Saturday, May 22, 2010

March No. 1 for Son No. 1

Listen to the following piece by Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934), and between 1:50 and 3:30, you will be able to hear the somewhat wistful, somewhat triumphant theme to our day. 

(You can hear a recording of the ubiquitous Trio section of the march as directed by Elgar in 1931 here.)

Despite its amazing popularity, did you know that "Pomp and Circumstance" is actually the title of a series of six Elgar marches, and not just the Trio portion of March No. 1 that we're all familiar with?

Did you know that the title of marches is taken from Act III of Shakespeare's Othello?

"Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!".

Or that, written in 1901, March No. 1 was first played as a graduation processional at the 1905 Yale ceremony during which Sir Edward Elgar received an honorary Doctorate of Music?

OR, that it has lyrics?

Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crowned.
God make thee mightier yet!
On Sov'reign brows, beloved, renowned,
Once more thy crown is set.
Thine equal laws, by Freedom gained,
Have ruled thee well and long;
By Freedom gained, by Truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong.

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee,
Who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider
Shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty,
Make thee mightier yet
God, who made thee mighty,
Make thee mightier yet.

Thy fame is ancient as the days,
As Ocean large and wide
A pride that dares, and heeds not praise,
A stern and silent pride
Not that false joy that dreams content
With what our sires have won;
The blood a hero sire hath spent
Still nerves a hero son.


No, I didn’t think so. Neither did I. But happily, now we both do.

Congratulations, Andrew. You did it.


HaynesBE said...

Congratulations---to both you and your son!!

Lynne said...

Thanks, Beth. One down, two more to go. (If only it were that easy.)

Sadly, and oddly if you ask me, they replaced Pomp & Circumstance with Scotland the Brave. It's probably just as well - we may have all been blubbering fools had we heard it.