antedating "face the music" (1834)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 27 19:47:33 UTC 2007

FWIW, in the military, when "To the Colors" and "Retreat" are played,
wherever you may be, you must come to attention and, if under cover,
render a hand-salute to the colors. If, from your location, you can't
see the colors (= the American flag) or if you aren't under cover (=
wearing military headgear), you must nevertheless face the music, i.e.
turn, if necessary, to face into the direction from which you hear the
music coming, and come to attention.


On 9/27/07, Stephen Goranson <goranson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      antedating "face the music" (1834)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 1834 The editor of the Courier has profitted by the suggestion of his Troy
> neighbor of the Patriot, and with a proper show of feeling accuses the editor
> of the Statesman of having been turned out of the Hall of the House of
> Representatives by the Tories (News) [19th C US Newspapers]
>       New-Hampshire Statesman and State Journal (Concord, NH) Saturday, August
> 02, 1834; Issue 12; page 3, col B.
> ....Will the editor of the Courier explain this black affair. We want no
> equivocation--'face the music' this time--Gove and Barton are able backers.
> 1838  New-Hampshire Statesman and State Journal, (Concord, NH) Saturday,
> February 17, 1838; Issue 41; page 3, col B. [19th C US N]
>      Suppression of Documents by Stinson?s Bondsmen Vox Populi.
> Category: News
> ....Face the music, Governor!
> 1838 New-Hampshire Statesman and State Journal, (Concord, NH) Saturday, March
> 10, 1838; Issue 44; page 2, col A   Multiple News Items Category: News [19th C
> US N]
> ....Uncle Sam has to face the music; while if the loss falls upon their
> opponents, it touches their cold victuals.
> 1838 Dover Gazette & Strafford Advertiser, (Dover, NH) Tuesday, November 20,
> 1838; Issue 52; [page 1?-- Browse list not working; the page includes
> the paper
> name and date in upper right and no page no.], col A
>      The editor of the Enquirer says he has conclded [sic] the
> publication of Mr
> Bonds Speech Category: News [19th C US N]
> ....We like to have men come "up to the chalk"--face the music, George.
> faced  the music:
> 1836 The Herald, (New York, NY) Tuesday, March 29, 1836; Issue 17; page
> 4,col A
>      Boston Police Category: News [19th C US N]
> ....The court appeared to be somewhat struck with the sublime
> indifference with
> which he faced the music, or rather the fire of the witnesses, and
> asked him if
> he did not wish to question them.
> Stephen Goranson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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