Music To Invade Small Nations By

Elgar of course. And who cannot hear Pomp and Circumstance March Number One in D Major without thinking of red-jacketed guardsmen thwarting upstart french midgets seeking European domination? And who hasn’t walked the great newts-crest of the Malvern Hills without hearing Nimrod swell and soar in their ears? Until recently his bristling moustache was used to thwart counterfeiters of the twenty pound note.

So what prompts this flight of whimsy? Well the BBC is celebrating his 150th aniversary by looking at his “ten best” compositions.
Frankly “Pomp and Circumstance” is to English music what Copeland’s “Fanfare for a Common Man” is to American, it defines a quintissential englishness that you can also hear traces of, in the works of Benjamin Britten or Arnold Bax and especially “The Lark Ascending” By Vaughn Williams. This music evokes Cotswold villages built in honey coloured fossiliferous limestone, maypoles, fairs, pubs serving real beer dispensed from barrels located behind the bar without recourse to carbon dioxide gas, and sports cars, long, low and lean, painted dark british racing green. And poetry like

“Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”
Rupert Brooke, “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester,” 1912

All of which is encapsulated in Grantchester Meadows written by Roger Waters of the Pink Floyd and refers back to Williams’ larks and a really larky guy from those parts was Syd Barrett who may have suffered from Aspergers Syndrome

And my point is, exactly? Well none at all, but is is wonderful where a train of thought can lead you.

~ by @mmonyte on April 29, 2007.

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