Instrumentals we love, part fifteen: And now, for the shipping forecast…

“Sailing By” by Ronald Binge | Now, a particularly geeky entry, thanks to yesterday’s post. “Sailing By” is, more or less, a British institution. At a quarter before one every morning, BBC Radio 4 plays this song, as a sort of buffer between the program before, and the Shipping Forecast, a comprehensively entrancing weather report for those on the open seas. (For sailors, the song’s also a tool: when you hear this, you know you’re in the right place.) These reports also happen at other points in the day, but the 00.48 forecast – coupled with “Sailing By” – has taken on some sentimental value: the song, and the delivery of the report itself, has aided millions of Brits to sleep. And fond childhood memories, too. (Here’s one example, from 1993.) The piece itself was composed by Ronald Binge, a former arranger for Mantovani who decided he’d rather make his own compositions, in 1963. Not many probably know that name now, but if you fell asleep to this, well, job done. (I’ve never had that experience, despite the whole online thing, because this happens at seven in the morning for me, and falling asleep at the time is ludicrous.) [NB]


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