Duke of Berwick's March

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DUKE OF BERWICK'S MARCH, THE. AKA and see "Why Soldiers Why?," "How Stands the Glass Around." English, March and Air (4/4 time). F Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune appears in the ballad opera The Patron (1729) as "Why Soldiers, Why," however, Chappell (1859) states it is contained in a MS book of poetry in the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh under the "Duke of Berwick's March" title. William Shield used the in his music for his opera Siege of Gibraltar (1780, libretto by Frederick Pilon). The Duke of Berwick was James Fitzjames, the illegitimate son of King James II of England and Arabella Churchill, sister of the Duke of Marlborough, born in 1670 at Moulins, France. Berwick was made a duke by his father when he ascended the throne, and after he was deposed Berwick went to Ireland to fight against the English successor, William III; at the Battle of the Boyne the 20-year-old commanded a regiment of Irish cavalry. After the defeat in Ireland he returned to the Continent where he became an outstanding military leader for the French, earning the title Marshall of France. He was killed by a canon shot in 1734 while besieging Phillipsburg.

How stands the glass around?
For shame, ye take no care, my boys!
How stands the glass around?
Let mirth and wine abound.
The trumpets sound,
The colours they are flying boys,
To fight, kill, or wound;
May we still be found,
Content with our hard fare, my boys,
On the cold, cold ground.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 2, 1859; pp. 134-135.

Recorded sources:




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