From the Library: English Music for St George’s Day

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by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 24 April, 2010

Today in our series From the Library, we’re playing a wide selection of the music of England, broadly speaking from the Baroque era (with Thomas Arne, composer of Rule Britannia) to the end of the Second World War, featuring composers from Noël Coward to Delius, Vaughan Williams and Sir Arthur Bliss, in celebration of St George’s Day, 23 April (yesterday).

Now most people know, of course, that the historical St George has nothing much to do with England. He was born in Nicomedia, now part of Turkey, between about 275 and 285 AD and died on 23 April 303 AD. He is the patron saint of a good many places besides England, too, including Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal and Russia. The traditional legend tells of his encounter with a dragon (as shown here in Gustave Moreau’s painting). You can read about many aspects of St George in this Wikipedia article.

St George’s association with England goes back to the ninth century and during the reign of King Edward III (1327–1377), he became patron saint of the English monarchy (supplanting St Edmund) and associated with the values of chivalry and knighthood. Shakespeare contributed to embedding St George in the English psyche with the rallying cry in Henry V: “God for Harry, England and St George!” – and we will hear that today, along with a great deal more.

In addition, starting at 11am and 7pm Second Life Time, we’ll be bringing you the fifth parts of our two thrilling ZBS radio serials, The Fourth Tower of Inverness and Ruby. You can either listen to these on the stream at home or come and enjoy a cup of tea as we listen in the Clarendon Conservatory in New Babbage. (

From the Library is produced in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life, and today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. You can listen now at (To listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and if the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Wildstar April 24, 2010 at 03:57

wonderful program !
IO even went to buy some of the pieces I heard ! 🙂


Elrik Merlin April 24, 2010 at 05:13

Thank you! Always great to hear comments on the programming (especially if you enjoyed it 🙂 )


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