Rule Britannia has been denounced for its ties to colonialism and slavery in its lyrics – and classified as controversial in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. When Britain first rose from the azure Hand on the Order of Heaven; It was the charter of the land, and the guardian angels sang this tribe: “Lordship, Britannia! dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves.” Nations that are not as noble as you must in turn be victims of tyrants; As you prosper great and free, fear and envy of all. “Lordship, Britannia! dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves.” Thou shalt rise more majestically, more terrible, at every strange blow; Like the strong explosion that tears the sky, serves only to root your native oak. “Lordship, Britannia! Dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves. “Thou haughty tyrant shall never tame thyself: all their attempts to prostrate thee will only awaken thy generous flame; But work on their suffering and your fame. “Lordship, Britannia! dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves.” The rural rule is yours; Your cities will shine with commerce; All of yours will be the main topic, and every shore surrounds you. “Lordship, Britannia! dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves.” The Muses, still at large, will repair your happy shore; Most blessed island! Crowned with incomparable beauty, And male hearts to guard the fair. “Lordship, Britannia! dominating the waves: “The British will never be slaves.” In a twist, the BBC has decided that the song – which has sparked controversy over its references to slavery – should be sung when the Proms air this year. It was originally suggested that the BBC might drop the patriotic anthem because of its perceived links to colonialism and slavery. The anthem of Last Night of the Proms goes to the heart of what a multicultural Britain really means. The song was originally Alfred`s last musical number, a mask on Thomas Arne`s Alfred the Great, co-written by James Thomson and David Mallet and premiered on 1 August 1740 in Cliveden, the country estate of Frederick, Prince of Wales.  Maurice Willson Disher notes that the change from “Britannia, rule the waves” to “Britannia rules the waves” took place in the Victorian era, at a time when the British dominated the waves and no longer needed to be reprimanded to dominate them. Disher also notes that the Victorians changed “will” to “must” in the line “The British will never be slaves.”  The first public performance of “Rule, Britannia!” took place in London in 1745 and immediately became very popular for a nation attempting to expand and “dominate the waves.” Indeed, since the 15th and 16th centuries, the dominant advances in exploration in other countries have encouraged Britain to do the same.
This was the age of discovery, when Spain and Portugal were the European pioneers and began to build empires. This prompted England, France and the Netherlands to do the same. They colonized and established trade routes in America and Asia. The song contains many symbols of colonialism and racism – especially in the chorus: “Rule, Britannia! Control the waves, the British will never be slaves. The song has military ties, particularly with the Royal Navy, as evidenced by the words “Britannia, rule the waves”. At the time it appeared, the song was not a celebration of an existing state of naval affairs, but an admonition. Although the Dutch Republic, which posed a major challenge to English naval power in the 17th century, clearly passed its peak in 1745, Britain did not yet “dominate the waves,” although arguably the words referred to the alleged Spanish aggression against British merchant ships that caused the war. The time would come when the Royal Navy would be an undisputed dominant force on the oceans. The humorous texts of the mid-18th century were to take on a material and patriotic meaning by the end of the 19th century. Interest groups have been complaining about these songs for years. In the wake of Black Lives Matter, the protests have gotten stronger. This year`s global Covid-19 excuse is also being used.
Apparently, the large number of players needed to make the right noise could make the virus fly through Albert Hall. The song “Rule, Britannia!” as we know it today began as a poem co-written by pre-romantic Scottish poet and playwright James Thomson (1700-48) and David Mallet (1703-1765), originally Malloch. He was also a Scottish poet, but less well known than Thomson. The English composer Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778) then composed the music, originally for the mask “Alfred”, on Alfred the Great. Masks were a popular form of entertainment in 16th and 17th century England, with verses and, unsurprisingly, masks! The first performance of this mask took place on 1 August 1740 at Cliveden House in Maidenhead. The British people value their freedom. Many of them like to celebrate it with the traditional songs of freedom. If the BBC has difficulty with this, what does it understand about the people from whom it collects the fee? The song`s original lyrics changed with fluctuations in British power; “Britannia, rule the waves” later became “Britannia rules the waves” in Victorian times because Britain really ruled the waves! The famous phrase “The sun never sets in the British Empire” seems at first simply full of hope and emotion, always radiant and successful. However, it was struck because Britain had colonized so many parts of the world that the sun must be shining on at least one of them! Thou shalt rise still more majestic, terrible, terrible with every stranger, more terrible with every stranger; Like the strong explosion, the explosion that tears the sky, only serves to root your native oak. Dominate Britannia! Britannia dominates the waves: “The British will never, ever, ever be slaves.” The “triangular trade” meant that ships from Britain were loaded with goods traded on West African coasts for Africans enslaved by local rulers.