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Christian hymn ‘Abide with me’ back on list of Beating Retreat tunes

A file picture of defence band performing at 'Beating Retreat' at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.

A file picture of defence band performing at 'Beating Retreat' at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

It is believed to have been a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi.

The traditional Christian hymn ‘Abide with me’ that is believed to have been a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi is back on the list of tunes for this year’s Beating Retreat ceremony. The tune was played at the annual ceremony every year since 1950.

“Yes, the tune will be played this year,” a defence official confirmed on Thursday.

Two weeks back, the Defence Ministry dropped it from the tunes to be played this year and officials said it was part of an “annual review to introduce new tunes”. However, the move drew sharp criticism from various quarters. 

There are about 30-35 tunes played at the ceremony, some of which are changed but ‘Abide with me’ was always there.

The hymn was written in the 19th century by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte and composed by William Henry Monk.

Beating Retreat is performed every year on the evening of January 29 at Vijay Chowk in the national capital, marking the end of the Republic Day celebrations.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:03:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/christian-hymn-abide-with-me-back-on-list-of-beating-retreat-tunes/article30632158.ece

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