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Fredman's song no. 10

Carl Michael Bellman 1740 (Stockholm) – 1795 (Stockholm)



Drink till after twelve or more,
Live it up with madmen !
Earth is but my chamber floor
And the sun my lantern.
Nothing else is worth a pin
If my head but giddy spin,
Giddy spin, giddy spin,
Giddy spin, giddy spin,
Until it's so drowsy
Nothing more can rouse me.

In my grandad's overcoat,
Torn and out at elbows,
Here I stand, on brandy dote,
'Mid the queerest fellows;
Out of pretty goblets bright
Tipple morning noon and night,
Noon and night, noon and night,
Noon and night, noon and night,
Till I'm just another
Boozy red-nosed brother.

If my sainted father stood
Suddenly before me
"Son", he'd hiccup, "skål ! That's good,
Brandy best doth warm me."
"Brother mine," I'd then reply,
Let us toast the morning sky,
Morning sky, morning sky,
Morning sky, morning sky,
Then to thy repose, sir,
Thou again mayst go, sir."

Were I but a man of wealth,
Gold my pocket lining,
Christmas day I'd dress myself
Like the king, when dining.
Then I'd purchase and I'd use
Coat and waistcoat and new shoes,
New shoes, new shoes,
New shoes, new shoes,
And of course I'd buy, sir,
A watch upon my thigh, sir !

But my throat can't stand such loss,
'Tis a very drought, sir.
What is gold, when got, but dross ?
Pull the cork right out, sir !
Let us steady on our legs,
Drain this bottle to the dregs,
To the dregs, to the dregs,
To the dregs, to the dregs,
Then let death attack us
In the blood of Bacchus.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:21 min read
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Carl Michael Bellman

Carl Michael Bellman was a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, poet and entertainer. He is a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day. He has been compared to Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and Hogarth, but his gift, using elegantly rococo classical references in comic contrast to sordid drinking and prostitution—at once regretted and celebrated in song—is unique. Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music, Fredman's songs (Fredmans sånger) and Fredman's epistles (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about 70 songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs "most ingeniously" combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical. Bellman's patrons included King Gustav III of Sweden, who called him a master improviser. Bellman's songs continue to be performed and recorded by musicians from Scandinavia and in other languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Several of his songs including Gubben Noak and Fjäriln vingad are known by heart by many Swedes. His legacy further includes a museum in Stockholm and a society that fosters interest in him and his work. more…

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