Did you see the Manx National Anthem post earlier this week got a response all the way from Australia!!!!
And from Dollin Kelly in the Isle of Man:
Your blog readers might find this interesting. These are notes I wrote some years ago when closing a local concert:
“Do you ever wonder why the Manx National Anthem is printed on the back of the Guild (Manx Music Festival) programme each year. I daresay most of the Guild committee have no idea how or why the tradition came about. BUT if it were not for the Guild we wouldn’t have a Manx National Anthem. I’ll explain.
There have been various songs put forward for consideration as the Manx National Anthem. The one we shall all sing tonight, with the air adapted from the traditional Manx tune Mylecharaine and the words by W. H. Gill, has now become established as the anthem of the Manx people. However, a commentator in a Manx paper of 1908, when opinion was still divided as to which piece should be chosen for the anthem, suggested that Ellan Vannin, written more than 50 years before by an English woman in 1854, was certainly a fine enough song to be considered, and that a new song with words by ‘Cushag’, and the traditional Manx air of Illiam Dhone harmonized by Miss M. L. Wood should also be considered.
With reference to Gill’s anthem the writer said, “It may be doubted whether this ‘national anthem’ has met with the success hoped for, for there are not lacking people who declare that the music has gained nothing by the alteration [from the minor to the major key], and that the words are too futile even for comparison with those of the poem (?) which does duty in England [God Save the King].”
Gill’s anthem had been published that year in the programme of the Manx Music Festival, and the writer suggested that, in fairness, Cushing’s anthem should also appear in the programme to give the public a chance of deciding. However, it seems that the festival committee chose to continue to print Gill’s anthem each year, and it has consequently, by tacit agreement with the Manx public, become the Manx National Anthem.”
Note: We are trying to find the words that “almost” became the MNA.