Beer, Beer, Beer

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"Beer, Beer, Beer", also titled "An Ode to Charlie Mopps - The Man Who Invented Beer"[1] and "Charlie Mopps", is a folk song originating in the British Isles. The song is often performed as a drinking song and is intended as a tribute to the mythical inventor of beer, Charlie Mopps.

History[edit]

It is not known where the song was created. There are numerous theories as to where in the British Isles it originated from. It is often held to have been created in Irish pubs[2] however another theory puts it as being created in the 1800s in music halls in the British Isles.[3] Another theory hold that it is an English folk song passed down through the years. It was originally published commercially in volume 10 of English folk magazine SING as well as later SING OUT, the American equivalent.[4] It was noted that the three pubs mentioned in the song are based in London along the River Thames.[4] In 1956, the song was taken to Australia, presumably by English sailors, and became popular there but in Melbourne, the lyrics were changed so that it was performed differently to the rest of the world.[5] This was due to Peter Francis of the New South Wales Bush Music Club altering the words and adding a new verse to it to make it a distinctly Australian variation of the original British lyrics.[6] As a result of this, there is sometimes an erroneous assumption in Europe that "Beer, Beer, Beer" is of Australian origin.[7] When it was published in SING OUT, only two verses of the song were published. In response, a New Zealand reader of SING OUT sent the magazine a copy of the new Australian verse to be republished.[4] In the United States, the song was performed there, titled as "Charlie Mopps" but was noted to have similar titles to other drinking songs such as Champagne Charlie and Willy the Weeper with similar themes of praising alcohol.[1]

"Beer, Beer, Beer" has been recorded a number of times by singers including the Clancy Brothers and Marc Gunn.[3] In the Netherlands, "Beer, Beer, Beer" was released as a single in 1970 by the Cocktail Trio after the Australian version of the song had been brought to the attention of their manager.[7] The song was also included in the 2004 video game, The Bard's Tale where it is performed by drunken patrons in the first pub in the game.[8]

Charlie Mopps[edit]

"Beer, Beer, Beer" is based around Charlie Mopps (also spelt as Charlie Mops), the fictional inventor of beer. His name is presumed to rhyme with barley and hops, two of the main ingredients in beer.[9] He therefore is praised for his creation in "Beer Beer Beer". The character has been described in print media relating to "Beer, Beer, Beer" as "one of Mankind's greatest benefactors".[4] "Beer, Beer, Beer" has also been the inspiration for the name of a number of pubs, which have named themselves after "Charlie Mopps".[10]

Lyrics[edit]

The Lyrics below are from the traditional version of the song:[11]

Beer, beer, beer, tiddly, beer, beer, beer
A long time ago, way back in history
When all there was to drink was nothing but cups of tea
Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mopps
And he invented a wonderful drink and he made it out of hops

(Chorus)
He might have been an admiral, a sultan, or a king
And to his praises we shall always sing
Look what he has done for us, he's filled us up with cheer
Lord bless Charlie Mopps,
The man who invented beer, beer, beer, tiddly, beer, beer, beer

The Abbey, the Connaught, the Hole in the Wall as well
One thing you can be sure of, it's Charlie's beer they sell
So come on all me lucky lads at eleven O'clock ye stops
For five short seconds, remember Charlie Mopps
One, two, three, four, five

Chorus

A barrel of malt, A bushel of hops, you stir it with a stick,
The kind of lubrication to make your engine tick.
Forty pints of wallop a day will keep away the quacks.
It's only eight pence ha'p'ny a pot and one and six in tax
One, two, three, four, five

Chorus

The Lord bless Charlie Mopps!

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Blocker, Jack (2003). Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 209. ISBN 1576078337. 
  2. ^ "A Beer Hug, Anyone?". New Delhi: Business Today. Retrieved 2015-01-24 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b "Marc Gunn videos". datab.us. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d Sing Out, Volume 10. Peoples Artists. 1960. pp. 10–37. 
  5. ^ Twentieth Century: An Australian Quarterly Review, Volumes 19-20. 1964. p. 106. 
  6. ^ Wannan, Bill (1970). Folklore of the Australian Pub. Macmillan. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0333139062. 
  7. ^ a b "New Records bid to make Hitsville". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media): 26. 1961-08-14. 
  8. ^ InXile Entertainment (2004). "The Bard's Tale.". PS2. Vivendi Universal Games. Scene: The Drunken Rat. Level/area: Houlton. 
  9. ^ Mervis, Scott (2012-03-15). "Irish bands gear up for big day". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  10. ^ "Charlie Mopps closes adding to the death toll". What Now Atlanta. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  11. ^ Silverman, Jerry (2010). Songs of England. Mel Bay Publications. p. 67. ISBN 1609749308. 

External Links[edit]

Popular recordings can be found here: