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Last Night At The Proms

  Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of god
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?
 
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear: o clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariots of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight;
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
in England's green and pleasant land!
William Blake/Hubert Parry

The Proms

Rule Britannia.  Andrew Davis. 1998

The most famous event in the Royal Albert Hall's calendar, the Proms are an eight week season of concerts covering all kinds of music from Gluck to Gershwin, Handel to Holst, and of course, Sir Edward Elgar as well. Prom is short for Promenade Concerts, reflecting the way much of the audience can stand and walk around during the concerts. Crowds of flag waving concert-goers singing along to Rule Britannia is perhaps the most popular image of The Proms , but there's more to it than that to this grand and glorious event.  The Proms aim to make classical music more accessible and less formal, combining performances of popular repertory favourities with lesser known works.
Want to know more? Go Here and familiarise yourself with this wonderful musical experience.

The music is Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 of 1902. During World War I, it was used as the theme for part of a poem by A. C. Benson (1862-1925), by the music hall star Marie Lloyd.

Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crowned.
God make thee mightier yet!
On Sov'ran 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.


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.

a note: it's generally the middle verse of this poem that is sung at The Last Night of The Proms

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