Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Elizabeth - songs and music for the virgin queen

Like any subject, you can make links from History to other areas you may study or have an interest in - including music!

Click here and you'll hear some music designed as a tribute to Elizabeth I (autoplays), and you can read about it too...

Click here to find out about the oldest known song about her.

The Guardian newspaper (a UK broadsheet or 'quality') asked its readers for songs about queens - click here to see what they came up with...

The current Queen Elizabeth (II, but actually QE I of Scotland) will be familiar with this song, the national anthem of the UK (but the different national teams of Scotland and Wales usually play different anthems at sporting events), which raises the monarch above every other person in the kingdom, and is like a prayer offered for his or her protection.

In singing it, you are agreeing to be subject to their rule, and accepting their superior status, based on the family they were born into - a principal that helped inform Elizabeth's decision to resist pressure to hand Mary over to the angry Scots; that would have risked the populace seeing monarchs as replaceable and subject to overthrow.

The British national anthem is controversial today with some Scots as it contains lines celebrating the English army killing Scots, and causes some divides with some of the Welsh and Northern Irish too (read this Daily Mail report on the anthem being blanked by some in the 2012 Olympics football team). The history of how the 'British' nations became unified, a process which Elizabeth advanced with her much firmer grip on Ireland, is certainly reflected in today's national anthem.
This Daily Telegraph article highlights some concerns with the anthem, linking back to its historical roots. Elizabeth's cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, would not have been happy with the lines on the Scots!
The anthem remains a very sensitive issue:
Article from The Independent.

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