Down Among the Dead Men

By
Henry Purcell
Arranged
John Sweden
Price
£ 11.50 

"Down Among the Dead Men" is an English drinking song first published in 1728, but possibly of greater antiquity. The song begins with a toast to "the King" and continues with obeisance’s to the god Bacchus which become increasingly less subtle descriptions of the benefits of alcohol in procuring opportunities for sex.

  • 4 Trumpets
  • 1 Horn in F
  • 4 Trombones
  • 1 Tuba
  • Trumpet 4 doubles on Flugelhorn

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Description

"Down Among the Dead Men" is an English drinking song first published in 1728, but possibly of greater antiquity. The song begins with a toast to "the King" and continues with obeisance’s to the god Bacchus which become increasingly less subtle descriptions of the benefits of alcohol in procuring opportunities for sex. At the conclusion of each stanza of the song, those who deny the song's declarations are condemned to lay "down among the dead men," a euphemism for drunken unconsciousness. The lyrics to the song have been most widely attributed to John Dyer. It was first performed at the theatre at Lincoln's Inn Fields. The song makes use of a number of metaphors, most prominently the ”Dead men" being a term for empty bottles and the expression to "lie down among the dead men" means to get so drunk as to slip from one's chair and land under the table where the empty bottles have been discarded. The song maintained its popularity into the Victorian era, with the lyrics modified to replace the word "King" with the word "Queen" during the reign of Queen Victoria. Several vocal and instrumental performances of "Down Among the Dead Men" are included in the soundtrack to the 2013 video game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

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“Exploding onto the brass music scene with their debut album ‘Under the Spell of Spain’, the depth of versatility and virtuosity within the ranks of Superbrass has firmly secured it's place as one of the greatest large brass ensembles of all time”

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