To Anacreon in Heaven

drinking song

To Anacreon in Heaven, also known as the Anacreontic Song, was originally composed by a British Mason Brother John Stafford Smith(1750-1836) of Inverness Lodge #4 in London and was, at one time, used by an Irish Masonic Orphans' Home as their song. Later it became a popular English drinking song for many years known as To Anacreon in Heaven. It is the official song of the Anacreontics, a club in London. It is about a Greek poet named Anacreon. Once popular in pubs and taverns, Francis Scott Key adopted the music for his ballad the Star Spangled Banner. Though this drinking song is not sung much anymore, the tune remains known to most Americans as their national anthem.

"The Anacreontic Song", also known by its incipit "To Anacreon in Heaven", was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London. Composed by John Stafford Smith, the tune was later used by several writers as a setting for their patriotic lyrics.