Song sheet, 1758

John Buswell, On the King of Prussia’s Birth Day, 1758

Song sheet, 1758

This popular song was composed during the Seven Years War and is of a type that was sung in theatres or pleasure gardens. It forms part of a wealth of English publications relating to Frederick around 1758. Austria had switched sides in 1756, leaving Britain isolated and prompting a hastily concluded alliance with Prussia. The Prussian army under Frederick’s widely acclaimed leadership was now vital for Britain’s cause. Notwithstanding his freethinking personal beliefs, Frederick is here cast as the Protestant hero who needs support in order to secure the defeat of the Catholic enemy.

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