It’s Graduation Time all over America — actually, it has been for a few weeks now, since colleges tend to graduate students in May and high schools send their charges out into the world with a piece of paper in June. And that means that the Graduation Tune is getting played a lot. Everybody knows it as “Pomp and Circumstance”, but the whole thing is actually Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D, and there’s a lot more going on in that march than just the famous “Bring on the graduates!” tune. Here’s the entire thing, as played by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.
Incidentally, in his book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Daniel C. Dennett suggests that the following would be, by its tune and character, an even more appropriate musical accompaniment for academic commencements, if not for the associations of its lyrics. It is, after all, titled “Behold the Lord High Executioner!”
I, of course, think that this ought to be used for all such occasions, but nobody ever asks me:
Congrats, grads! I hope the world’s prospects improve for you, and soon.
My daughter is graduating this month and she'd be just fine with your choice for a procession theme.