In "Animal Farm", why was Old Major so respected and why are the animals so excited about singing 'The Beasts of England' ?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Old Major was respected for many reasons.  One, he was old and the elder animals were held in reverance.  He was twelve years old...but he was still majestic-looking...

Major is also very wise.  He has called the meeting to "pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired" to his "comrades".  When Major speaks, he truly does speak with equality in mind for all animals...down to the rats.

He makes it clear that life is not easy and that every animal will face harsh reality eventually, but that their lives would be much easier if they "only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own."

Major is the one who originally wrote the commandments, and he taught the song, "Beasts of England" which is a truly one of brotherhood and equality for all animals.  They are excited to sing the song since it promises a utopia of sorts, but through all the calls for equality (are the rats comrades?--yes, all animals are comrades, all men are enemies) that the "perfect" animal society will not become a reality.