Monday, 26 February 2018

Animal Farm : A Review, Part Two —by George Odok


26 February 2018 

THE SONG, BEASTS OF ENGLAND

"Beasts of England", the original anthem of the Animal Farm corresponds to the famous socialist anthem, The Internationale, but also alludes to Shelley's Men of England.

In the book, the pig Old Major explains his dream of an animal-controlled society three nights before his death. Also, the book says that the tune of Beasts Of England is "a cross between La Cucaracha and Oh, My Darling Clementine."

Alternate melodies: "Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee" or "Come Thou Fount of every Blessing" or "Ebenezer".

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the Golden future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well, and spread my tidings
Of the Golden future time.

The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement. The animals sing "Beasts of England" frequently after the rebellion, especially after meetings. At one point when Clover the horse questions the direction of Animal Farm, she sings "Beasts of England" which causes the other animals to join in. The song's tune is described in the novel as sounding like a combination of " La Cucaracha "and" Oh My Darling, Clementine".

After "Beasts of England" has been used to express criticism of the direction of Animal Farm, Napoleon tries to supplant the song, arguing that such an anthem is antiquated and no longer needed after the rebellion has been completed.



George Odok
Is a journalist with NAN 



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