Society Music & Literature

The society had two key Members who supplied most of the music and poetry akin to its history. Brother Charles Morris was seen as the Bard to The Society. Brother Forrest wrote our Song of the Day, as below. 

SONG OF THE DAY

written by Brother Theodosius Forrest sometime shortly after he was elected in  1763.

Brother Forest was the son of one of the original 24.

 

Oh! Charming Beef of Thee Possessed,

Completely carved in steaks and dressed,

We taste the dear variety,

Produced in earth, in air, in sea –

Their flavours all combined in thee,

Fit for the sons if Liberty.

 

*Chorus*

A joyful theme for Britons free

Happy in Beef & Liberty.

 

Throughout the realms where despots reign,

What tracks of glory now remain!

Their people, slaves of power and pride,

Fat beef and freedom are denied,

What realm, what state, can happy be,

Wanting our Beef & Liberty.

 

A joyful theme for Britons free

Happy in Beef & Liberty.

 

O’er sea-coal fire and steel machine,

We broil the beauteous fat and lean,

Our drink Oporto’s grapes afford,

Whilst India’s nectar crowns the board,

A right repast for such as we,

Friends to good cheer and Liberty!

 

*Join Hands*

A joyful theme for Britons free

Happy in Beef & Liberty.

ROAST BEEF OF OLD ENGLAND 1731

When Henry Fielding first set his poem “The Roast beef of old England” to a catchy wellknown air,1 and the bass singer Richard Leveridge popularised it and added more verses, they somehow caught the mood of the times. This song became an immediate ‘hit’, and stayed popular for the rest of the century.

When Mighty Roast Beef was the Englishman's Food It ennobl'd our veins and enriched our Blood:

Our Soldiers were Brave and our Courtiers were Good: Oh! The Roast Beef of Old England, And Old English Roast Beef.

 

But since we have learned from all vapouring France, To eat their Ragouts, as well as to Dance. We are fed up with nothing but vain Complaisance, Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

 

Our fathers of old were robust, stout, and strong, And kept open house, with good cheer all day long,
Which made their plump tenants rejoice in this song—
Oh! The Roast Beef of old England, And old English Roast Beef!

But now we are dwindled to, what shall I name? A sneaking poor race, half-begotten and tame,
Who sully the honours that once shone in fame.
Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England, And old English Roast Beef!

When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne, Ere coffee, or tea, or such slip-slops were known,
The world was in terror if e'er she did frown.

Oh! The Roast Beef of old England, And old English Roast Beef!

In those days, if Fleets did presume on the Main, They seldom, or never, return'd back again,
As witness, the Vaunting Armada of Spain.
Oh! The Roast Beef of Old England, And old English Roast Beef!

Oh then we had stomachs to eat and to fight And when wrongs were cooking to do ourselves right.
But now we're a… I could, but goodnight!
Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England, And old English Roast Beef!

JUBILEE SONG

25 February, 1786

By Brother CHARLES MORRIS

 

WHEN Freedom shook her vengeful shield, In battle's wild commotion,

Her lightning scared the shattered field,

Her thunder swept the ocean.

Resistless was the sacred rage That roused her soul to glory, And hallowed is the deathless page

That tells the Patriot's story.

*Chorus*

In British breasts this spirit sprung For Freedom's preservation,

But British beef their sinews strung Who saved this freeborn nation.

 

When worth and wisdom led to fame, And civil virtue nourished,

When truth and faith adorned the name, And home-bred honour flourished,

 Songs of Tyrannic faction baffled fled, Corruption fell confounded,

And Freedom reared her glorious head, By glorious hearts surrounded.

*Chorus*

When Reason loosed the shackled mind, And Priestcraft's night expired,

Here Science her rude works refin'd, Here Learning's sons retired.

'Twas here a Newton pierced the skies With bold unerring flight, sir ;

'Twas here the world saw Shakespeare rise, Its wonder and delight, sir.

*Chorus*

'Twas here, just fifty winters past, As on our leaf recited,

A few choice souls of social cast In friendship's bond united,

And warm'd with zeal that proudly gaz'd On England's better time, sir,

To Beef, the nerve of valour, rais'd An altar most sublime, sir.

*Chorus*

On Saturn's day this altar burns With festive preparation,

Where twice twelve Brothers rule by turns To pour a fit libation.

The Brethren flock you here behold, While with their welcome greeted,

And there the Father of the Fold in honour justly seated.

*Chorus*

Tho' sacred is our ox's rump, Old story will evince, sir,

If Fame deceive not with her trump, 'Twas deified long since, sir.

To " Mithra's " bull all Persia bow'd,

To " Apis " Egypt preach'd, sir.

To Baal's Calf whole countries vow'd,

And Greece her "BoGs" beseeched, sir.

*Chorus*

While thus we boast a general creed In honour of our shrine, sir,

You find the world long since agreed That Beef was food divine, sir.

And British fame still tells afar This truth, where'er she wanders,

For wine, for women, and for war, Beef steaks make Alexanders.

*Chorus*

May Beef long bless this favoured coast,

Where no despotic ruffian Hath dared a Brazen Bull to roast

With men alive for stuffing :  Songs of Where never Jove, a tyrant god,

Who loves fair maids to purloin, Like a white bull the billows rode, With Madam on his sirloin.

*Chorus*

Like Britain's Island lies our Steak,

A sea of gravy bounds it ; Shalots, profusely scattered, make The rock-work which surrounds it.

Your Isle's best emblem there behold, Remember ancient story ;

Be like your grandsires, rough and bold, And live and die with glory.

*Chorus*

THE CATALOGUE

By Brother CHARLES MORRIS

 

OH ! That's what you mean now a bit of a song ;

Why, faith, then, here goes, you shan't bother me long :

I require no teazing, no praying, or stuff :

By my soul ! if you wish it, I'm ready enough ;

To give you your end, you shall have a beginning ;

And troth, though the music be not very fine,

It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing, Just to set us a-going, and season our wine.

 

Oh ! I once was a lover like some of you here,

And could feed a whole night on a sigh or a tear ;

No sunshine I knew but from Kitty's black eye,

And the world was a desert when she wasn't by ;

But, the devil knows how, I got fond of Miss Betty,

And Kitty slipp'd out of this bosom of mine ;

It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing,

Just to set us a-going, and season our wine. .

S. Now Betty had eyes soft and blue as the sky, '

And the lily was black when her bosom was by.

 

Oh ! I found I was fixed, and for ever her own,

Sure I was, soul and body were Betty's alone ;

But a sudden red shot from the golden-hair'd

Lucy Burnt Betty quite out, with a flame more divine ;

It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing,

Just to set us a-going, and season our wine.

 

Now Lucy was stately, majestic, and tall,

And in feature and shape what a goddess you'd call I adored,

and I vowed if she'd not a kind eye, I'd give up the whole world,

and in banishment die ; But Nancy came by, a round, plump little creature,

And fix'd in my heart quite another design ;

It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing,

Just to set us a-going, and season our wine.

 

Little Nance, like a Hebe, was buxom and gay,

Had a bloom like a rose, and was fresher than May

Oh ! I felt if she frown'd I must die by a rope,

Or my bosom would burst if she slighted my hope ;

But the slim, taper, elegant Fanny look'd at me,

And truth, I no longer for Nancy could pine ;

It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing,

Just to set us a-going, and season our wine.

  

 

Now Fanny's light frame was so slender and fine

That she skimm'd in the air like a shadow divine ;

Her motion bewitch'd, and to my loving eye

'Twas an angel soft gliding 'twixt earth and the sky.

'Twas all mighty well till I saw her fat sister,

And that gave a turn I could never define ; It's a bit of a thing that a body may sing,

Just to set us a-going, and season our wine.

 

Oh ! so I go on, ever constantly blest,

For I find I've a great store of love in my breast ;

And it never grows less for whenever I try To get one in my heart,

I get two in my eye. To all sorts of beauty I bow with devotion,

And all kinds of liquor by turns I make mine ;

So I'll finish the thing, that another may sing, Just to keep us a-going, and season our wine