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The Astronomer's Drinking Song

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#1 ebusinesstutor



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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:09 AM

So I came across this Astronomer's Drinking Song and I wondered if others were aware of it and what the melody might be? Has anyone heard a recording?

Taken from The Project Gutenberg EBook of
A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II), by Augustus De Morgan

"Whoe'er would search the starry sky,
Its secrets to divine, sir,
Should take his glass—I mean, should try
A glass or two of wine, sir!
True virtue lies in golden mean,
And man must wet his clay, sir;
Join these two maxims, and 'tis seen
He should drink his bottle a day, sir!
"Old Archimedes, reverend sage!
By trump of fame renowned, sir,
Deep problems solved in every page,
And the sphere's curved surface found,[774] sir:
Himself he would have far outshone,
And borne a wider sway, sir,
Had he our modern secret known,
And drank a bottle a day, sir!
"When Ptolemy,[775] now long ago,
Believed the earth stood still, sir,
He never would have blundered so,
Had he but drunk his fill, sir:
He'd then have felt[776] it circulate,
And would have learnt to say, sir,
The true way to investigate
Is to drink your bottle a day, sir!
"Copernicus,[777] that learned wight,
The glory of his nation,
With draughts of wine refreshed his sight,
And saw the earth's rotation;
[381]Each planet then its orb described,
The moon got under way, sir;
These truths from nature he imbibed
For he drank his bottle a day, sir!
"The noble[778] Tycho placed the stars,
Each in its due location;
He lost his nose[779] by spite of Mars,
But that was no privation:
Had he but lost his mouth, I grant
He would have felt dismay, sir,
Bless you! he knew what he should want
To drink his bottle a day, sir!
"Cold water makes no lucky hits;
On mysteries the head runs:
Small drink let Kepler[780] time his wits
On the regular polyhedrons:
He took to wine, and it changed the chime,
His genius swept away, sir,
Through area varying[781] as the time
At the rate of a bottle a day, sir!
"Poor Galileo,[782] forced to rat
Before the Inquisition,
E pur si muove[783] was the pat
He gave them in addition:
[382]He meant, whate'er you think you prove,
The earth must go its way, sirs;
Spite of your teeth I'll make it move,
For I'll drink my bottle a day, sirs!
"Great Newton, who was never beat
Whatever fools may think, sir;
Though sometimes he forgot to eat,
He never forgot to drink, sir:
Descartes[784] took nought but lemonade,
To conquer him was play, sir;
The first advance that Newton made
Was to drink his bottle a day, sir!
"D'Alembert,[785] Euler,[786] and Clairaut,[787]
Though they increased our store, sir,
Much further had been seen to go
Had they tippled a little more, sir!
Lagrange[788] gets mellow with Laplace,[789]
And both are wont to say, sir,
The philosophe who's not an *BLEEP*
Will drink his bottle a day, sir!
"Astronomers! what can avail
Those who calumniate us;
Experiment can never fail
With such an apparatus:
Let him who'd have his merits known
Remember what I say, sir;
Fair science shines on him alone
Who drinks his bottle a day, sir!
[383]"How light we reck of those who mock
By this we'll make to appear, sir,
We'll dine by the sidereal[790] clock
For one more bottle a year, sir:
But choose which pendulum you will,
You'll never make your way, sir,
Unless you drink—and drink your fill,—
At least a bottle a day, sir!"
[774] Referring to the contributions of Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) to the mensuration of the sphere.
[775] The famous Alexandrian astronomer (c. 87-c. 165 A.D.), author of the Almagest, a treatise founded on the works of Hipparchus.
[776] Dr. Whewell, when I communicated this song to him, started the opinion, which I had before him, that this was a very good idea, of which too little was made.—A. De M.
[777] Copernicus, 1473-1543.
[778] Tycho Brahe, 1546-1601. The common epithet of rank: nobilis Tycho, as he was a nobleman. The writer had been at history.—A. De M.
[779] He lost it in a duel, with Manderupius Pasbergius. A contemporary, T. B. Laurus, insinuates that they fought to settle which was the best mathematician! This seems odd, but it must be remembered they fought in the dark, "in tenebris densis"; and it is a nice problem to shave off a nose in the dark, without any other harm.—A. De M.
Was this T. B. Laurus Joannes Baptista Laurus or Giovanni Battista Lauro (1581-1621), the poet and writer?
[780] Kepler, 1571-1630.
[781] Referring to Kepler's celebrated law of planetary motion. He had previously wasted his time on analogies between the planetary orbits and the polyhedrons.—A. De M.
[782] Galileo, 1564-1642.
[783] "It does move though."
[784] As great a lie as ever was told: but in 1800 a compliment to Newton without a fling at Descartes would have been held a lopsided structure.—A. De M.
[785] Jean-le-Rond D'Alembert (1717-1783), the foundling who was left on the steps of Jean-le-Rond in Paris, and who became one of the greatest mathematical physicists and astronomers of his century.
[786] Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), friend of the Bernoullis, the greatest of Swiss mathematicians, prominent in the theory of numbers, and known for discoveries in all lines of mathematics as then studied.
[787] He was born at Paris in 1713, and died there in 1765. His treatise on curves of double curvature Recherches sur les courbes à double courbure, Paris, 1731. Clairaut was then only eighteen, and was in the same year made a member of the Académie des sciences. His Elémens de géométrie appeared in 1741. Meantime he had taken part in the measurement of a degree in Lapland (1736-1737). His Traité de la figure de la terre was published in 1741. The Academy of St. Petersburg awarded him a prize for his Théorie de la lune (1750). His various works on comets are well known, particularly hisThéorie du mouvement des comètes (1760) in which he applied the "problem of three bodies" to Halley's comet as retarded by Jupiter and Saturn.
[788] Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736-1813), author of the Mécanique analytique (1788), Théorie des functions analytiques (1797), Traité de la résolution des équations numériques de tous degrés (1798), Leçons sur le calcul des fonctions (1806), and many memoirs. Although born in Turin and spending twenty of his best years in Germany, he is commonly looked upon as the great leader of French mathematicians. The last twenty-seven years of his life were spent in Paris, and his remarkable productivity continued to the time of his death. His genius in the theory of numbers was probably never excelled except by Fermat. He received very high honors at the hands of Napoleon and was on the first staff of the Ecole polytechnique (1797).
[789] Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827), whose Exposition du système du monde (1796) and Traité de mécanique celeste (1799) are well known.
[790] The siderial day is about four minutes short of the solar; there are 366 sidereal days in the year.—A. De M.

#2 mayidunk


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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:33 AM

Pop goes the Weasel... with no refrain... nor bridge... over, and over, and over, and over, and over... 'til your ears bleed... sir!


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