'The Captain Cook March' was a companion piece for the patriotic song 'Advance Australia Fair', which was adopted as the Australian national anthem in 1984. The booklet's cover features a lithographic print of the statue of Captain James Cook in Hyde Park, Sydney designed by Thomas Woolner. Sheet music was a way to commemorate public events and build patriotism. The official unveiling of the statue by Governor Sir Hercules Robinson on 25 February 1879 was a significant event in the colony of NSW.
SignificanceCaptain Cook's statue in Hyde Park was designed to commemorate Australia's past and new beginnings as a British colony. Printed in Australia the 'Captain Cook March' illustrates how music encouraged national pride, patriotism and identity in the late 19th century.
HistoryCaptain Cook’s statue in Hyde Park, Sydney was erected to commemorate his exploration of the Australian east coast in 1770, an event that later encouraged the British Government to send Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet to Botany Bay in 1788. The 'Captain Cook March' was performed to the tune of Advance Australia Fair during the unveiling of Thomas Woolner's statue. The words of the piece are unknown except for the brief line 'England, England Glorious Land'. Cook's statue was an important symbol in the emerging colony of NSW, paying tribute to Australia's British past and current government. Its unveiling on 25 February 1879 was a significant event with souvenirs such as sheet music produced to coincide with the public ceremony.