The visit of Queen Elizabeth II to our neighboring state this week reminded me about this song story.
In 1974 I, along with about 15 other juniors from my high school, traveled to England for a 3-4 week stay. Our first week was spent in London where we were purely tourists and visited all the main tourist attractions. We also saw a couple live shows.
One of the live shows we saw was probably Sunday Night at the London Palladium. I don’t remember the show at all, but I do remember that when the show was about to begin the orchestra began playing a familiar tune. The audience stood and soon began singing.
In the few moments between the first notes of music and the first words of the song, I thought it was darned nice of the owners of this huge theater to play a patriotic song for the few Americans in the audience. Then I thought that possibly this was American night at the Palladium. Then I wondered why this song was chosen over The Star Spangled Banner.
Then I heard the words:
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
Then I was embarrassed because I was singing:
- My country, ’tis of thee,
- Sweet land of liberty,
- Of thee I sing;
- Land where my fathers died,
- Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
- From every mountainside
- Let freedom ring!
I can never hear that tune without remembering that evening at the London Palladium.
Oh, and then there is the Jimi Hendrix version.
2 thoughts on “70. Send her victorious Land where my fathers died,”
Great story. Will you get to see Her Majesty? I got a glimpse of Charles and Di once, in Toronto.
That was a fun video. I was hoping that Jimi Hendrix would sing God Save the Queen though…