To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday in 2016, the monarch had a number of special requests on her party playlist. A long-standing penchant for musicals as many made their way from Broadway to London’s West End in the 1940s – all from Oklahoma! and Anne take your gun-the Queen’s musical tastes also covered the great bands of the 1930s and 1940s like Lester Lanin and World War II melodies of the era to the hit Fred Astaire written by Irving Berlin in 1951 and songs honoring the Commonwealth , including Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band’s ‘Sing’, written for its Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and featuring the Military Wives Choir.
Whether she’s giving a nod to the band that used their namesake title while tapping out Queen’s anthem “We Will Rock You” during their platinum jubilee celebration or dancing to a disco classic, if there is. had a more extensive playlist curated by the Queen, it would have revealed that the Sovereign’s musical preferences criss-crossed genres even further.
Here is a collection of songs that the late Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed years before her reign and until its end.
1. “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven” (1834)
Written by Henry Francis Lyte
The Queen loved and admired the Christian hymn “Praise, my soul, the king of heaven”, originally written by Anglican clergyman Henry Francis Lyte and first published in 1834. Taken from Psalm 103, the song has was first published in Lyte’s publication The Spirit of the Psalms, which were used in his Southern England congregation. Later set to music by John Goss in 1868, the anthem was performed at the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, along with her other favorite anthem “The Lord’s My Shepherd”.
More recently, soprano Alexandra Stevenson performed ‘Praise my soul, the King of Heaven’ at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy to honor Her Majesty during the Platinum Jubilee.
2. “Leaning on a lampost”, George Formby (1937)
Written by Noel Gay
Created in 1937 Beautify your nest by Val Rosing and George Formby, it was the latter performer’s only recording for Regal Zonophone Records that would make the song popular. The Queen was such a fan of Formby, a British comedian who would knock out lighter tunes in the 1930s and 1940s, that she was inspired to become president of the George Formby Appreciation Society, according to Gyles Brandreth, a friend of the royal family family. At one point, the Queen even received a letter from the George Formby Society asking her to be its president.
A correspondence secretary told the Queen that ‘you are the head of the armed forces, the head of the Church of England, I don’t think you can be president of the George Formby Appreciation Society,’ Brandreth said , to which Her Majesty replied, “Well, I see it, but you see I love George Formby. … I know all his songs and I can sing them.
Established in 1961 after the death of the popular performer, the George Formby Society has over 1,200 members worldwide and annual conventions that still continue in Blackpool, England.
3. “The White Cliffs of Dover”, Dame Vera Lynn (1942)
Written by Nat Burton
As a teenager when the Second World War first broke out, and still a few years before taking the throne in 1952, following the death of her father, King George IV, war songs always had a special resonance with the Queen. . “(There Will Be Blue Birds) The White Cliffs of Dover” was a particular song the Queen requested for her 90th birthday. Originally composed by Walter Kent and written by Nat Burton in 1941, the song was made famous as a World War II tune by Vera Lynn in 1942. Burton wrote the song a year after the Royal Air German Luftwaffe forces and aircraft fought in southern England, including the White Cliffs of Dover, during the Battle of Britain. By 1941 Nazi Germany had already occupied much of Europe and was still bombing Britain.
In 1969 Lynn, who died in 2020 aged 103, would be made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1975.
4. “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)”, from Annie take your gun (1946) Composed by Irving Berlin
Already a fan of Howard Keel’s production of “Oklahoma!” The namesake of the show which traveled from Broadway to London’s West End in the 1940s, another classic musical still etched in the Queen’s memory. Composed by Irving Berlin for the 1946 show Anne take your gun, the thrilling “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” plays during a marksmanship contest between the characters of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. First performed by Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton, it was Dolores Gray and Bill Johnson’s 1947 rendition that made its way to the London Coliseum, which was a favorite of the Queen.
5. “Sweet Caroline”, Neil Diamond (1969)
Written by Neil Diamond
During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in 2022, in honor of her 70-year career, Rod Stewart, who was knighted by the Queen in 2016, was asked to perform a Neil Diamond classic. First singing her 1973 song “Baby Jane”, Stewart then broke into Diamond’s 1969 anthem “Sweet Caroline”, a song personally requested by the 96-year-old Queen. “The BBC said, ‘Rod, we need you to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’, it’s the Queen’s favourite, you gotta sing it,” Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster, who also has served as a special constable to the City of London Police during the Jubilee, following his performance. “[He] didn’t really have a choice. »
Although the Queen did not attend Stewart’s live performance at the Platinum Party concert at the Palace, which also included performances from the Queen, Diana Ross and Ed Sheeran, the Royal Family – Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Prince George, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte waved their Union Jack flags as they sang the “Sweet Caroline” chants from so good, so good, and bah bah bah.
6. “Dancing Queen”, ABBA (1976)
Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson
The most fitting title for a ‘Dancing Queen’, after dinner at Windsor Castle, making Her Majesty smile and head to the dance floor and dance to the 1976 hit ABBA.
“I always try to dance when this song starts,” the queen reportedly said, “because I’m the queen and I love to dance.”
seven. “We’ll Rock You”, Queen (1977)
Written by Brian May
Apparently Queen Elizabeth II liked Queen’s 1977 classic more than anyone expected. Kicking off the platinum jubilee, the Queen recorded a skit featuring British children’s fictional character Paddington Bear and closed the skit with the two tapping their teacups to the opening drumbeats of ‘We Will Rock You’.
“Of course it was wonderful because our part was preceded by the Queen herself talking to Paddington Bear and then doing the little We Will Rock You [clink clink] on his cup of tea,” Queen drummer Roger Taylor said of Queen’s nod to Queen. “It was fantastic.”
Queen guitarist Brian May, who pitched the idea, added: “I asked for this. I said, “Would the queen touch her” and they didn’t give us an answer. And we didn’t know that until the day before. They said, “Oh, we could get someone from Royal to do that for you.”
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