The 2011 Rugby World Cup

The 2011 Rugby World Cup is under-way and brings back many Bassey memories of the 1999 World Cup where Shirley sang World In Union to millions of sports fans all over the world.
To commemorate this year’s event there is a new compilation which features Dame Shirley’s Get The Party Started. Watch the commercial here:

And now we go back to 1999

World In Union
Written by Holst / Skarbek, Welsh Lyrics by Sioned James

Released in 1999 on the various artists album Land Of My Fathers and on the World In Union Single. The duet version with Bryn Terfel has also been released on some collections including the 2003 CD album Thank you for the Years.

This song was the official theme song of the Rugby World Cup 1999 in Wales. Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel performed it together during the world cup opening ceremony on 1st October 1999 in the new rugby stadium in Cardiff filled with thousands of people and aired world-wide. They mimed to a backing track, and performed it once again on November 6th before the final game of the Rugby World Cup.

Some days before the opening ceremony Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel offered the song to the public by miming to it in a British TV broadcast. On the single there is also a version with Shirley Bassey only, without Bryn Terfel which, of course, many Shirley Bassey fans prefer. The single reached number 35 in the British single charts and the album Land Of My Fathers with two more tracks by Shirley Bassey reached No. 1 in the British album charts.

Shirley Bassey was the star at the rugby world cup opening ceremony. She wore a sparkly oblong sack-dress fashioned from a big Welsh flag.

On the sleeve note for the Thank You For The Years album Shirley says “I was honoured to be asked to record this anthem to the Rugby World Cup in 1999, with the gorgeous Bryn Terfel. We performed at the opening ceremony at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium and is an unforgettable moment in my career.”

The song is originally from the Jupiter in the Planet suite and has previously been sung by Kiri te Kanawa amongst others.
On the CD are 3 songs by Dame Shirley Bassey: 1. World in union, 2.Abide with me, 3. We’ll keep a welcome.

Below some pictures, newspaper articles and 2 videos. One is the video for ‘World in union’ and a video of Dame Shirley and Bryn rehearsing which most of you probably haven’t seen before (special thanks to Susan)

For the video CLICK HERE

For the video of the rehearsal CLICK HERE

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