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drinking song

song on a convivial theme composed usually for singing in accompaniment to drinking. The form became a standard element in certain types of 19th-century opera and operetta, frequently involving not only a soloist but also a chorus joining in with choral repeats or refrains. In Italy the drinking song is known as brindisi (Italian: "toast"). In Giuseppe Verdi's operas drinking songs range from the cheerful "Libiamo" ("Let Us Drink") in La traviata (1853), to Iago's foreboding toast in Otello (1887).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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