Lilliburlero

Nov 20, 2011, 12:31 AM

The words: 'This is London'; followed by the strains of Lilliburlero, heard with all the distortion of medium or short wave transmission is a powerful sound.

'Lily', as they call it at the BBC, has been used as the World Service in English identification since November 21st 1955.

The melody was originally an Irish jig, which can be traced back as far as 1661. Its words changed across the years, and was even adopted as a marching tune for the Protestant troops.

In 1943, the tune was adopted by a BBC Home Service programme called 'Into Battle' and selected as the regimental march for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. It was later used by the BBC Chinese service, before being adopted by the English World Service. #WorldService