Tune of the Day: I Vow to Thee, My Country
This British patriotic song was created in 1921 when Gustav Holst adapted the stately main theme of “Jupiter” from his orchestral suite The Planets to create a setting for a poem by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice. The music was extended slightly to fit the final two lines of the first verse; the resulting hymn tune is usually referred to as “Thaxted”, named after the village where Holst resided much of his life.
Diana, Princess of Wales, requested that this hymn be sung at her wedding in 1981, saying that it had “always been a favourite since schooldays”. It was also sung at her funeral in 1997 and at her ten-year memorial thanksgiving service in 2007.