Sunday, March 5, 2017

Thomas Arne - Rule Britannia!

You know at least three songs composed by Thomas Arne.  Arne spent his career as perhaps the most successful theater composer in London, at Drury Lane (of nursery rhyme fame) and Covent Garden theaters.

His father did not approve of his musical proclivities as a child, and so young Thomas smuggled a spinet (a small harpsichord) into his room.  Using his handkerchief to muffle the sounds, he practiced while his family slept.  He would sneak into the opera, where he met composer Michael Festing who took an interest in the lad and taught him to play the violin.  Working in a lawyer's office, he formed the 18th century version of a garage band.  When his father caught him, Festing persuaded him to support his son't talent.

And quite a talent it was.  Like I said, you've heard his music.  Most commonly played no doubt is God Save The King, the UK national anthem.  Least commonly played is likely A Hunting We Will Go, which few don't hear as children.  But today's piece is the Royal Navy's unofficial theme.

Thomas Arne died on this day in 1778.


libertyman said...

Just back from Maine, skiing at Sugarloaf with wind chills -20 to -30 at the base. Are you missing New England down there?

Anyway, I sure didn't know about this guy and his music. There is something magnificent about a tune that makes you proud of your navy and is so instantly recognizable. Plus his other "hits".

Thanks as always for doing this!

Borepatch said...

libertyman, I sure don't miss that sort of cold. ;-)

c-90 said...

RN Got to shoot at the USS SALEM in the movie

And she's still around as a museum ship in Quincy,Mass.

However the RN has had bad luck with ship design:

Admiral Beatty at the Battle of Jutland, after 2 of the RN ships exploded "There seems to be something wrong with our Bloody ships today.."

RN's NEW Carriers:

And we won't mention that the ships will be commissioned WITHOUT RN squadrons, and MAY have USMC fighter squadrons aboard for a few years.

The mind boggles at MoD, RN, and Parliment..