Beating The Retreat 2020: ‘Abide With Me’ Hymn Dropped From Tunes, Says Report

Beating the Retreat ceremony. (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi, January 15: The Union Defence Ministry has dropped a traditional Christian hymn — Abide with Me — from their list of tunes for this year’s Beating the Retreat ceremony. Considered to be one favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, the tune had been part of the hymns that were played at at the annual ceremony every year since 1950.

According to a report, published in The Hindu, the Defence Ministry has shunted ‘Abide With Me‘ tune from their list for Beating the Retreat ceremony. Confirming about the latest development, a senior official said, as quoted by the daily, “There is a review of tunes every year. There is an effort to introduce new tunes and an emphasis to add more Indian tunes.” Captain Tania Shergill Becomes First Woman to Lead All-Men Contingent During Army Day Parade, Here Are Some Facts About the Fourth Generation Army Officer. 

However, the senior Defence Ministry official said that Vande Mataram song hinted that it might find a place in the review list this time. Vande Mataram was also a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi. The senior official said, “There are few other new tunes as well including some Indian ones this time.”

It is to be known that each year about 30-35 tunes are played at the ceremony and the Defence Ministry reviews the sequence of these tunes with time to time, by adding new ones. Another official even claimed that for the past few years there has been an emphasis on replacing western tunes with Indian tunes. Abide with Me was written by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte and composed by William Henry Monk in the 19th century. It has been a part of the Beating The Retreat ceremony which is performed every year on the evening of January 29 at Vijay Chowk in the national capital.

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