In the past few days, there has been a controversy about whether the tune ‘Abide With Me’, which is a part of the Beating Retreat celebrations that take place post-Republic Day, would be played this year or not
- The song ‘Abide With Me’ was written by Henry Francis Lyte, a Scottish poet, and hymnologist, in 1847. The tune became popular in the trenches during World War I.
- In India, the tune achieved significance after it was propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. At Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, it remains a part of the ‘Ashram Bhajanavali’, alongside bhajans like “Vaishnav jan toh”, “Raghupati Raghav raja ram”, and “Lead kindly light”.
- The tune is sung in church choirs and educational institutions. Abroad, the hymn is sung at military services in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK.
- In India, this Christian hymn has been played as the concluding piece of the Beating Retreat ceremony – which takes place after Republic Day on January 29 – every year at Vijay Chowk, since 1950.
Source : Indian Express