General Discussion
 Topics of or related to poetry. 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> General Discussion


Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Temperance and booze
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 10:12AM

On holiday (in May!) I read a brochure commemorating 150 years of St Austell's brewery, which included the following snippets:

This is the gin shop all glittering and gay
Which helps out brothers, weak mortals, astray
(obviously a parody of 'this is the house that Jack built')

and

I feel no pain, dear mother, now
But, Oh, I am so dry
O take me to a brewery
And leave me till I die.

Since then I've been meaning to post them and see if folks knew any more - either the rest of the same rhymes (I don't think they count as poetry!) or other stuff in thebooze v anti-booze argument of the late 19th and early 20th century - there must be reams of it. I finally unearthed it from my 'things to do if I ever find time' heap today, but haven't time to go googling myself just now. All contributions welcome, and we won't assume posters necessarily endorse the opinions in their postings (notice the evenhandedness of my choices!)


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 10:30AM


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 10:32AM

Equal time for the opposition:

John Barleycorn: A Ballad

There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris'd them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show'd he began to fail.

His colour sicken'd more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.

They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell'd him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him further woe;
And still, as signs of life appear'd,
They toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted, o'er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us'd him worst of all,
For he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very heart's blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
'Twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'Twill heighten all his joy;
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
Tho' the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!

Robert Burns


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 10:39AM

A couple of songs on either side of the issue:

The Days of Wine and Roses
Johnny Mercer

The days of wine and roses
laugh and run away
like a child at play
Through a meadowland
toward a closing door
A door marked "nevermore"
that wasn't there before

The lonely night discloses
just a passing breeze
filled with memories
Of the golden smile
that introduced me to
The days of wine and roses
and you

The lonely night discloses
just a passing breeze
filled with memories
Of the golden smile
that introduced me to
The days of wine and roses
and you-oo-oo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


BOTTLE OF WINE
(Tom Paxton)

Ramblin' around this dirty old town
Singin' for nickels and dimes
Times getting rough I ain't got enough
To buy me a bottle of wine

(Chorus) Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine
When you gonna let me get sober
Leave me along, let me go home
I wann'a go back and start over

Little hotel, older than Hell
Cold and as dark as a mine
Blanket so thin, I lie there and grin
Buy me little bottle of wine
CHORUS
Aches in my head, bugs in my bed
Pants so old that they shine
Out on the street, tell the people I meet
Won'ch buy me a bottle of wine
CHORUS
Teacher must teach, and the preacher must preach
Miner must dig in the mine
I ride the rods, trusting in God
And hugging my bottle of wine
CHORUS

Les


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Chesil (---.ded.ameritech.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 11:09AM

There are many good reasons for drinking
and one just entered my head.
If a man can't drink when he's living,
how the hell can he drink when he's dead?


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 11:40AM

Drink to me only with thine eyes;
That's one sure way to economize.

-Anon


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:29PM

C S Calverley: Beer
John Skelton: The Tunning of Elinor Rumming
Flann O'Brien: A pint of plain is your only man- passim in At Swim-two-birds
Li Po
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayaam


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:32PM

When I drink wine,
the spirit of my soaring soul
flies lofiter than the clouds above
but when I drink beer
I fart


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:35PM

Possibly National Lampoon...cant locate th source, may be misquoting most except for the last lines


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:38PM

One of mine from the ride to work this AM:

Buy you a bottle of bullet-proof wine
and we'll dance to the beat of the slow decline

there's more but not fully formed yet


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:48PM

Terence, this is stupid stuff
-A.E. Housman

‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.’

Why, if ’tis dancing you would be,
There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
’Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul’s stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.

There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all the springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
—I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

pam


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 12, 2004 12:49PM

Lawrence Block, in Burglar in the Rye, had a character who would say 'Ry does more then Milt or malt, to let us know it's not our fault.'

pam


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 01:00PM

TO YOUTH
by Robert Herrick

Drink wine, and live here blitheful while ye may;
The morrow's life too late is; Live to-day.


Les


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 01:06PM

A couple verses from Drinking Song:
by Henry W. Longfellow

Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,
Led by his inebriate Satyrs;
On his breast his head is sunken,
Vacantly he leers and chatters.

Come, old friend, sit down and listen!
As it passes thus between us,
How its wavelets laugh and glisten
In the head of old Silenus!

Les


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 01:08PM

The last one for now:

A Drinking Song
by William Butler Yeats

WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.


Les


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: glenda (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 01:40PM

I like to have a Martini
But only two at the most,
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under my host.

Dorothy Parker


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: August 12, 2004 02:23PM

There's a collection of temperance songs at the Library of Congress. You can view the sheet music at:

[memory.loc.gov] />
The Drunkard's Lone Child (2)

Out in the gloomy night sadly I roam,
No one to love me, no friends an' no home;
Nobody cares for me, no one would cry,
Even if poor little Bessie should die.

Mother, oh, why did you leave me alone,
With no one to love me, no friends an' no home?
Dark is the night an' the storm rages wild,
God pity poor Bessie, the drunkard 's lone child.

We was so happy till father drank rum,
Then all our troubles an' sorrows begun;
Mother grew paler an' wept every day,
Baby an' I was too hungry to play.

Hungry an ' tired I've wandered all day,
Askin' for work, but I'm too small, they say;
All day long I've been beggin' for bread,
Father's a drunkard an' mother is dead.

Oh, if some temperance men only could find
Poor wretched father an' speak very kind,
An' if they could stop him from drinkin', why then,
I should be very soon happy again.

Is it too late? Men of temperance, please try,
For poor little Bessie will soon starve an ' die.
On the damp ground I must now lay my head,
For father's a drunkard an' mother is dead.


pam


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 03:07PM

bottle of wine
fruit of the vine
when you gonna let me get sober
let me alone
let me go home
let me go back and start over

well the preacher will preach
and the teacher will teach
the miner will work in the mine
I'll ride the rods
trusting in god
hugging my bottle of wine.

bottle of wine
fruit of the vine
when you gonna let me get sober
let me alone
let me go home
let me go back and start over

Tom Paxton (1963)

--on the religious import of port.

perhaps too contempory, but a singable ditty


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 12, 2004 03:44PM

Peter, click on "flat view" at the bottom of this post and read my posts above.


Les


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 04:39PM

There's the wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
And the love of a staunch true man,
And the love of a baby that's unafraid -
All have existed since time began.
But the most wonderful love, the Love of all loves,
Even greater than the love for mother,
Is the infinite, tenderest, passionate love
Of one dead drunk for another.

-Anon


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 04:43PM

Also, there's "Mr. Flood's Party" by Edward Arlington Robinson. It's too long a poem to post here and I haven't the time right now to find an appropriate link, but it is a very good read on the subject of booze.

joet


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 05:36PM

candy is dandy but liquor gets you drunk
(Parker?)


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 12, 2004 10:21PM

I believe it's: Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. - Ogden Nash


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 13, 2004 12:20AM

Quasi-cousin Joe, I knew THAT one....i think in retrospect it was a stand-up comedian I saw in the foggy past !


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 13, 2004 11:35AM

Johnny:

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound condescending. On second read of your post, I see your point.

joet


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: August 13, 2004 11:37AM

Joe, I didn't take it as condescending at all...you were trying to be helpful and i appreciated that.


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.ne)
Date: August 13, 2004 12:32PM

Edwin Arlington Robinson - Mr Flood's Party

Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night
Over the hill between the town below
And the forsaken upland hermitage
That held as much as he should ever know
On earth again of home, paused warily.
The road was his with not a native near;
And Eben, having leisure, said aloud,
For no man else in Tilbury Town to hear:

"Well, Mr. Flood, we have the harvest moon
Again, and we may not have many more;
The bird is on the wing, the poet says,
And you and I have said it here before.
Drink to the bird." He raised up to the light
The jug that he had gone so far to fill,
And answered huskily: "Well, Mr. Flood,
Since you propose it, I believe I will."

Alone, as if enduring to the end
A valiant armor of scarred hopes outworn,
He stood there in the middle of the road
Like Roland's ghost winding a silent horn.
Below him, in the town among the trees,
Where friends of other days had honored him,
A phantom salutation of the dead
Rang thinly till old Eben's eyes were dim.

Then, as a mother lays her sleeping child
Down tenderly, fearing it may awake,
He set the jug down slowly at his feet
With trembling care, knowing that most things break;
And only when assured that on firm earth
It stood, as the uncertain lives of men
Assuredly did not, he paced away,
And with his hand extended paused again:

"Well, Mr. Flood, we have not met like this
In a long time; and many a change has come
To both of us, I fear, since last it was
We had a drop together. Welcome home!"
Convivially returning with himself,
Again he raised the jug up to the light;
And with an acquiescent quaver said:
"Well, Mr. Flood, if you insist, I might.

"Only a very little, Mr. Flood --
For auld lang syne. No more, sir; that will do."
So, for the time, apparently it did,
And Eben evidently thought so too;
For soon amid the silver loneliness
Of night he lifted up his voice and sang,
Secure, with only two moons listening,
Until the whole harmonious landscape rang --

"For auld lang syne." The weary throat gave out,
The last word wavered; and the song being done,
He raised again the jug regretfully
And shook his head, and was again alone.
There was not much that was ahead of him,
And there was nothing in the town below --
Where strangers would have shut the many doors
That many friends had opened long ago.


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: August 14, 2004 05:00AM

That's amazing - I've been out of touch since I posted the message - thanks for the wonderful response and the terrific range of stuff you posted, from the worthy Mrs Simkins (is she the one they named the Dianthus after, I wonder?) to Pam's poor Bessie who would make a marble monument weep (she reminds me of the subject of The Beautiful South's 'Artificial Flowers', which I find hard to listen to without blubbing). And the funnies are lovely. Thanks so much - it's turned into a gem of a thread.


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: ilza (---.162.245.85.user.ajato.com.br)
Date: August 14, 2004 08:40AM

It's nice to sit and think and fish,
and fish and sit and think,
and think and fish and sit and wish
that you could get a drink.

- Norman H. Chance (1915)


Candy ...
Posted by: ilza (---.162.245.85.user.ajato.com.br)
Date: August 14, 2004 09:38AM

the title is somewhat part of the poem ( as usually, with Mr. Nash) :

Reflections On Ice-Breaking

Candy
Is Dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 14, 2004 10:18AM

Thanks so much, Hugh. "Mr. Flood's Party" and Robinson are both among my all time favorites.

joet


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 14, 2004 02:47PM

"some come here to sit and think
some come here to sht and stink
but i come here to scratch my b
lls
and read the bullsh*t on the walls"

graffiti 1960's


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Gwydion (---.bchsia.telus.net)
Date: August 14, 2004 05:47PM


Big Bad Voodoo Daddy -
You, Me & The Bottle Makes Three Tonight (Baby)

Hey Jack...I know what you're thinking.
That now's as good as any to start drinking.
Hey Scotty...Yeah...What's it gonna be?
A gin & tonic sounds might mighty good to me.
Man I know I gotta go it's the same thing every time,
but I don't think another drinks' gonna make me lose my mind.

So I think about my next drink,
and it's you & me and the bottle makes 3 tonight.

Well I know this cat named Mo. He wanders to and fro.
His and my favorite waterin' hole.
I said hey Mo, 'how you doing, where have you been?'
He said, 'I've been fine with my whiskey, wine and gin.'
Man I know I gotta go it's the same thing every time,
but I don't think another drinks' gonna make me lose my mind.

So I think about my next drink,
and it's you & me and the bottle makes 3 tonight.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 16, 2004 04:31PM

Hey, I almost forgot!

Thais

One time in Alexandria, in wicked Alexandria
Where nights were wild with revelry and life was but a game,
There lived, so the report is, an adventuress and courtesan
The pride of Alexandria, and Thais was her name.

Nearby, in peace and piety, avoiding all society
There dwelt a band of holy men who'd made their refuge there,
And in the desert's solitude, they spurned all earthly folly to
Devote their lives to holy works, to fasting and to prayer.

Now one monk whom I solely mention of this band of holy men
Was known as Athaneal, he was famous near and far.
At fasting bouts and prayer, with him, none other could compare with him,
At plain and fancy praying he could do the course in par.

One day while sleeping heavily, from wresting with the Devil he
Had gone to bed exhausted, though the sun was shining still
He had a vision Freudian, and though he was annoyed, he an-
Alyzed it in the well-known style of Doctors Jung and Brill.

He dreamed of Alexandria, of wicked Alexandria.
A crowd of men was cheering in a manner rather rude.
And Athaneal glancing there at THAIS, who was dancing there
Observed her do the shimmy, in what artists call The Nude!

Said he,"This dream fantastical disturbs my thoughts monastical,
Some unsuppressed desire, I fear, has found my monkish cell.
I blushed up to the hat o' me to view that girl's anatomy
I'll go to Alexandria and save her soul from Hell!"

So, pausing not to wonder where he'd put his winter underwear
He quickly packed his evening clothes, a toothbrush and a vest
To guard against exposure he threw in some woolen hosiery
And bidding all the boys Adieu, he started on his quest.

The monk, though warned and fortified was deeply shocked and mortified,
To find, on his arrival, wild debauchery in sway.
While some were in a stupor, sent by booze of more than two percent,
The rest were all behaving in a most immoral way.

Said he to Thais, "Pardon me. Although this job is hard on me,
I've got to put you straight to what I came out here to tell:
What's all this boozin' gettin' you? Cut out this pie-eyed retinue,
Let's hit the road together, kid, and save your soul from Hell!"

Although this bold admonishment caused Thais some astonishment,
She quickly answered,"Say! You said a heaping mouthful, Bo!
This burg's a frost, I'm telling you. The brand of hooch they're selling you
Ain't like the stuff you used to get, so let's pack up and go!"

So off from Alexandria, from wicked Alexandria
Across the desert sands they go, beneath the burning sun.
Till Thais, parched and sweltering, finds refuge in the sheltering
Seclusion of a convent in the habit of a nun.

And now the monk is terrified to find his fears are verified
His holy vows of chastity have cracked beneath the strain!
Like one who has a jag on, he cries out in grief and agony
"I'd sell my soul to see her do the shimmy once again!"

Alas! His pleadings amorous, though passionate and clamorous
Have come too late. The courtesan has danced her final dance.
Said he,"Now that's a joke on me, for that there dame to croak on me,
I never should have passed her up the time I had a chance!"

-- Newman Levy


pam

Now it will be running in my head for a week, but there are worse things!


Re: Temperance and booze
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: August 17, 2004 04:54AM

It was worth it Pam - it was new to me, and it's wonderful. And poor Mr Flood, also new to me, has broken my heart!




Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.com powered by Phorum.