In Animal Farm, what is the importance of the song "Beasts of England"?

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The song is initially used as a tool to promote unity among the animals of Manor Farm, to inspire them and give them an opportunity to give voice to the oppression they feel under the rule of Mr. Jones, the farmer, and his family, people who exploit the animals' bodies...

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The song is initially used as a tool to promote unity among the animals of Manor Farm, to inspire them and give them an opportunity to give voice to the oppression they feel under the rule of Mr. Jones, the farmer, and his family, people who exploit the animals' bodies and labor for their own gain. After their successful rebellion, the song is sung to celebrate their new freedoms and encourage them in their continued work, now for themselves rather than the lazy humans. However, it does not take long after the rebellion against the humans for the three pigs who led the resistance to begin to separate themselves from the rest of the animals. After Napoleon runs Snowball off the farm, his motives become more clear to the reader, if not the animals. Eventually, the song is outlawed, probably to prevent the animals from realizing that they have simply traded oppression by the humans for oppression by the pigs. In order to discourage an animal rebellion against the pigs, Napoleon outlaws the song.

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"Beasts of England" is the song that Old Major teaches to the other animals. He claims that his parents sang it to him when he was young, although they only remembered the first three words; the song is instrumental in firing up the other animals in their pursuit of rebellion and freedom from humans. Like other parts of Old Major's philosophy, the song contains anti-human, pro-animal sentiment, and shows the strong collectivist slant that the animals initially adopt in the Laws of Animalism. Old Major gives the song a history, saying that he believes the same song was:

"...sung by the animals of long ago and... lost to memory for generations."
[...]
For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

The song is uniquely effective in promoting rebellion because it is easy to remember and sing collectively. The animals adopt it as their anthem and it remains part of their philosophy for a long time; eventually, Napoleon bans the song because it promotes rebellion against exactly the sort of dictatorship that he creates for his own power.

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This song is important first of all because it serves as the national anthemn of the animal's new domain. It incites them to rebellion, not just for Animal Farm but to countries beyond ("Beasts of England, Beast of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime...") The song unites them in purpose and gives them a vision of an animal utopia which is possible to attain if they perservere.

"Beasts of England" serves as the spark which ignites the match for the animal's revolt against Farmer Jones and, in a larger sense, is the ideological support for their revolution against man.

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