LAND of Hope and Glory is a British patriotic song from 1901, which is usually performed at the Last Night of The BBC Proms.
However, the song has been mired in controversy over its lyrics referencing colonialism, which has led the BBC to say it will ditch the words when Last Night of the Proms airs later this year.
What are the lyrics to Land of Hope and Glory?
Land of Hope and Glory has a distinctive chorus between its verses.
The song was written by A. C. Benson, and was then put to music by Edward Elgar at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1901.
It was King Edward VII himself who suggested the melody for the lyrics.
LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY
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,
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.
Why is it controversial?
The song has recently caused controversy, because of its direct references to the glory of the British Empire.
The patriotic classic has caused a stir after the BBC considered dropping it from the Last Night Of The Proms.
Land of Hope and Glory has been called out for having links to colonialism in its lyrics – and in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, has been deemed controversial.
Critics have seen the lyrics, "By freedom gained, by truth maintained, thine Empire shall be strong"as ironic – since it was by enslaving and conquering other lands, taking their "freedom," that the Empire was "strong."
Prof Kehinde Andrews, from the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University, insisted both Rule Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory should no longer be played due to their "racist propaganda" connotations.
The academic said on Good Morning Britain: "Ban is the wrong word, it's not censorship.
"It's saying some songs, particularly those two, are racist propaganda which celebrates the British Empire which killed tens of millions people, many of which like myself are descendants of those victims of colonialism.
"It's totally inappropriate, it's not about banning and censorship, it's about saying what songs do we want to represent us.
"If, and it's a big if, we do want an anti-racist Britain then songs like these should not be celebrated in the proms."
When was it written?
Land of Hope and Glory was written in 1901.
At the time, the British had just won the Boer War, and the Empire was about to reach its peak – having sway over 23 per cent of the world population.
What does it mean?
The patriotic song is full of references to the glory of the British Empire, colonialism, and the idea that Britons were blessed by God who made them "mightier."
The lyrics in the chorus, "Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set" alludes to making the British Empire bigger and bigger – a concept that critics say shouldn't be glorified in a song.
The reference to the extension of the British Empire's boundaries may reflect the Boer War – which Brits won at the time the song was written.
Classical music critic Richard Morrison said in a column for BBC Music Magazine last month: "In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, it would surely be insensitive, bordering on the incendiary, to roar out these hypocritical 18th-century words, with or without irony."
Chi-chi Nwanoku, the founder of Chineke!, an orchestra whose musicians are majority black, Asian and ethnically diverse, criticised the song: "It’s so irrelevant to today’s society.
"It’s been irrelevant for generations, and we seem to keep perpetuating it."
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