For Americans Who “Didn’t Know It Had Words……”

Once a year, salve in a mammoth concert centered on London’s Royal Albert Hall, find the British unleash their patriotism in a harmless celebration of the event that has become known as “The Last Night of the Proms.”

Henry Woods founded the series of eight-week summer “Promenade Concerts” of classical music in 1895, recipe and they have become a British institution. The last night is special; a time to discard the evening suits, let down the hair, and wave the Union Jack or Flag of St George while singing one’s heart out.

In recent years, the BBC has organized events in many of the nation’s main parks, with huge video screens and sound systems delivering the “Last Night” to spectators who emerge en masse, complete with beer and sandwiches, to enjoy a great time.

In my last post, I offered the words of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1, to those of the American public who wished to distill their patriotism into nationalistic warmongering. The British no longer feel that need and reserve their patriotic fervor for the international sports scene, or just once a year, for the “Last Night of the Proms.”

Here then, for Flimsy Sanity, and all those other Americans who “never knew it had words”, is Mark Elder conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the last night of the 2006 Proms season, in Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1, “Land of Hope and Glory.”

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4 Replies to “For Americans Who “Didn’t Know It Had Words……””

  1. That was really good. I wish our kids would find music to be as popular as sports. They could learn cooperation instead of competition plus it takes a lot more work to learn to play an instrument than to be born fortunate enough to be physically suited to a sport.

  2. Flimsy – very true. I note that many grade school kids are learning classical instruments – violin, trumpet, etc – yet once out of school the impetus to continue seems lacking. I agree entirely with your view regarding music v. sport. Cooperation replacing competition: what a difference that could make to America.

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