A Conversation for British Patriotic Songs

"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 1

Mikeo the gregarious

Interesting entry - although I thought that Elgar actually disapproved of the words "Land of Hope and Glory" being set to his first Pomp and Circumstance March. I think there was an alternative set of lyrics before "Land of Hope and Glory" was adopted - but I don't remember what they were. Also, the words "I vow to thee my country" set to Holst's "Jupiter" - these definitely came a while after Holst had composed this movement in his Planets Suite, although this isn't made very clear in the guide entry. However, the words and the music for both pieces do fit each other quite well, so who am I to gripe about them?!


"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 2

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986


I'm afraid I think you have been misinformed on both counts.

Elgar and Benson definitely collaborated. the words were not set to the march, but the march tune was used in Elgar's setting of the words for his Coronation Ode, which was a great success. If you think there are other words, it would be interesting if you could quote what they are, who wrote them, when, for what occasion, and why they were not used.

Planets was first performed in 1918, the same year as Spring-Rice wrote 'I vow to thee'. You may be referring to the fact that the 'Thaxted' tune emerged from the 'Jupiter' theme (virtually completely unchanged, it should be added) a little later. I think the entry makes the chronology quite clear.

If you have any further information on these points I'd be glad to look into it.

Thanks for your feedback.


"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 3

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

If you want disapproval, then look no further than Holst. He was a confirmed pacifist and spiritualist who deplored the carnage of the Great War, and the setting of the words of the appallingly jingoistic hymn 'I Vow to Thee...' to the theme of 'Jupiter' was a calculated and deliberate insult to him.
Personally, I find the Last Night rather cringingly embarassing as I think that the people who go seem to be living in some kind of a timewarp. Also, being a Welshman, I have little time for people who wave Union jacks, seeing as the existence of my nation isn't even acknowledged on the flag smiley - grr.

"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 4

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Yes, music can be a dirty business. Perhaps the ultimate insult to poor old Gustav is that the particular combination of words and music became so popular.

It's a bit like 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing', where the writer of neither the words nor the music would have been happy with the combination. Wesley wouldn't have wanted his words (which were altered anyway) set to that sort of tune, and Mendelssohn never intended his tune to be used for religious purposes.

By the way, FM, I saw on TV that there were people waving the Welsh flag there at the Last Night.

"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 5


please explain how the secon verse of 'I vow to thee' is as you claim "appallingly jingoistic"?

"Land of Hope and Glory" and "I vow to thee"

Post 6

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

Isn't the first verse bad enough for you?

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