Ives Set

Why did Charles Ives use the UK National Anthem for his America Variations?


He didn't. The tune known as 'God save the queen/king' was also in use as':

1) The tune to the hymn 'My country, 'tis of thee' (America) in the USA.
2) The national anthem of Liechtenstein.

Tunes can often be shared for different purposes in different countries. Ives set the American hymn 'America', which just happened to share its tune with the British (and Liechtenstein) national anthem.

To this day, Great Britain and Liechtenstein share the tune of their national anthem (obviously with different words). A few years ago there was an international football match between England and Liechtenstein. The same anthem was played twice - once for each country (although, strictly speaking, England should NOT use the anthem of the UK).

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