, however, are quite a bit older and are from a poem called "To Celia", written by Ben Johnson (1572-1637):

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

Other tunes have been a vehicle for Johnson's words. The poem was set to an entirely different melody in 1756 by Elizabeth Turner and it was arranged as a song in the 19th century, apparently by Colonel Mellish (1777–1817).


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Aird (Aird's 6th and Last Volume of Scotch English Irish and Foreign Airs), 1803; No. 148, p. 59. Elias Howe (Second Part of the Musician’s Companion), 1843; p. 9. O'Flannagan (The Hibernia Collection), 1860; p. 37. Edward Riley (Riley's Flute Melodies, vol. 1), New York, 1814; No. 41, p. 9.






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