Saturday, December 4, 2021

Pomp & Circumstance begins Friday

Hundreds of Dodge County and Byron high school seniors will receive their diploma during graduation ceremonies beginning tomorrow. Most, if not all, of the graduating seniors will march into the stadium, auditorium or gymnasium to the music of Pomp & Circumstance.

This has been a part of American graduations dating back to the 1900s.

“It was composed in 1901 by Edward Elgar, born on this day in 1857, and was used for the 1902 coronation of Britain’s Edward VII (the son of Queen Victoria who lent his name to the Edwardian age). The tune began its association with American graduations four years later at Yale University, when Elgar was given an honorary doctorate. Then, though, it was played as he walked offstage, not as he walked up to receive his diploma,” according to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Eventually, it was used by Princeton, University of Chicago and Columbia University

“There’s more to the tradition's British roots besides its debut at Edward VII's coronation. The riff played by school bands across the country is just a section from the first of Elgar's six "Pomp and Circumstance Marches," a reference to a passage from William Shakespeare's Othello, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

Pomp & Circumstance’s use at graduations is an American tradition. In England it may be played prior to sporting events.

I was more than curious when Smithsonian noted that some in Great Britain wanted it to replace “Long Live the Queen,” as its national patriotic song.

So, what are the lyrics to this song?

Solo – 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.
Chorus – 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.

Solo – 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.
Chorus – 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.

I would suspect that not many folks in the crowd will join and sing the lyrics to Pomp & Circumstance, but at least we have a better idea of its origin and pomp.

 

 

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