Archive for November, 2011


Posted on: November 1st, 2011 by hauleymusic No Comments

It is impossible to fix accurately the time of the
first print and publication of the music and words of
” God save the King.” We find in the Gentleman’s
Magazine, October, 1745, a version with three verses
commencing “God save great George our King”; but
an older version, ” God save our Lord the King,” is to
be found in the first edition, undated, of
THESAURUS Musicus. A collection of two, three and
four-part songs ; several of them never before printed. To
which are added some Choice Dialogues, set to music by the
most eminent masters viz., Dr. Blow, H. Purcell, Handel,
Dr. Green, Dl Purcell, Eccles, Weldon, Leveridge, Lampe,.
Carey, &c. The whole revis’d, carefully corrected and figur’d
by a judicious master. London, Printed for, and sold by John
Simpson, at the Bass Viol and Flute in Sweeting’s Alley,
Opposite the East door of the Royal Exchange.

Printed probably in 1740. The first line, ” God save
our Lord the King,” shows that it preceded the
version sung at Drury Lane Theatre in 1745, when
the first lines were ” God save our noble King, God
save great George our King.”

The music as printed in the first edition of
” Thesaurus Musicus” will be found in the Appendix,
page 83. The Flute part is arranged in the key
of F (showing that it was intended for the Old
English flute). The only heading to the above
is ” For two voices.” In the second edition of
” Thesaurus Musicus ” the piece is again printed on
page 22, but from a plate entirely re-engraved, with
the added title, “A Loyal Song, sung at the Theatres
Royal.” This must therefore have been published
after the performances at Drury Lane and Covent
Garden Theatres in 1745. We may reasonably
conclude that the copy in the first edition was
published before it had been given at the Theatres.

Chappell, Wm. “Old English Popular Music,” Edinburgh: 1838.