BBC insiders have beaten their bosses for "getting into an unnecessary and absurd series" and making a "terrible mistake" by censoring the "racist" on the final night of the Land of Hope and Glory Proms and Britannia have ruled.
The decision to use instrumental versions of the patriotic hymns for the summer festival sparked widespread anger – the company's employees have also cast off their frustration.
A senior insider said, “This is yet another example of the BBC getting into a totally unnecessary and absurd encounter with culture.
“It makes many of us desperate when something like this happens over and over again. There are a lot of things you can say about both songs and they are just out of date. But 99 percent of our culture does in one way or another. & # 39;
Another BBC source told The Times, "We took a relatively simple thing and made a complete mess of it," a BBC source said. Another called it a "totally self-generated f *** up".
The UK public could force the BBC to play "offensive" lyrics at the heart of the Proms franchise on Friday after Vera Lynn's rendition of Land of Hope and Glory topped the charts.
The company may now be forced to get the patriotic anthem right after all, as the UK's best-selling songs typically air in full on BBC Radio 1's Friday chart show.
The compromise that followed a racism battle was worked out after the new General Manager Tim Davie stepped in to insist that both pieces be performed in some form.
The former Tory Council candidate is believed to want to reset the BBC's relationship with No. 10 when he takes over next week.
It came after actor Laurence Fox launched a social media drive to support a recording of Dame Vera Lynn, who died in June aged 103.
Anger over the BBC's decision yesterday grew. Boris Johnson convicted the company of "getting wet" and accused its high-ranking figures of harboring a "creeping embarrassment" for British traditions.
Vera Lynn's version of Land of Hope and Glory (left) has now topped the charts on the BBC's anger over Britannia's choking
BBC Chairman Michael Grade told Today programming this morning, “This is a terrible mistake that shows how little contact you have with your audience.
"I would defend the BBC's right to make decisions without political influence, but it's clearly a mistake, it's just idiotic."
Does the BBC always play charts on live radio?
The UK's best-selling songs tend to play in full during BBC Radio 1's chart show, which now airs on Fridays, although there were exceptions.
A Social Media Campaign To Get Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead topped the charts after Margaret Thatcher's death in 2013, The Wizard of Oz song peaked at number two.
However, the BBC declined to play the title in full, instead telling a reporter why it had been so successful. Dame Vera is still the oldest female artist to ever land an album in the top 40.
In April, then 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore became the oldest singer to ever get a number one single after covering You'll Never Walk Alone.
Dame Vera's portrayal of Land of Hope and Glory has topped the charts (pictured)
The campaign to get Dame Vera to the top of the charts was started by a group called Defund the BBC, who stated that their main goal is to decriminalize royalty failure.
Urged the disgruntled by Proms' decision to download Dame Vera's version, the group tweeted yesterday, “Let's get Land of Hope and Glory to # 1 on the charts and get the BBC to play it … the words the BBC really doesn't want you to hear sung by Dame Vera Lynn. & # 39;
Supporters of the appeal include actor Laurence Fox, who described the decision to remove the lyrics from Edward Elgar's composition as "shameful".
He wrote online: & # 39; Would the BBC have to play it then? What a nice day it would be. & # 39;
Last night, the song had already hit number one on Apple's charts for its own music services.
The BBC vowed last night that the patriotic lyrics would return in 2021 – when the concert season finale is performed again in front of an audience.
But MPs from both parties and Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, condemned this year's decision. Almost 30,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling for the texts to be reinstated.
Mr Johnson said yesterday that he was so excited about the issue that his advisors tried to withhold his remarks.
He said he found it hard to believe the BBC's decision, adding, “It is time we stopped being ashamed of our history, traditions and culture and that we ended this general struggle of blame and wetness I wanted to get this off my chest. & # 39;
Mr Phillips accused the BBC chiefs of "being rooms full of white men panicking that someone thinks they are racist".
He said, “The real problem with the company is that it is always panicking about races and one of the reasons it is always panicking is because it has no confidence.
"The main reason it has no confidence … is because there is no ethnic diversity at the top of its decision tree."
In the meantime, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer also weighed in line. A Labor spokesman said the proms are a staple of the UK summer and enjoying patriotic songs is no barrier to examining and learning about our past.
Switching to an instrumental version for the last night of the Proms (pictured) prompted actor Laurence Fox to start a social media drive to support a recording of Dame Vera Lynn, who died in June at the age of 103
The lyrics to Land of Hope and Glory
Land of hope and glory
Mother of the free
How shall we praise you?
Who is born of you
Even wider and wider
Do you want to set your limits?
God who made you mighty
Make yourself even more powerful!
Dear land of hope, your hope is crowned
God make you even more powerful!
On Sov & # 39; ran brows, loved, known
Once more your crown is set
Your same laws won through freedom
I have ruled you well and for a long time;
By gaining freedom, by maintaining truth
Your kingdom should be strong
Your fame is as old as the days
As an ocean big and wide:
A pride that dares and does not praise
A strict and silent pride
Not this false joy that dreams contentedly
With what our fathers won;
The blood given out by a hero father
A hero’s son is still annoying
The dispute over this year's Proms began over the weekend when it was first reported that Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory could be dropped entirely. Critics have claimed the songs were inappropriate due to associations with colonialism and slavery.
The lyrics to Rule Britannia include the line "Britons will never, never, never be slaves," while the 1902 words to Land of Hope and Glory are said to have been inspired by Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist and mining magnate whose statue is being removed from an Oxford University.
It has been suggested that Finnish Proms conductor Dalia Stasevska was interested in limiting patriotic elements and that this year – with no audience due to the coronavirus – was the perfect moment for change.
Late Monday, the BBC bosses finally confirmed that the two anthems would be performed, but without the lyrics.
Government officials held interviews with BBC executives to urge them to reconsider the decision, but to no avail.
David Mellor, former Tory Secretary of Culture, said: “This is a shameful mistake on every level. What we're getting is a lot of woken up gossip trap, and the BBC doesn't know what to do about it. & # 39;
Economic Secretary Alok Sharma suggested that the BBC put the lyrics on screen so that viewers can decide for themselves if they want to sing them.
Tensions between No. 10 and the BBC have increased since the elections. Downing Street banned ministers from appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today program and was furious at Newsnight's Emily Maitlis monologue about Dominic Cummings. Tony Hall, the outgoing director general of the BBC, tried yesterday to blame the coronavirus crisis for the Proms decision, pointing out that fewer performers are allowed on stage.
He said the problem was determined by David Pickard, who became director of the BBC Proms in 2015. When asked if there had been a discussion about deleting songs because of their links to imperialism, Lord Hall replied, “The whole thing was discussed by David and his colleagues. & # 39;
Defending the compromise, he added, "In an Albert Hall that is home to over 5,000 people, it's very, very difficult to get the atmosphere of last night's proms and have things that the entire audience usually sings along to. "
A BBC spokesman said last night: “For the avoidance of doubt, these songs will be sung next year.
"We share everyone's disappointment that the Proms have to be different, of course, but we believe this is the best solution given the circumstances."
Lord Digby Jones criticized the BBC today, while BBC TV presenter Simon McCoy also appeared to mock the decision, writing, "There are no words."
Nigel Farage suggested that the BBC "must be canceled" when responding to the ongoing series "Last Night of the Proms" this morning
Kate Hoey, former Vauxhall MP, said the Proms were "not worth seeing" without the lyrics to the anthems
Tory MPs Andrew Griffith and Alexander Stafford called on the BBC to reverse their decision not to sing the lyrics of the anthems
Yesterday, a producer on Songs of Praise compared the lyrics of Rule Britannia to neo-Nazis singing about the Holocaust.
What is the story of Rule, Britannia, and Land of Hope and Glory?
Britannia comes from the poem of the same name by the Scottish poet and playwright James Thomson and was set to music by the English composer Thomas Arne in 1740.
It gained popularity in the UK after it was first played in London in 1745 and became the symbol of the British Empire, most closely linked to the British Navy.
The song was used as part of a number of compositions including Wagner's 1837 Concerto Overture in D major and Beethoven's orchestral work Wellington & # 39; s Victory.
The song has been an integral part of the annual Remembrance Day celebration since 1930 when it was the first song played on The Traditional Music program.
It became popular again at the end of World War II in 1945 after it was played at the ceremonial surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army in Singapore.
As a rule, Britannia is usually played annually during the BBC's Last Night of the Proms.
Left-wing critics claimed their inclusion had sparked controversy in recent years as it was deemed too patriotic.
The song & # 39; Land of Hope and Glory & # 39; based on the trio theme from Elgar's Pomp And Circumstance March No. 1, which originally premiered in 1901.
It caught the attention of King Edward VII after being the only piece in the history of the Proms to receive a double encore.
King Edward suggested that this trio make a good song, so Elgar worked it into the final section of his Coronation Ode to be performed at King Edward's Coronation.
Cat Lewis tweeted, "Do the British who think it's okay to sing an 18th century song about never being enslaved … also think it's appropriate for neo-Nazis," We will never be forced into a gas chamber to "shout."
The anti-Semitism activist Jonathan Sacerdoti described the comparison as "outrageous".
In the past few days, several prominent leftists have spoken out against the traditional hymns.
Nwanoku, founder of the Chineke! The foundation, which supports aspiring BAME musicians, told The Guardian: "The lyrics are just so offensive. They speak of the 'haughty tyrants' – people we invade their country and call them haughty tyrants – and Britons are never supposed to To be slaves, which implies that it is okay for others to be slaves, but not for us.
“It's so irrelevant to society today. It's been irrelevant for generations and we seem to keep it going. With the BBC talking about Black Lives Matter and their support for the movement, how could you have Rule Britannia as the last concert – in every concert? & # 39;
Ms. Kani also raised concerns about slavery and told BBC Radio 4, “I'm Indian, my parents were from India, I got a wonderful education in the UK, but I don't feel very British when I hear things like That.
"I don't feel very British when people say to me, go home, damn it."
Instead, the musician suggested replacing the songs with I Vow to Thee My Country or The Beatles & # 39; All You Need Is Love.
Ms. Kani, whose parents sought refuge in Great Britain after the partition of India in 1947, also told the Sunday Times, “I don't stop at Land of Hope and Glory and say, 'Thank God I'm British' – that actually makes me feel alienated me.
"Britain raped India and that's what this song celebrates."
This year's Proms conductor Dalia Stasevska has reportedly expressed her desire to modernize the Proms and reduce their patriotic elements.
She is said to have been part of a small group behind the decision to play Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory without lyrics for the next month.
"Dalia is a huge supporter of Black Lives Matter and thinks an unattended ceremony is the perfect time to bring about change," said a BBC source.
A company spokesperson said: "The choices made are those of the BBC. We deeply regret the unjustified personal attacks on Dalia Stasevska, Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra on social media and elsewhere. & # 39;
If the BBC knew their story, they would understand that Rule Britannia is NOT racist – and revered all over the world, writes ROBERT HARDMAN
At least this year's Last Night of the Proms has an irrevocably British quality: the fudge. Not even the best Devon and Cornwall dairy herds could have made up something as thick, rich and curdled as the latest BBC solution.
Rather than either ignoring the usual half-hearted complaints about "jingoism" – a recurring grumble before every last night since the war – or explaining why such allegations are unfounded, the BBC management has simply collapsed this year.
The result is a mess that not only has not satisfied anyone, but has now managed to spark a national debate on the BBC itself. And it's all so unnecessary.
Rather than either ignoring the usual half-hearted complaints about "jingoism" – a recurring grumble before every last night since the war – or explaining why such allegations are unfounded, the BBC management has simply collapsed this year
At the grand finale of this year's concert, & # 39; Rule Britannia & # 39; just be a shriveled bite. A few bars of Arne's famous hymn are screwed to the end of the usual mix of sea songs – but without words. Next up is Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (& # 39; Land of Hope and Glory & # 39;), but again without the words.
It would have been easier for the BBC if they had just said they would temporarily remove these parts, as it did in 2001. Back then, in those baffled days immediately following the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States, it was decided that these boisterous crowd-pullers were going to hit the wrong note. So they went out without complaining.
The lyrics to Rule Britannia
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
British will never, never, never be slaves.
As Britain first on the orders of Heaven
Arose from the azure main line,
This was the charter of the land
And guardian angels sang this sort:
The nations are not as blessed as you are
Tyrants must fall again
While you are to flourish big and free:
The fear and envy of everyone.
You should rise even more majestically,
More terrible of every stranger's stroke,
Like the loud explosion that tears the sky apart
Only serves to root your native oak.
You haughty tyrants will never tame;
All of their attempts to bend you down
Just wanna awaken your generous flame
But work their suffering and your reputation.
You own the country rulership;
Your cities will shine with commerce;
All yours should be the main theme
And each bank circles it, yours.
The muses, still found with freedom,
Shall mend to your happy shores.
Blest island! crowned with incomparable beauty,
And male hearts to watch over the mass.
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
British will never, never, never be slaves
This time around, the BBC has faltered, meekly trying to blame the coronavirus for this mess, without denying that it has something to do with the culture wars raging beyond.
Yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Lord (Tony) Hall claimed it was a "creative conclusion" in response to Covid-19, insisting, "It's very, very hard to have things that the entire audience normally sings along to."
That argument just falls apart as the song that Elgar has now overtaken – "You'll Never Walk Alone" – is a singalong classic sung by the guest soprano and the BBC singers. So also & # 39; Jerusalem & # 39; and the national anthem.
In other words, some songs are safe to sing in a pandemic, but others are not. Pull the other.
This year's guest conductor Dalia Stasevska, 35, from Finland reportedly sees the virus as a good excuse to trim a popular script. A BBC source told the Sunday Times, "Dalia is a huge supporter of the Black Lives Matter and believes an unattended ceremony is the perfect time to make change."
Ms. Stasevska made no comment and decided to maintain this comment. Finland is one of the least diversified societies in Europe, as there are no significant ethnic minorities beyond a tiny percentage of Swedes and Russians. The Finns may not be able to teach the British about multiculturalism.
I suggest that Miss Stasevska speak to her compatriot Sakari Oramo. He was the Finnish conductor with a very difficult job – holding the last night of the Proms in 2016 after the Brexit referendum. Back then, the BBC was crippled by the same old fears about orgies of jingoism.
Former Proms director Nicholas Kenyon wrote somberly in the Guardian about his "sense of premonition that this most British opportunity could be hijacked to celebrate the triumph of Little England".
As always, it was nonsense – as I found out when I went with it myself. The only people who hijacked the event were an enterprising group of retainers who bought a truckload of EU flags to be given to anyone who walked through the door. Some Brexiters tried to do the same with Union flags. Mr. Oramo ignored everything.
Perhaps the loudest cheers of the night came when he got his star singer, Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, to sing Rule Britannia. Florez hadn't come in a white tie and tail, or dressed as Britannia. Instead, he wore the full regalia of the King of the Incas, complete with a feathered cloak and sun god helmet.
The audience was thrilled. Here was a proud Peruvian in old local clothes, run by a proud Finn who ran the entire Albert Hall – plus tens of thousands gathered around the jumbo screens in Hyde Park, Glasgow, and elsewhere, plus millions on television watched – in a brave display of one of Britain's most popular tunes.
It was a perfect example of a point completely lost for those panicked BBC executives: last night is a global event. It's also one with a healthy sense of irony – an alien concept, of course, to the awakened. What I remember most about that night in 2016 (like all other last nights) is the range of nationalities. Besides the flags of the EU and the Union, that of Germany is usually the most popular.
What about other countries?
Is Rule Britannia really that offensive compared to the lyrics of other countries' hymns? Judge for yourself …
France: La Marseillaise
“They come straight into your arms to cut the throats of your sons, your comrades! Let us march, let us march, that your unclean blood should water our fields. & # 39;
Ireland: The Soldier's Song
"Some have come from a land beyond the wave and have sworn to be free. Our ancient Sireland will no longer protect the despot or the slave."
USA: The Stars and Stripes
The US anthem celebrates "bombs that burst in the air" as they "proved through the night that our flag was still there". It then celebrates the spilling of "their blood" … for "we must conquer".
Italy: the song of the Italians
& # 39; The Austrian eagle has lost its feathers. This eagle who, together with the Cossack, drank the blood of Italy and Poland. «
Hungary: national anthem
Hungary's anthem recalls the Ottoman Empire as a "barbaric nation" and still contains the following suspicious line about the suffering it suffered from a nearby neighbor: "The slave yoke of the Turks that we have taken on our shoulders".
Portugal: A Portuguesa
& # 39; To march against the enemy's weapons! … To arms, to arms, on land and on water! & # 39;
Mexico: national anthem
"War, war without a truce against those who would try to harm the honor of the fatherland!" … The patriotic banners are full of waves of blood. & # 39;
People around the world are getting up anytime to get in the mood for "Last Night" parties. For many of them, getting a ticket to reality is a lifelong ambition. All these German and Japanese viewers will be just as dismayed this year as the crunchiest British sailor when they witness Miss Stasevska's joyless, clipped section of a wordless Rule Britannia.
Sir Henry Woods Promenade Concerts (to give them their full names) have always been the biggest festival of world music. Like so many smaller festivals, they are anything but a celebration of national music.
These eccentrics with their little rituals, which the audience always see in the foreground of the Last Night crowd, take their music very seriously.
I've interviewed a few of them over the years. They are an eclectic bunch, but the last thing you can blame them for is jingoism. They may sing Rule Britannia with enthusiasm, but they will have been just as enthusiastic about the French, African, Indian – even Finnish – music at other concerts during the season.
Also, Rule Britannia has nothing to do with "enslavement," as its critics claim. Indeed, the words are exhortation, not triumphalistic boast. Notice that the words say "Britannia, rule the waves" – not "rules".
The song was written for an 18th century royal mask in which Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings. It gained popularity not as a military march tune, such as France's outrageously brutal Marseillaise, but as a catchy musical number sung by Kitty Clive, who became the West End star of the barmaid. In other words, it's a Georgian X-Factor hit. It then became a favorite tune of the Royal Navy – the same Navy, of course, that abolished slavery.
Similarly, Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory wasn't named that when it was first performed at the Proms in 1901 – because Arthur Benson hadn't written any words yet. It was just Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.
These songs have never been forced on the British public – like a national anthem or a school song – but their universal appeal makes them last. The Germans, Brazilians and Japanese I saw singing "Rule Britannia" in the Royal Albert Hall while waving their EU flags were no more enthusiastic about British imperialism than Dalia Stasevska, Jeremy Corbyn or Karl Marx & # 39; cat . Like all other Prommers, they were there for the music and for the occasion.
It is often said that the BBC is way too sensitive to the prevailing wind on Twitter. The Broadcasting House high-ups must have been ashamed to see that the most popular Twitter thread at noon yesterday was "#DefundtheBBC", followed closely by "#RuleBritannia". Then the prime minister weighed in for the second day in a row, accusing the BBC of "wince" and "wet".
You don't have to flinch. Rather, they should point out that it was the BBC that saved the Proms from bankruptcy in 1927, and that has kept everything going with generations of great musicians, conductors, and presenters ever since. Then they should tell their critics on both sides to enjoy the music.
But maybe we should have seen this coming. On the last night of last year, the BBC commissioned a new work to open the concert. It was titled "Woke".
So what songs are sung at the proms? The words to Jerusalem and you will never go alone
And did these feet in ancient times
Go for a walk in England's green mountains?
And was the holy Lamb of God
Seen in England's pleasant pastures?
And was the face divine?
Shine on our cloudy hills
And was Jerusalem built here?
Under these dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear, oh clouds unfold!
Bring me my fire truck!
I won't stop in the mental battle
I don't want my sword to sleep in my hand either
Until we built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant country
When you go through a storm
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Keep going through the wind
Keep walking through the rain
Though your dreams are thrown and blown
Go on, go on
With hope in your heart
And you will never go alone
You'll never Walk Alone
Go on, go on
With hope in your heart
And you will never go alone, you will never go alone
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