During Friday’s opening ceremonies to the London 2012 Olympic Games, Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé performed the traditional English hymn “Abide With Me” as part of a segment that featured choreography by Akram Khan. Though not explicitly billed as such, Khan’s piece was widely interpreted as a tribute to the victims of the London’s 7/7 terror attacks, in which 52 people perished and others were injured just a day after England was awarded the games in 2005. (The connection is borne out by the number of dancers featured, exactly 52, including Khan and a 9-year-old boy.)
In the U.S. however, this moving sequence was inexplicably edited out of NBC’s time-delayed primetime broadcast, replaced by a Ryan Seacrest interview with swimmer Michael Phelps. Not surprisingly, that decision has earned the Peacock network some ire. Learning of the switch, Khan responded, “I was really shocked and horrified and would like to know on what grounds the American media can make that decision.”
Really, what was NBC was thinking? Thankfully in our connected age, we can quickly seek out what was cut. (Well, for those viewers made aware that something was missing, surely a minority of the record-setting 40.7 million people who tuned in that night.)
During a recent visit to Los Angeles, Sandé stopped by the legendary Capitol Records studios to record a one-take, one-camera version of “Abide With Me.” The video was released on Saturday following the rising talent’s Olympics debut, and the song is included on Isles Of Wonder, the official soundtrack to the opening ceremonies.
Be sure to check out Sandé’s debut album, Our Version Of Events, out now.