페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

One

ployment was teaching at boarding-schools, and among people of middling rank in private families. Though he had but little skill in music, he had a prolific invention; and very early in his life distinguished himself by the composition of songs, being the author both of the words and the music. of these, beginning with, "Of all the girls that are so smart," is said to have pleased Mr. Addison so much, that he more than once vouchsafed to commend it. But the most successful effort in his art was the celebrated popular song of "God save great George our King," of which both the words and melody were by him; the bass being the composition of Mr. John Smith. This was intended as part of a birth-day ode. He was also the principal projector of the fund for decayed musicians, their widows, and children.

"In a fit of despair, he laid violent hands upon himself, on the 4th of October, 1744, at his house in Warner Street, Coldbath Fields; and, by means of a halter, put a period to a life which had been led without reproach, being upwards of eighty years of age.

"As a musician (Sir John Hawkins observes) Carey seems to have been of the first of the lowest

rank; and as a poet, the last of that class of which Durfey was the first."*

God

Henry Carey composed the popular song save great George our King," but although he had much genius for music, he was ignorant of the rules of composition, and applied to Smith to adapt or alter the bass to the air.†

"As it has been whispered abroad, nay, even given in print, that an annuity of two hundred pounds per annum had been bestowed on me, in consequence of my father being the author of "God save great George our King," I think it a duty incumbent on me to acquaint the world, that no such consideration has ever yet transpired; yet I must beg that my readers will give me leave to introduce a few lines on this subject.

"In spite of all literary cavil and conjectural assertions, there has not yet appeared one identity to invalidate the truth of my father's being the author of the above important song; some have given

*See Biographia Dramatica, originally compiled to the year 1764, by David Erskine Baker; continued thence, to 1782, by Isaac Reed, F. A. S. and brought down to the end of Nov. 1811, by Stephen Jones. See Anecdotes of John Christopher Smith, "Handel's Amana. ensis," page 43, by the Rev. W. Coxe.

[ocr errors]

the music to Handel, others to Purcell; some have signified that it was produced in the time of Char. I. others in that of James I. and some in their slumbers have dreamed that it made its appearance in the reign of Henry VIII. it might as well have been carried still further back, to the reign of Saul, or that of Solomon, the son of David.

"I have heard the late Mr. Pearce Galliard, an able counsellor in the law, and a colleague of my father, who died some years ago at Southampton, assert, time after time, that my father was the author of "God save the King;" that it was produced in the year forty-five and six; another friend presented it to me in its original state, bound up with a collection of songs for two and three voices, set to music by Mr. Handel, Dr. Blow, Mr. Leveridge, Dr. Greene, Mr. Eccles, Mr. Lampe, Daniel Purcell, Mr. Corfe, and Henry Carey ; first printed in the year 1750, for John Johnson, opposite Bow-Church, in Cheapside.* It precedes another song of my father's, beginning with

"He comes, he comes, the hero comes,

"Sound, sound your trumpets, beat your drums," &c.

* See Balnea, or George Saville Carey's Journey to Windsor.

But, for the satisfaction of my readers, I will insert the song of "God save great George our King," as it is printed in the original text, in the Gentleman's Magazine, for October, 1745, where it is called a song for two voices, sung at both playhouses, and runs thus :

*

"God save great George our King,
Long live our noble King,

God save the King!

Send him victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us,
God save the King!

O Lord our God, arise!
Scatter his enemies,

And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix,

O save us all!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On him be pleas'd to pour,
Long may he reign!
May he defend our laws,

And ever give us cause

To sing, with heart and voice,

God save the King!"

* In the Gentleman's Magazine is the original tune, which J. C. Smith

complains of, and altered at Carey's request.

A SONG for two Voices, sung at both Play-houses...

The above is the original Tune as set for two Voices by Henry Carey; which I. C. Smith altered at Carey's re. quest.

Printed in the Gentlemans Magazine 1745.

« 이전계속 »