Little known fact: our national anthem was a drinking song in its former life. The tune familiar to us now as the "Star Spangled Banner" originated with the Anacreontic Society, a group of amateur musicians in 18th century London who met to celebrate "wit, harmony, and the god of wine,"
Though the wikipedia article on "To Anacreon in Heaven" downplays the obvious element of Bacchanalia, it also goes on to point out
This absence of an official connection to drinking did not keep the song from being associated with alcohol, as it was commonly used as a sobriety test: If you could sing a stanza of the notoriously difficult melody and stay on key, you were sober enough for another round.
Alas, the original text fails to mention the eye sockets' red glare the next morning.Posted by Alan at February 16, 2008 12:29 PM