Tune of the Day: Rule, Britannia!
This famous song originates from the poem “Rule, Britannia” by James Thomson, which was set to music by composer Thomas Arne in 1740. It is strongly associated with the Royal Navy, but also used by the British Army.
The melody was reused by many composers. It was the theme for a set of variations for piano by Ludwig van Beethoven (WoO 79), who also used it in “Wellington's Victory”, Op. 91. Richard Wagner wrote a concert overture in D major based on the theme in 1837 (WWV 42). Johann Strauss I quoted the song in full as the introduction to his 1838 waltz “Homage to Queen Victoria of Great Britain”, Op. 103. Arthur Sullivan, Britain's leading composer during the reign of Queen Victoria, quoted from “Rule, Britannia!” on at least three occasions in music for his comic operas written with W.S. Gilbert and Bolton Rowe.
Thanks to Sebastian for suggesting this tune!