World in Union

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"World in Union", with lyrics by Charlie Skarbek, is a theme song for the Rugby World Cup that attempts to capture the spirit of international friendship which pervades rugby union culture the world over.

The melody is "Thaxted" — the stately theme from the middle section of "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity", a movement from Gustav Holst’s "The Planets", and was originally adapted by Holst for its use in the English/Anglican patriotic hymn, “I Vow to Thee My Country”.

The song was commissioned by the International Rugby Board (at that time the International Rugby Football Board), the sport's governing body, in 1991 and it has now become synonymous with the "gathering of the nations" that the four-yearly tournament represents.

Recording history[edit]

The song has been sung by famous artists at a number of the opening ceremonies of Rugby World Cup tournaments (Some have subsequently been released as singles):

A number of interpretations of the song have been recorded, sometimes with small variations to the lyrics or different languages.

Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel version[edit]

"World in Union"
Single by Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel
from the album Land of My Fathers
Released 1999
Format CD single
Recorded 1999
Genre Vocal, Classical, Opera
Length 3.45
Label Decca
Writer(s) Gustav Holst, Charlie Skarbek
Producer(s) Charlie Skarbek

This version was released by Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel in 1999. The song was performed live by both artists at the opening of the series in June 1999, Miss Bassey famously wearing a gown designed on the Welsh flag. Three versions are featured on the CD single: a duet from Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel, Shirley Bassey's solo version and finally a version which features the choirs only. The duet version is performed partially in Welsh by Bryn Terfel. The official video was filmed at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. and featured various other Welsh landscapes. The single marked a rare return to the UK singles chart for Bassey, it reached #35[1] in October 1999.

UK 3 track maxi CD single

  1. "World in Union" (Duet: Bryn Terfel & Shirley Bassey — 3.42
  2. "World in Union" (Shirley Bassey) — 3.45
  3. "World in Union" (Welsh Mountain Mix) — 3.45

Personnel

  • Shirley Bassey — Vocal (tracks 1 and2)
  • Bryn Terfel — Vocal (track 1)
  • The Black Mountain Male Chorus — Choir (all tracks)
  • The Morriston Rugby Club Choir — Choir (all tracks)
  • Robert Fardell and Charlie Skarbek — Backing singers (track 2)
  • The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchesta — Orchestra
  • Llio Rhydderch — Welsh triple harp
  • Troy DonockleyUilleann pipes
  • David Thomas — Drums
  • http://terlbryant.com/ — Percussion
  • Simon Hale — Orchestral arrangements
  • Tim Rhys-Evans and D. Huw Rees — Choral arrangements

Hayley Westenra version[edit]

"World in Union"
Single by Hayley Westenra
from the album World in Union : The Rugby World Cup 2011 (The Official Album)
Released August 26, 2011
Format CD single, Digital Download
Recorded 2011
Genre Vocal, Classical, Opera
Length 3.20
Label Decca
Writer(s) Gustav Holst, Charlie Skarbek

The official album of Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand was launched on 9 August by Christchurch soprano Hayley Westenra. It is released by Universal Music on August 26 and is available on CD and at iTunes and other digital providers,[2][3] features 22 tracks recorded by some world renowned classical artists. Westenra had not only recorded the song in English and Maori, as heard on this album, but also in Italian, French and Japanese.[4][5][6] It got No. 1 album position on the Classical Compilation Albums Chart of Official Charts as well as the Classic FM chart after releasing in UK.[7][8]

The Official Album track listing

  1. World In Union - Hayley Westenra
  2. Swing Low '99 - Arr. C. Skarbek/ T.R. Evans - Russell Watson, Royal Choral Society
  3. Land of My Fathers - Fron Male Voice Choir
  4. Ireland's Call - Brian Kennedy, Paul Byrom
  5. Scottish Medley - Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
  6. Jerusalem - The Coldstream Guards Band, Alfie Boe
  7. Glorious - Mary-Jess
  8. Now's The Time - Luigi Corvi
  9. Calon Lan - Katherine Jenkins
  10. O Verona - Only Men Aloud
  11. Pokarekare Ana - Hayley Westenra, Francois Rive, Robbie McIntosh, Metro Voices, Te Tau Choir, Jenny O'Grady, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ian Dean
  12. Waltzing Matilda - André Rieu, Mirusia Louwerse
  13. We'll keep a welcome - Bryn Terfel, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Gareth Jones, The Black Mountain Choir, The Risca Choir
  14. Nkosi Sikelel'i Afrika - Kenyan Boys Choir
  15. Men of Harlech - Fron Male Voice Choir
  16. God Defend New Zealand - Hayley Westenra
  17. The Fields Of Athenry - Mairead Carlin
  18. Cwm Rhondda - Bryn Terfel, Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Gareth Jones, The Black Mountain Choir, The Risca Choir
  19. La Marseillaise - Roberto Alagna
  20. Swing Low - All Angels
  21. World In Union (English / Maori) - Hayley Westenra
  22. Kakari (Haka 2011) - Qube

Invictus[edit]

World in Union features in the movie Invictus which is based on the events surrounding the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. The original 1995 World Cup recording by PJ Powers and Ladysmith Black Mambazo is used at the end of the final match. A second recording made for the movie by Overtone and Yollandi Nortjie is played during the closing credits.

Other singers[edit]

Kamahl (Australia)
Roberto Alagna (France)
Katherine Jenkins (Wales)
Russell Watson (England)
Lesley Garrett (England)
Aled Jones (Wales)
All Angels (England)
Vittorio Grigolo (Italy)
Jonathan Ansell (England)
Will Martin (New Zealand)
Rhydian Roberts (Wales)
RyanDan (Canada)
Blake (England)
Elin Manahan Thomas (Wales)
Tommy Fleming (Ireland)
Nicky Spence (Scotland)
The Ten Tenors (Australia)
Deborah Cheetham (Australia)
Danielle de Niese (Australia)
Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shirley Bassey And Bryn Terfel - World In Union". Chart Stats. 1999-10-23. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  2. ^ "World In Union (English): Hayley Westenra: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  3. ^ "World In Union (Maori): Hayley Westenra: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Official RWC 2011 Site - Official RWC 2011 album launched". Rugbyworldcup.com. 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  5. ^ "World in Union :- The Rugby World Cup 2011 (The Official Album) - Various Artists". Marbecks. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  6. ^ Herridge, Colin. "World in Union: Rugby World Cup, 2011- The Official Album: Various Artists: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  7. ^ "Classical Compilation Albums Archive". theofficialcharts.com. 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  8. ^ "On air | This Week's Top 40 - 24 September". Classic FM. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 

External links[edit]