The lyrics of Rule Britannia are offensive, she said. Live performances are being done by a host of talented BAME composers and instrumentalists - including a cellist from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. Those backing the appeal include actor Laurence Fox, who called the decision to drop the lyrics from Edward Elgar's composition 'shameful'. People get up at all hours around the world to tune in and hold 'Last Night' parties. They need not cringe. David Mellor, the Tory former culture secretary, said: 'This is a disgraceful cock-up at every level. David Brice, a commodore in the Royal Navy, wrote a letter to The Times condemning the censorship of Rule Britannia. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. It gained popularity in the UK after it was first played in London in 1745 and became symbolic of the British Empire, most closely associated with the British Navy. It acquired its popularity not as a military marching tune, like, say, France's unashamedly brutal Marseillaise, but as a catchy musical number sung by barmaid-turned-West End star, Kitty Clive. A campaign to omit the Rule Britannia! Those eccentrics with their little rituals whom viewers always see at the front of the Last Night crowd are very serious about their music. "Some of the traditional tunes, like Jerusalem, are easier to perform...We also don’t know if we’ll be in a worse situation in two weeks’ time.”. Rule, Britannia! Asked whether there had been a discussion about dropping songs because of their link with imperialism, Lord Hall replied: 'The whole thing has been discussed by David and his colleagues. The group urged those upset with the Proms decision to download Dame Vera's version, tweeting yesterday: 'Let's get Land of Hope and Glory to No 1 in the charts and make the BBC play it... the words the BBC really don't want you to hear, sung by Dame Vera Lynn.'. Government officials held talks with BBC executives to urge them to rethink the decision but to no avail. BBC columnist Richard Morrison has previously called for the songs to be binned from the set-list - branding them "crudely jingoistic". 'It makes a lot of us despair when this kind of thing happens again and again. She added that any black person “aware of their history, the empire and colonialism” would “struggle to enjoy the patriotic jingoism of these songs”. The song has been an integral part of the annual Remembrance Day ceremony since 1930, when it became the first song played in the programme known as The Traditional Music. on the Last Night of the Proms seems at variance with historical truth. was “offensive”. ', 'War, war without truce against who would attempt to blemish the honour of the fatherland!' 'Without Britannia ruling the waves, this successful campaign could not have been attempted. Yesterday, a Songs of Praise producer has compared Rule Britannia's lyrics to neo-Nazis singing about the Holocaust. "I share concerns of many about their potential removal and have raised this with the BBC. A furious debate took place on Good Morning Britain after singer Lily Allen sparked outrage by suggesting patriotic anthem Rule, Britannia to be banned, labelling the lyrics 'insensitive'. But perhaps, we should have seen this coming. Rule, Britannia! The Sunday Times claims there are concerns at the BBC about associations with colonialism and slavery. ... Asian and ethnically diverse, said Rule, Britannia! “Great words and music that become part of our national culture, based on the significance people have attached to them over many years, often centuries, should not be lightly discarded.'. The conductor of this year's Proms, Dalia Stasevska, has reportedly voiced her desire to modernise the Proms and reduce its patriotic elements. The BBC vowed last night that the patriotic lyrics would return in 2021 – when the concert season finale is again performed before an audience - but it has done little to quell the anger. Ms Lewis, the CEO of Nine Lives Media, which produces the BBC programme Songs of Praise, has now expanded on her earlier comments, saying she thinks 'slavery was Britain’s holocaust'. The South African, 36, said: 'Dalia and I want to pay tribute to the culture that has invited us into its space, and also make sure we do something that speaks to the times we are living through.'. He is replacing Oxford-educated BBC veteran Lord Hall who worked for the corporation for decades before leading the Royal Opera. ... Asian and ethnically diverse, said Rule, Britannia! It’s not censorship it’s just saying that some songs, especially those two, are racist propaganda that celebrates that the British Empire. Or their audience. 1. 'I don't feel very British when I have people say to me 'go home p***.''. ‘Rule, Britannia!’ has been so popular that it has been used in a variety of ways. Finns are perhaps not best-placed to lecture the British on multiculturalism. "I remember my school 20 years ago taking Rule Britannia off the hymn sheet because they realised it was totally inappropriate and offensive. This eagle that drunk the blood of Italy and Poland, together with the Cossack.'. She told the newspaper: "I don’t listen to Land of Hope and Glory and say ‘thank God I’m British’ — it actually makes me feel more alienated. The comments below have not been moderated. Yesterday, the director-general Lord [Tony] Hall claimed it was a 'creative conclusion' by director David Pickard in response to Covid-19, insisting: 'It's very, very hard to have things where the whole audience normally sing along.'. The 125th annual Last Night of the Proms concert is due to go ahead - with one insider describing this year's event as the “Black Lives Matter Proms”. … To arms, to arms, on land and sea! Anti-Semitism campaigner Jonathan Sacerdoti called the comparison 'outrageous'. The remit of the BBC hasn't really changed in 100 years, it really is time for a review. 'The principle reason it has no confidence ... is that there is no ethnic diversity at the top of its decision-making tree. Image caption Chi-chi Nwanoku’s Chineke! on the Last Night of the Proms seems at variance with historical truth. Miss Stasevska has made no comment and has chosen to let this remark stand. “It’s not about banning and censorship it’s about what songs do we want to represent the modern moment and if, and it’s a big 'if', if we do want an anti-racist Britain then songs like this don’t need to be celebrated on the Proms.”. A corporation spokesman said: 'The decisions taken are the BBC's. "The majority of people don't listen to the song and go 'oh we want to reimpose colonialism and slavery', songs can take on new meaning, it's become part of a new story that represents pride.". He added: "[The Empire] killed tens of millions of people – many of which now, like myself and yourself Adil, are descendants of those victims of colonialism. 'It's so irrelevant to today's society. It is often said that the BBC is far too sensitive to the prevailing wind on Twitter. The debate surrounding the 'Rule, Britannia!' and Land of Hope and Glory could be dropped from the Last Night of the Proms in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, according to reports. They are an eclectic bunch but the last thing you can accuse them of is jingoism. Rule, Britannia is usually played annually during at the BBC's Last Night of the Proms. 'And we should not sing in a gloating way that Britons will never be enslaved, when we were responsible for enslaving so many. For other inquiries, Contact Us. controversy over the decision to not sing the patriotic anthem, along with Land of Hope and Glory, at the Last Night of the Proms this year. I suggest that Miss Stasevska has a word with her compatriot, Sakari Oramo. King Edward suggested that this trio would make a good song, and so Elgar worked it into the last section of his Coronation Ode, to be performed at King Edward's coronation. was based on a poem by James Thomson, and set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740. Then they should tell their critics on both sides to pipe down and enjoy the music. They might sing Rule Britannia with gusto but they will have been just as enthusiastic for the French, African, Indian – even Finnish – music at other concerts over the season. It is strongly associated with the Royal Navy and the British Empire, and contains lyrics such as: 'The BBC has said there have been “unjustified personal attacks” on social media on Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, who will be at the helm of the Last Night this year. Lord Digby Jones criticised the BBC today, while BBC TV presenter Simon McCoy also appeared to mock the decision, writing 'There are no words', Nigel Farage suggested the BBC 'needs cancelling' when reacting to the ongoing Last Night of the Proms row this morning, Kate Hoey, the former MP for Vauxhall, said the Proms was 'not worth watching' without the lyrics to the anthems, Tory MPs Andrew Griffith and Alexander Stafford both urged the BBC to row back on their decision not to sing the anthems' lyrics. Remembering the Ottoman Empire as a 'barbarian nation', Hungary's anthem still includes the following suspect line about the suffering it endured at the hands of a nearby neighbour: 'the Turks' slave yoke we took upon our shoulders'. Rather, they should point out that it was the BBC which saved the Proms from insolvency in 1927 and which has kept it all going ever since with generations of great musicians, conductors and presenters. Her mother Ula Zait moved to America and now lives in Texas. Is Rule Britannia really so offensive compared to the lyrics of other countries’ hymns? The only people who hijacked the event were an enterprising band of Remainers who had purchased a lorry load of EU flags which were given to everyone going through the door. So the Broadcasting House high-ups must have been mortified to see that the most popular Twitter thread yesterday lunchtime was '#DefundtheBBC' followed closely by '#RuleBritannia'. Judge for yourself… France: La Marseillaise ‘They’re coming right into your arms, to cut the throats of your sons, your comrades! ', 'Some have come from a land beyond the wave, sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland shall shelter the despot or the slave.'. The corporation could now be forced to play the patriotic anthem properly after all, because the UK's top-selling songs are typically aired in full during BBC Radio 1's Friday chart show. Mr Davie is a former Tory council candidate and marketing executive who worked for Pepsi and Procter & Gamble before joining the BBC's commercial arm. When asked by presenter Adil Ray if he felt the songs should be banned, Prof Andrews said: “Ban is the wrong word. It contains verses such as: “Rule, Britannia! To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. should be banned just after it was sung at the Remembrance Day service. David Brice, a commodore in the Royal Navy, wrote  a letter to The Times condemning the censorship of Rule Britannia. So, too, will 'Jerusalem' and the National Anthem. The row over this year's Proms began at the weekend when it was first reported that Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory could be ditched entirely. Writer and commentator Ms Folarin hit back at Professor Andrews and accused him of having a “one-dimensional” view of Britain as a land of “racism and hate”. 'I would defend the BBC's right to make decisions free of political influence but it is clearly a mistake, it's just idiotic. It contains verses such as: “Rule, Britannia! "It’s not censorship it’s just saying that some songs, especially those two, are racist propaganda that celebrates that the British Empire.". “While thou shalt flourish great and free / The dread and envy of them all. The row also rumbled on today as a Songs of Praise producer who compared singing Rule Britannia to Nazis singing about gas chambers doubled down on her attack  - and called for the anthem to be rewritten. "The Sun", "Sun", "Sun Online" are registered trademarks or trade names of News Group Newspapers Limited. Her comments came amid the controversy over the decision to not sing the patriotic anthem, along with Land of Hope and Glory, at the Last Night of the Proms this year. For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click this link: thesun.co.uk/editorial-complaints/, Kehinde Andrews said even debating whether the song was inappropriate was a 'disgrace', Professor Andrews clashed with fellow panellist Inaya Folarin as they discussed the row, British anthems could be scrapped from the Last Night of the Proms, The songs are usually accompanied by flag-waving from the audience, Wasfi Kani, chief executive of Grange Park Opera, Jamie Barton performs Rule Brittania at Last Night Of The Proms 2019, Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Another called it a 'totally self-generated f*** up'.'. He tweeted today: "Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory are highlights of the Last Night of the Proms. The song has been used as part of a number of compositions, including Wagner's concert overture in D Major in 1837 and Beethoven's orchestral work, Wellington's Victory. Lily Allen has come under a barrage of criticism after she said Rule, Britannia! By posting your comment you agree to our house rules. Prof Andrews, Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham University, clashed with fellow panellist Inaya Folarin as they discussed the row over whether traditional anthems Rule Britannia and Land of Hope of Glory should be axed from the Last Night of the Proms. And you'll never walk alone, you'll never walk alone. In 1836, Richard Wagner wrote a concert overture based on ‘Rule, Britannia!’. For last year's Last Night, the BBC commissioned a new work to open the concert. A few bars of Arne's famous anthem will be bolted on to the end of the usual medley of nautical songs – but without any words. BBC insiders say Porra's 35-year-old conductor wife is among those keen to modernise the Last Night of the Proms and reduce the patriotic elements. Pull the other one. This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. The band were formed in 1984 and have played music festivals around the world over the decades, releasing 15 studio albums, four DVDs and five live albums. A Songs of Praise producer who compared singing Rule Britannia to Nazis singing about gas chambers has doubled down on her attack and called for the anthem to be rewritten. She added that any black person “aware of their history, the empire and colonialism” would “struggle to enjoy the patriotic jingoism of these songs”. Instead of either ignoring the usual half-hearted complaints about 'jingoism' – a recurring grumble ahead of every Last Night since the war – or else explaining why such charges are baseless, the BBC management has, this year, just caved in. Rule, Britannia was written as a poem by Scottish playwright James Thomson but put to music by Thomas Arne in 1740. In other words, it's a Georgian X-Factor hit. Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual. It is hard to know whether it is physically possible to do it. The song Rule Britannia (originating from a poem by James Thomson, right) was written for an 18th-century royal masque about Alfred the Great defeating the Vikings. The British public could also force the BBC to play the 'offensive' lyrics of Land of Hope and Glory on Friday after Vera Lynn's rendition of Land of Hope and Glory topped the charts. At the time, lead singer Timo Tolkki said he was 'extremely interested' in the dictator but that 'hell broke loose' when he premiered the track to his German record label. 'We obviously share the disappointment of everyone that the Proms will have to be different but we believe this is the best solution in the circumstances.'. Come the grand finale of this year's concert, 'Rule Britannia' will be just a shrivelled morsel. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. He said : “Any attempt to remove the right to sing Rule, Britannia! Similarly, Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory was called no such thing when it was first performed at the Proms in 1901 – because Arthur Benson had not yet got round to writing any words. so that Britain would be kept free from invaders. It contains verses such as: “Rule, Britannia! The musician instead suggested the songs could be replaced with I Vow to Thee My Country or The Beatles' All You Need Is Love. They are anything but a celebration of national music, like so many lesser festivals. She is understood to have been part of a small group behind the decision to perform Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory without lyrics next month. This year's guest conductor, Finland's Dalia Stasevska, 35, reportedly regards the virus as a good excuse for pruning a much-loved script. Instead, he was in the full regalia of the King of the Incas, complete with feathered cloak and Sun God helmet. The song 'Land of Hope and Glory' is based on the trio theme from Elgar's Pomp And Circumstance March No. 'Britain raped India and that is what that song is celebrating.'. rule the waves / Britons never will be slaves. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site. Miss Stasevska, born to a Lithuanian mother and Ukrainian father, spent the first five years of her life in Estonia. The husband of the conductor in the Proms row is a guitarist for a heavy metal band that tried to release a song about Adolf Hitler. If the BBC are talking about Black Lives Matter and their support for the movement, how could you possibly have Rule Britannia as the last concert – in any concert?'. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook. Mr Davie is understood to have intervened to insist that BBC bosses play some form of Rule Britannia at the Proms, Cat Lewis said that singing about how Britons would 'never be slaves' during Rule Britannia was akin to Nazis shouting about how they would 'never be forced into a gas chamber'. Piers went on to argue that Rule Britannia was much less offensive than lyrics heard in rap songs, and Femi responded saying there was "misogyny" in a lot of music, not just rap. Perhaps the loudest cheer of the night came when he led on his star vocalist, Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, to sing Rule Britannia - originating from a poem by James Thomson. If the BBC knew its history, it would understand Rule Britannia ISN'T racist - and is adored across the world, writes ROBERT HARDMAN, Boris Johnson criticises BBC ‘embarrassment’ at British traditions | News | The Times. 1 ('Land of Hope and Glory') but, again, minus the words. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. ‘Dalia is a big supporter of Black Lives Matter and thinks a ceremony without an audience is the perfect moment to bring change,’ a BBC source said. and Land of Hope and Glory could be dropped from the Last Night of the Proms in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, according to reports. RULE Britannia is “racist propaganda” because of its links to slavery, a university professor has claimed. ', '[The decision] is an indication of the BBC's... that they are out of touch with the rest of the country. Mr Oramo ignored it all. So out they went, without complaint. “The only real problem here is that we’re having this discussion now - it should have been done a long, long time ago.”. rule the waves / Britons never will be slaves. For many of them, it is a lifelong ambition to get a ticket to the real thing. The Last Night of the Proms is due to take place on 12 September, but without an audience, due to coronavirus. He was the Finnish conductor with a very difficult task – conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 2016 in the toxic aftermath of the Brexit referendum. It is an old song, asking Britannia ( a mythical goddess) to rule the waves. He said: “This is about saying what songs are appropriate. It comes as tens of thousands sign a MailOnline petition demanding that demanding that the lyrics be reinstated. Jan Younghusband, head of BBC music TV commissioning, confirmed the music content for the night is still being reviewed. Arthur Sullivan, who wrote comedy operas in Victorian times, quoted from the song too. Judge for yourself... 'They're coming right into your arms, to cut the throats of your sons, your comrades! 'To march against the enemy guns! She added that any black person “aware of their history, the empire and colonialism” would “struggle to enjoy the patriotic jingoism of these songs”. ... Asian and ethnically diverse, said Rule, Britannia! “Between 1807 and 1869 the Royal Navy conducted a very difficult maritime campaign against the Atlantic slave trade; it was an act of national intent. In addition to the EU and Union flags, the next most popular is usually that of Germany. Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline? I have interviewed a few of them over the years. 'People are of course entitled to their opinion, but so too are the millions of people who have enjoyed these performances over the years. David Brice, a commodore in the Royal Navy, wrote a letter to The Times condemning the censorship of Rule Britannia. Critics have claimed the songs are inappropriate due to associations with colonialism and slavery. With no substantial ethnic minorities beyond a tiny percentage of Swedes and Russians, Finland is among the least diverse societies in Europe. The thing which most sticks in my mind about that night in 2016 (like all the other Last Nights, in fact) is the range of nationalities. He said : “Any attempt to remove the right to sing Rule, Britannia! It's been irrelevant for generations, and we seem to keep perpetuating it. It is strongly associated with the Royal Navy, but also used by the British Army. Lyrics Rule, Britannia! We should have anthems which celebrate what is truly great about the UK, which we can all sing and this will help unite our country.'. And Conditions in accordance with our Privacy Policy Symphony Orchestra and a chorus of more 100! Tailored content, Marketing and ads in line with our Privacy Policy Finnish stepmother promoted in. It really is time for a review professor has claimed you want to automatically post MailOnline... 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