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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Land of Hope and Glory

The patriotic tune "Land of Hope and Glory" was originally the instrumental "trio" theme from Edward Elgar's 1901 Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1. It was the soon-to-be-crowned  King Edward VII who suggested that it would make a great song if words were added to the melody. When Elgar was asked to write a work for the King's coronation, he worked the suggestion into his Coronation Ode. The last section of the Ode uses the march's melody.

The poet and essayist Arthur Benson, wrote the words to "Land Of Hope And Glory." He was the older brother of Mapp and Lucia author EF Benson.

Cover of the song "Land of Hope and Glory" published by Boosey & Co. 1902 Wikipedia Commons

The song is often used as a sporting anthem. It is sung by English fans at home England rugby union games in Twickenham after the home and away National Anthems. It has also been adapted by football fans over the years for their own chants. For instance supporters of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (the team Elgar supported) sing a version with the lyrics changed to "We will follow the Wanderers over land sea and water."

"Land of Hope and Glory" is traditionally been sung by the audience amidst flag-waving at the climax of the Last Night of the BBC Proms.

In America, it is the original Trio theme from Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1, which is better known. It is synonymous there with graduation, and "The Graduation March" is played as the processional tune at virtually all high school and some college graduation ceremonies.

When the famous Abbey Road Studios opened in 1931, the first person to record there was Sir Edward Elgar, who laid down "Land Of Hope And Glory" with the British National Symphony Orchestra. Elgar was filmed by Pathé for a newsreel depicting the recording session. It is believed to be the only surviving sound film of the composer.

The Pomp and Circumstance march was used on the popular American television 1950s and 1960s game show from the 1950s and '60s Queen for a Day to accompany the announcement of the winner's list of prizes.

Originally written for Songfacts

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