African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Coronation March

The song celebrates the coronation of British monarch King George VI and was originally composed in 1937. In 1939 it was republished as the last of 32 songs in Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika ka J.P. Mohapeloa: Buka ea Bobeli [African Songs and Extemporary Harmonizations by J.P. Mohapeloa: Book II]. In the 1955 reprint of the 2nd edition of Meloli II some words were altered to mark a new coronation, that of British Queen Elizabeth II, which had occurred in 1953. In later life, Mohapeloa adapted the song to new words in Sesotho, calling it ‘Lesotho Lefa la Rōna’ (Lesotho Our Heritage). The colonial traces in the music of the first section are somewhat upstaged in what Mohapeloa calls the ‘Coda’ of Coronation March, which hints at barbershop harmony. Coronation March is the longest song in Meloli II, lasting nearly five minutes in performance.



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