The best composer analyzes the “patriotic” song of one Great Britain that the government all wants …

The best composer analyzes the “patriotic” song of one Great Britain that the government all wants …


23 June 2021, 18:47

Analysis of the song “We are Britain”.

Image: OBON / YouTube

We asked a leading UK composer for his thoughts on ‘Strong Britain, Great Nation’, the new song the government wants flag-waving children to sing with pride …

Schoolchildren across the UK are invited by the government to sing a patriotic song to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on June 25, 2021.

The song is written by school children in Bradford, Yorkshire which is awesome. However, we do note that the song is officially recorded by two songwriters, which suggests that the songwriters worked to develop the piece with the students at the school and presumably shaped some of the musical elements that we will come back to later. .

The anthem begins with the words “We are Great Britain and we have a dream: to unite all the people in one great team”, followed by a song-like refrain which then repeats the phrase: “Great Britain. Brittany, the great nation ”.

Many on social media criticized the song as chauvinistic and suggested that the overall production and campaign sounded like government propaganda.

Anyway, why not listen to it before diving analytically into the music?

Leading composer reacts

Thomas Hewitt Jones is a British composer, organist and cellist, often heard on Classic FM. He begins his evaluation with high praise for the idea of ​​blackmailing children. “We all know that music and the arts should be accessible to everyone. At a time when music education is continually neglected in all areas, I am totally in favor of anything that uses songs and music in an educational setting, ”he says.

“However, I would say that the reason participation in music is considered elitist is that there is so much that is dumbed down. Because the popular music industry can be fickle, algorithm driven and Heavy with earworms, elementary school students need this opportunity to experience a wide variety of the most important aspects of music – those of the great soaring melody and emotional storytelling.

“If we look at the musical canon and what we all call great music, in all genres, has one of two things: clarity of emotion or rising melody. From Fauré and the Fugees, via Frozen, children do not need to be supervised.

Thomas Hewitt Jones performs in St John's Smith Square in London
Thomas Hewitt Jones performs in St John’s Smith Square in London.

Image: Classic FM

Musical analysis of ‘One Britain, One Nation’

The song is in C major, 4/4. Perhaps, no surprises here, although the official recording sounds much closer to D flat major.

Hewitt Jones notes that a “working” 4 bar intro leads directly to the 8 bar chorus that begins the song. The 4/4 drum beat continues throughout and the song’s harmonic Hanime rhythm is a 4 chord structure, chord change by measure.

“This harmonic and rhythmic structure is great, but it’s up to the melody to hook the listener to the song, and provide interest and direction. In this case, the melody of the choir winds up and down on the I-IV-II-V progression ”, notes our composer.

“The wording of the verse just seems a little hypocritical. Looks like the words have just been “bolted” onto the melody. For example, the verse ends with a low C (over the word “shores”) on an E minor chord, which seems odious to me in this harmonic context.

“The ‘Strong Britain, Great Nation’ coda is probably the most musically appealing part, due to the addition of a few sampled strings which add variation to the musical arrangement. In their performance, the children sing with great enthusiasm.

“Music and the arts must be accessible to all,” says the composer.

Image: Getty

Hewitt Jones says he thinks songwriters probably navigated the best they could through a difficult and restrictive file.

Our composer ended his assessment by returning to the importance of having music and singing in schools.

“The government can remove music from school budgets with minimal fuss. Yet it is vital, irreplaceable and one of the most important aspects of our culture and our humanity. This song, regardless of any political association, seems to be an imperfect and incomplete track, especially if we want to encourage song, expression and meeting in a creative moment.

“There is already so much great music that elementary school children can listen to, participate, play and sing, if only given the chance. ”

What are the lyrics to “Strong Britain Great Nation”?


We are Brittany
And we have a dream
To unite everyone in one big team (repeat)

Verse 1:

Our nation has survived many storms and many wars
We opened our doors and widened the shores of our island
We celebrate our differences with love in our hearts
United forever, never apart


Verse 2:

So many different races standing in one place
So many different faces, moving at the same pace
We are all united with pride in our hearts
United forever, never apart


Exit :

Great Britain, great nation
Great Britain, great nation
Great Britain, great nation
Great Britain, Great Na-a-tion.


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