The roots of the song appear to include two distinct earlier songs. The second part of the song quotes melody and text from "Balm of Gilead" (collected in Minstrel Songs Old and New). The first part of the song was likely a common college song, as variants appeared at Yale University ("Here's to Good Old Yale"), University of Chicago, where it is called "Bingo," Milwaukee-Downer College ("Here's to College Hall"), and Smith College ("Balm of Gilead"). The song is attested other places, including as a sorority song for Alpha Omicron Pi.
Glee Club performancesEdit
The oldest documented performance of "Here's to Old Virginia" was in February 1894 as part of the Glee Club concert (February 1894); as that performance used repertoire from the Glee Club's January 1894 tour, it is likely the song was performed on that tour as well.
The song is recorded on Songs of Virginia.
- ↑ Minstrel Songs Old and New. Oliver Ditson Company. 1882. pp. 109-111. http://books.google.com/books?id=is86AQAAIAAJ&dq=minstrel%20songs%20old%20and%20new&pg=PA109#v=onepage&q=gilead&f=false.
- ↑ Barber, Donn (1893). Yale Songs Illustrated. pp. 12-13. http://books.google.com/books?id=BrMQAAAAYAAJ&dq=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&pg=PA13#v=onepage&q=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&f=false.
- ↑ "Chicago Songs". http://home.uchicago.edu/~ahkissel/cgosongs.html. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- ↑ The Cumtux of Milwaukee-Downer College. 1903. p. 104. http://books.google.com/books?id=R0s2AQAAMAAJ&dq=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&pg=PA104#v=onepage&q=gilead&f=false.
- ↑ Sewall, Katherine M. (1909). Smith College Songs. p. 24-25. http://books.google.com/books?id=wLUQAAAAYAAJ&dq=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&f=false.
- ↑ "Songs". To Dragma of Alpha Omicron Pi I (1): 31-32. January 1905. http://books.google.com/books?id=tPETAAAAIAAJ&dq=drink%20her%20down%20balm%20of%20gilead&pg=PA31#v=onepage&q=gilead&f=false.