Rule, Britannia!

I am tired of “Rule, Britannia” only representing a crossword puzzle clue for me, so I decided to look it up and find out more about the song, the melody, the history, etc.

Here is a link to the James Thomson poem and the Thomas Arne 1740 musical composition.

This is the version associated with the Royal Navy:

The Lark Ascending

Yesterday morning, when my second alarm came on, Classical WETA 90.9 was playing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” based on a George Meredith poem. My assistant was about to turn the radio off, but I begged to leave it on. I hadn’t heard it in a while. It’s good not to block melodies out as much.

Williams is a favorite composer, but he deserves a separate entry sometime. Here’s some background on both works.

Here is the music. The first video is how it was originally heard. The second is the orchestral version.