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Land of Hope and Glory

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Land of Hope and Glory

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Land of Hope and Glory

Vying with Rule Britannia as the nation's most patriotic song, both of which are sung as flag-waving finales on the Last Night of the Proms, Land Of Hope And Glory is also England's anthem at the Commonwealth Games.

The music is Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp And Circumstance March No.1 in D, one of a set of five written in 1901. A melody that has stirred the hearts of patriotic generations since first worked its magic on the composer himself, who modestly told a friend, "I've got a tune that will knock 'em flat!"

When King Edward VII commissioned Elgar to write a work for his coronation, March No. 1 got incorporated into the Coronation Ode. At the King's suggestion, it became Land Of Hope And Glory, with lyrics penned by poet and essayist Arthur Benson. The work was first performed as a song by Clara Butt in June 1902.

The version sung with such gusto at the Proms is actually only the second of the song's three stanzas, while the Ode originally had seven.


Your comments

Much more so than the Public School upper class Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory is the traditional music icon of England and our national anthem in waiting. It graces the last night of the proms. The emotional power of Elgar's anthem would surely spur our boys on to more frequent world cup glory. Pomp and Circumstance should take its rightful place as a quintessential icon of Englishness.

Keith Mansfield

The words to "Land of Hope and Glory" were written by A C Benson, who as far as can be determined was English (his father, an Archbishop of Canterbury, was born in Birmingham; Benson himself grew up in Mortlake). I would say that "Land of Hope and Glory" would be more suitable than "Jerusalem" or any other work to stand as England's national anthem.
Stu Fyles

Land of Hope And Glory is more english than any other song, including Jeruselam, Rule Brittannia, and God Save The Queen, and should be the ENGLISH national anthem.
Dave Hodson

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My nomination is the garden shed.