Drinking song

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This article is about drinking songs in general. For the song from The Student Prince, see Drinking Song.
A German song interpreted by an Italian Brass combo

A drinking song is a song sung while drinking alcohol. Most drinking songs are folk songs, and may be varied from person to person and region to region, in both the lyrics and in the music.

In Germany, drinking songs are called Trinklieder.

In Sweden, where they are called Dryckesvisor, there are drinking songs associated with Christmas, Midsummer, and other celebrations. An example of such a song is "Helan går".

In Spain, Asturias, patria querida (the anthem of Asturias) is usually depicted as a drinking song.

In France, historical types of drinking songs are Chanson pour boire and Air à boire.


The first record of a drinking song dates to the 11th century, and derives from the Carmina Burana,[1] a 13th-century historical collection of poems, educational songs, love sonnets and "entertainment" or drinking songs.

Traditional drinking songs[edit]


Franz Schubert wrote several lieder (art songs) known as "Trinklied":

  • D 75, Cantata "Trinklied" ['Freunde, sammelt euch im Kreise'] for bass, men’s choir and piano (1813)
  • D 148 (Op. posth. 131, No. 2), Cantata "Trinklied" ['Brüder! unser Erdenwallen'] for tenor, men’s choir and piano (1815)
  • D 169, Chorus "Trinklied vor der Schlacht" ['Schlacht, du brichst an!'] for double unison choir and piano (1815)
  • D 183, Cantata "Trinklied" ['Ihr Freunde und du gold’ner Wein'] for voice, unison choir and piano (1815)
  • D 242, Trio "Trinklied im Winter" ['Das Glas gefüllt!'] for two tenors and bass (1815, 1st setting; D deest is the 2nd setting, with a different title)
  • D 267, Quartet "Trinklied" ['Auf! Jeder sei nun froh und sorgenfrei!'] for two tenors, two basses and piano (1815)
  • D 356, Quartet "Trinklied" ['Funkelnd im Becher so helle, so hold'] for two tenors, two basses and piano (1816, fragment)
  • D 426, Trio "Trinklied (Herr Bacchus ist ein braver Mann)" ['Herr Bacchus ist ein braver Mann'] for two tenors and bass (1816, lost)
  • D 427, Trio "Trinklied im Mai" ['Bekränzet die Tonnen'] for two tenors and bass (1816)
  • D 847, Quartet "Trinklied aus dem 16. Jahrhundert" ['Edit Nonna, edit Clerus'] for two tenors and two basses (1825)
  • D 888, Song "Trinklied" ['Bacchus, feister Fürst des Weins'] for voice and piano (1826)

Pop songs[edit]

The German band Einstürzende Neubauten included a "Trinklied" in their 1985 album Halber Mensch

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carmina Burana. Die Lieder der Benediktbeurer Handschrift. Zweisprachige Ausgabe, ed. and translated by Carl Fischer and Hugo Kuhn, dtv, Munich 1991

External links[edit]


  • Cray, Ed. The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs (University of Illinois, 1992).
  • Legman, Gershon. The Horn Book. (New York: University Press, 1964).
  • Reuss, Richard A. An Annotated Field Collection of Songs From the American College Student Oral Tradition (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Masters Thesis, 1965).