The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65565   Message #2361230
Posted By: Artful Codger
09-Jun-08 - 05:13 AM
Thread Name: Anti-alcohol, temperance songs
Subject: RE: Anti-alcohol, temperance songs
Jack: re Stephen Foster's views:

Foster was an alcoholic. Went on the wagon a number of times, but always fell off again. His drinking was greatly responsible for his wife leaving him and his descent into poverty. I've always viewed "O Comrades, Fill No Glass for Me" as semi-autobiographical. It's a fun song to sing "in moderation", which is to say, in a slightly tipsy manner. In any case, despite the moralizing, it's clearly not a temperance song, since he's not being an asswipe about whether other people drink.

It's interesting that a great number of Temperance songs borrow their tunes from drinking songs. Sure, oftentimes it was an attempt at revisionism, but you'd think that being sober would enable them to write even better tunes--apparently, not so. Having to listen to most Temperance songs would drive one to drink!

From the title, "Sling the Flowing Bowl" sounds like it oughtta be a temperance song. Never quite understood the "slinging" bit--I have to be careful not to sing "Then fling the flowing bowl"!