During last night’s special performance of ‘Last Night Of The Proms’, ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’ were played in their original forms despite producers previously saying orchestral-only versions would be performed.
Last month, it was announced that the songs would only feature as instrumentals, after facing criticism over their historic links with colonialism and slavery.
However, the BBC confirmed last week that the well-known British anthems would be sung by a select group of vocalists during this year’s event.
A reduced orchestra performed the traditional anthems last night (September 12) to an empty Royal Albert Hall due to coronavirus restrictions.
In his own score, at the beginning of ‘Rule, Britannia’, Sir Henry Wood wrote: ‘Conductor turn to public’, so as to remind himself to bring in the Prommers behind him! The @BBCSingers don’t need any such reminder! #LNOP pic.twitter.com/Xy9HiVVhEb
— BBC Proms (@bbcproms) September 12, 2020
The full, uncensored versions of the anthems were met with joy from a number of viewers.
“Singing Land of Hope & Glory and Rule Britannia on the Last Night of the Proms makes me SO DAMN PROUD,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another added: “Delighted woke mob put in its place and Rule Britannia sung at @lastnightoftheProms. More commonsense please at the @bbc.”
— Meg ✨ (@megangoodier) September 12, 2020
Delighted woke mob put in its place and Rule Britannia sung at @lastnightoftheProms. More commonsense please at the @bbc
— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) September 12, 2020
“How could the @bbcproms ever consider not singing Rule Britannia etc at Last Night of the Proms. It simply would not be the same,” a third person wrote. “Hopefully they have seen the strong feeling throughout the UK about this. This evening proves just this!!”
How could the @bbcproms ever consider not singing Rule Britannia etc at Last Night of the Proms. It simply would not be the same. Hopefully they have seen the strong feeling throughout the UK about this. This evening proves just this!!
— sloon ranger (@SloanGavinsloan) September 12, 2020
See more reactions to yesterday’s ‘Last Night At The Proms’ performances below:
Yeeeesssss I do hope that’s annoyed the snowflakes anti British remainer types 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/MHs1zp5xFB
— Frank (@corporal_frank) September 12, 2020
RULE BRITANNIA 🇬🇧 #proms
— Andy Wigmore (@andywigmore) September 12, 2020
— Mike (@GreatAlexandor) September 12, 2020
Rule Britannia! 🇬🇧 #Proms
— James Glancy (@jaglancy) September 12, 2020
— Declan (@Declan_Townsend) September 12, 2020
I don’t usually watch Last Night of the Proms but I am going to tonight just to hear Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia blasted out. Then I can relish the fury of the BBC, Labour Party and all the other wokes and wets who hate Great Britain and are trying to destroy her. pic.twitter.com/ksG5jHF5UD
— Mal Harrison (@Mal_DuBois) September 12, 2020
— Tim Joaquín Sánchez Suárez (@SanchiSuarez) September 12, 2020
Last year, Lily Allen faced a barrage of criticism after calling for ‘Rule, Britannia!’ to be banned.
The ‘Smile’ singer dissected the lyrics of the traditional anthem, which was first penned in 1740, in a series of posts on her Instagram stories.
Taking aim at the track, which originated from a poem by James Thomson, she singled out the lyrics: “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves. The nations, not so blest as thee, Must in their turn, to tyrants fall, While thous shalt flourish, shalt flourish great and free.”
Allen said: “Sorry what? Britannia rule the waves… I think we should not read this song anymore.”
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