This song came into being through the efforts of The Anacreontic Society, a London gentlemen's club, named after the Greek lyric poet Anacreon (5th cent. BC) who served as the society's patron saint, the "convivial bard of Greece." The society's membership was dedicated to "wit, harmony, and the god of wine." The lyrics were written by Mr. Ralph Tomlinson, a society president, and the melody was a collective effort by the membership. John Stafford Smith (1750-1836) generally credited as having been the guiding spirit. By 1798 its tune had appeared in American papers and it was made use of by Francis Scott Key (1780-1843) to accompany his lyrics inspired when in, September 1814, he saw the flag over Fort McHenry "by the dawn's early light." Well, the rest is history and the The Star-Spangled Banner
was born. Both Dr. Rosteck & Mr. Grainger.
are adherents of Anacreon and they have dubbed it the Topers' Anthem and sing it to commence their performances.