Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Brewer's Glee


Words: Unknown


Tune: Traditional (When the Kye Comes Home)/arranged John Thompson





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Come all ye wealthy brewers that make colonial ale,
Let us mix the decoction that has such a ready sale:
come hither with your drugs; hope and barley are too dear.
And we'll mix the swipers up a dose of pure colonial beer.

Oh! the brewing of the beer,
Oh! the brewing of the beer.
Success to chemistry, and to the art of brewing beer.

First fill the vat with water, put some molasses in,
With vitroil and opium we may just as well begin;
Put in some camomile, it's a wholesome thing I hear
And may counteract the 'bacco that we'll now put in the beer.

Put in some alum, salt, and ginger, now to make it nice
And to pleasure the poor devils here's some grains of paradise;
And don't spare the nux vomica, tho' strychnine is dear
But we must use it to give a hoppy flavour to the beer.

Here is coculus indicus to make their heads go round,
Here's quassia and here's multum too — don't be nice to a pound,
Put nutgalls in to colour it, and potash too is clear,
And to hinder it from scouring put some jalap in the beer.

Let the farmer feed his cattle and his poultry and his grain,
We do not want his barley while we've fox-glove and herbane;
Give us copperas, and wormwood, and hartshorn, and don't fear
That lushingtons need ever go without colonial beer.

Oh! the brewing of the beer,
Oh! the brewing of the beer.
Success to chemistry, and to the art of brewing beer.


Warren Fahey has this one as from Sam Slick Magazine (October 1879), while Ron Edwards came across it in a Colonial Songster two years later.

While set to "When the Kye Comes Home", I've changed the tune slightly to taste.

A version appears on cloudstreet's 2010 album, The Circus of Desires.

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