rule britannia, britannia rules the waves

She waves her flag across the seas

And calms the angry waves

Crushing ships from other lands

She picks and chooses who she saves.

So, it was Last Night of the Proms this evening. This is a night of classical music that is put on at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I have always watched it every year since I was really young, even when we were on holiday in the caravan, we would watch it on our tiny travel TV.

I feel a bit of sadness when I watch it now because I listen to the words of songs like Rule Britannia and worry that it could cause offence to some. And I really struggle to put a song that always made us feel such pride as we waved our flags, a little bit merry on one too many sherries, alongside the idea that it might cause some distress.

And then this was made even more blatant by the fact that when the camera panned across both the orchestra and the audience and I would say about 98% of the faces were white. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit more diversity at these kinds of events? It’s no wonder that classical music is seen as only being for the upper class or people who are snobs. It’s beautiful and should absolutely be accessible to everyone.

But then, I guess it is part of British culture so surely we should cling onto some some these traditions. I can’t help but love it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

2 thoughts on “rule britannia, britannia rules the waves

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Your post reminds me that you can love your country and feel some patriotism, but also wish for it to grow and evolve (and be glad when it does). No country is perfect, and if you love your country, of course you want it to progress.

  2. clcouch123

    The event was on the home page of Bing yesterday. I agree, if it’s mostly white, that should change. But I also agree that diversity should be a positive strategy in evolving the constituency and keeping the prom. As for “Britannia,” I’m not sure why the song should be offensive. But then I’m over here–what do I know?

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