"Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar is a wildly popular piece of music, both in his native England (where it's beloved and best known by the name "Land of Hope and Glory") and in the United States, where it's best known as "That graduation march thing." So well known that the song is just on the good side of being hackneyed at this point. Pretty standard pop-concert fare.
But this is probably the best, most fun and exuberant version of the music I've ever heard.
It comes at the end of the 2014 BBC Proms series, the BBC Symphony lead by the Proms' Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo. I get the sense that this is a traditional ending to the Proms every year. I say that because when you see the video, the normally low-key conservative British have come to the concert...well, let's just say prepared. And there's something so enthusiastically endearing about their love of the piece and massive flag-waving that it's SO over-the top that it doesn't come across as jingoistic. The audience decked out, the orchestra decked out, the stage decked out. What helps too is that there are flags from all over the world. And pretty much everyone there really gets into the thing, at times like human metronomes, but especially joyous ones.
Video of the concert was also broadcast to several outdoor venues around the United Kingdom (including the Titanic Slipway in Belfast, Ireland, where the ship was built and first launched), so it's fun too as the camera cuts to the massive crowds joining in with their outpouring of love for this.
When the crowd joins in singing, if you feel the spirit to sing along, as well, here are the words below. Follow the bouncing Brit --
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.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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