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Jeannette and Jeannot

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Wikipedia article

'Jeannette and Jeannot' is a popular piece of music written in 1847Morning Post, November 6, 1847 by British theatre orchestra violinist and composer, Charles William Glover (1806-1863). It inspired other works on the theme of military conscription, and the tune was still being played by musicians around the world more than a century and a half later.

The original lyrics depict two young French lovers about to separate because of war. Jeannette expresses concern that Jeannot may forget her:

Glover incorporated the title song into The Jeannette and Jeannot Quadrille, a dance music routine. The sheet music was illustrated by the well-known lithographic artist John Brandard (1812-1863). Combined with Glovers music and lyrics, Brandards lithographs were then used to help put Jeannette and Jeannot into British theatres.

The prolific playwright Edward Stirling (1807-1894) produced Jeannette and Jeannot, also known as The village pride. Promoted as a musical drama in two acts, it was first performed at Londons Olympic Theatre in October 1848.Stirling, Edward, Jeannette and Jeannot or, The village pride: a musical drama, in two acts; C. Jefferys, London (1848)If it had been produced earlier in the season, before the public had been almost cloyed with Glover's very pretty ballads, we should have anticipated a long run, wrote The Theatrical Times. The plot of course, is told in the title, and Miss Rebecca Isaacs, as Jeannette, looked very much like Brandard's clever lithographs on the music.The Theatrical Times, November 11, 1848

In Stirlings play, Jeannot was leaving to fight in the French revolutionary wars as an army conscript. A new French system of conscription introduced in 1798, making men aged 20 to 25 liable for five years of army service, is seen as the beginning of modern European conscription.Linch, Kevin: Conscription, in: European History Online (EGO), published by the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz 2012-01-30. URL: http://www.ieg-ego.eu/linchk-2012-en

In 1852, the London actor and singer William Hawthorne Eburne produced a second musical called Jeannette and Jeannot or The Conscripts Vow. By the 1860s, the names Jeannette and Jeannot were being used by some publications to symbolically represent all young French lovers separated by the countrys conscription system.

The original lyrics of Glovers Jeannette and Jeannot have often been parodied. This is an extract from one example (sung to the same tune) from 1849:Monmouthshire Merlin, March 3, 1849, p. 4

The tune of Jeannette and Jeannot is still played in the 21st Century by guitarists, violinists, pianists and other musicians.

Glovers numerous other productions included sentimental ballads like the well-known Rose of Tralee, and semi-comedic compositions.Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol. 22, p. 1


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