Letter: Samba anthem

Sir: One can understand - and deride - the thoughts of "multiculturality" that gave rise to the hare-brained idea of playing "God Save the Queen" to a samba rhythm on Millennium Night (Leading article, 5 November).

But what made the BBC play the notes of the venerable Greenwich Time Signal (a series of Bs) interspersed with habanera drumming to introduce its revamped television news? Not only that, but to read the headlines - often of death and destruction - over this wholly frivolous noise?

On the other hand, messing about with the National Anthem is nothing new. The post-Waterloo unrest made one composer produce a version in two keys simultaneously (G major and C major), presumably to portray the social divisions of the time; and also a version that went in perfect counterpoint with a popular song, "The Times are Hard", referring to the hated new income tax.

I doubt whether Jools Holland's efforts will survive as social history.

FRITZ SPIEGL

Liverpool

Comments