Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney will close out the Olympics Games opening ceremony with a performance of Hey Jude – and he’ll ask the stadium’s 60,000 spectators to sing along with him.
One billion people are expected to tune in to watch the spectacular three-hour show, which is being directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle and is costing £27 million to produce.
The largest harmonically tuned bell in the world will ring to mark the start of the ceremony at 9pm on July 27 – and the pop legend will bring it to a rousing finale at midnight.
McCartney prompted rumors Hey Jude was on his Olympics set list last month when he reportedly refused to perform the song at the Queen’s Jubilee concert.
Sources now confirm to the Sunday Times the song will mark the end of the ceremony later this month.
They have also revealed a darker side to Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder spectacular – named after a line in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
As well as a ‘green and pleasant land’ celebrating Britain’s rolling fields and rural heritage – the show will include a ‘History Parade’ celebrating the NHS, immigration and protest movements, and shining a light on the country’s darker past.
The green set will transform into a bleak industrial landscape and performers will recreate the Jarrow march of 1936, when 200 men walked to London to protest poverty and unemployment in the north east.
There will also be a tribute to the suffragette movement, led by an actress portraying Emmeline Pankhust.
And a celebration of Windrush of 1948, when West Indians sailed to Britain in search of a new life – played out to a calypso soundtrack.
Britain’s National Health Service will also be honoured by a parade of real nurses pushing hospital beds around the arena.
And there’s room in the show for a tribute to the Beatles, as performers dressed in Sgt Pepper-inspired military uniforms fill the inside of the stadium.
A detailed soundtrack will accompany each performance, changing as the ‘History Parade’ progresses to the present day, including an all-female urban dance group, who’ll perform the background music as a group of BMX bikers recreate stunts.
One highlight is expected to be the appearance of five Olympic rings which will converge and burst into flames in a spectacular pyrotechnic display – before Sir Paul McCartney closes the event with a performance of Hey Jude.
There will be three final rehearsals for the opening ceremony in the Olympic stadium the week before the Games, featuring up to 60,000 people, including 900 schoolchildren.
The volunteer performers are not being paid but will receive travel and food costs, and officials have sent out letters warning those taking part not to divulge any information about what they are doing.
Such is the pressure to get the ceremony perfect that officials have warned that any children unable to make every practice session will be prevented from performing.
The opening ceremony, which will be attended by 60,000 spectactors inside Stratford’s Olympic Stadium, including the Queen, is due to begin at 9pm on July 27.
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Danny Boyle has promised the animal welfare group PETA he will vigorously pursue finding sanctuaries for the animals that will star in his Green and Pleasant land component of the Games opening ceremony spectacular.
The 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, and 70 sheep will be spared the abattoir after their starring roles before the crowd of 80,000 and a worldwide audience of four billion, following in the footsteps of another film director Chris Noonan who saved the 48 piglets used in making Babe.
Unlike the marketing of other Games property such as the Olympic torches, there won’t be any sales of opening ceremony lamb or duck. Boyle has also promised genuine care of his animals, saying they will feature only in the very beginning of the show during daylight hours and will leave the stadium shortly after the 9pm start and before any large or noisy effects take place.
2012 Olympics Opening Day Ceremony Song List
The song list for the opening ceremony on July 27th has been leaked and it includes:
The Jam – ‘Going Underground’
Muse – ‘Map of the Problematique’
Sex Pistols – ‘God Save the Queen’
The Clash – ‘London Calling’
Elgar – ‘Nimrod’
Sugababes – ‘Push the Button’
OMD – ‘Enola Gay’
David Rose – ‘The Stripper’
Rizzle Kicks – ‘When I Was a Youngster’
Eric Clapton – ‘Wonderful Tonight’
The Who – ‘My Generation’
The Rolling Stones – ‘Satisfaction’
Millie Small – ‘My Boy Lollipop’
The Kinks – ‘All Day and All of the Night’
The Beatles – ‘She Loves You’
David Bowie – ‘Starman’
Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Sex Pistols – ‘Pretty Vacant’
Duran Duran – ‘The Reflex’
New Order – ‘Blue Monday’
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – ‘Relax’
Soul II Soul – ‘Back To Life’
Happy Mondays – ‘Step On’
Eurythmics – ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Prodigy – ‘Firestarter’
Adele – ‘Rolling in the Deep’
Oasis – ‘Wonderwall’
Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse – ‘Valerie’
Franz Ferdinand – ‘Take Me Out’
Kaiser Chiefs – ‘I Predict a Riot’
Also on the suspected opening ceremony playlist:
The Verve – ‘Bittersweet Symphony’
Underworld – ‘Born Slippy’
Jaan Kenbrovin, John William Kellette – ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’
Blur – ‘Song 2’
Dizzee Rascal – ‘Bonkers’
Tigerstyle – ‘Nacnha Onda Nei’ (contains Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’, Queen & David Bowie – ‘Under Pressure’ and Ilaiyaraaja – ‘Naanthaan Ungappanda’)
Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’
Radiohead – ‘Creep’
Muse – ‘Uprising’
Kano & Mikey J – ‘Random Antics’
Tinie Tempah – ‘Pass Out’
MIA – ‘Paper Planes’
Coldplay – ‘Viva La Vida’
The Chemical Brothers – ‘Galvanize’
Roll Deep – ‘Shake a Leg’
Oasis – ‘The Hindu Times’
Emeli Sande – ‘Heaven’
William Monk/Henry Francis – ‘Abide With Me’
Pink Floyd – ‘Eclipse’
The Beatles – ‘The End’
The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’
David Bowie – ‘Heroes’
Eric Spear – Coronation Street Theme
Ron Grainer – Doctor Who Theme
John Philip Sousa – Monty Python Theme/’The Liberty Bell’
David Bowie – ‘Absolute Beginners’
Big Ben Chimes
Elgar/AC Benson – ‘Land of Hope and Glory’
Simon May – EastEnders Theme
The Shipping Forecast
Sir Hubert Parry/William Blake – ‘Jerusalem’
Handel – ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’
Eric Coates – ‘Dambusters March’
Handel – ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’
Monty Norman – James Bond Theme
Mike Oldfield – ‘Tubular Bells’
Mike Oldfield – ‘In Dulci Jubilo’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots of Fire’
BBC News 1954
Arthur Wood – The Archers Theme
Winifred Atwell – ‘Black and White Rag’
Lionel Bart – ‘Food Glorious Food’
Irwin Kostal, Richard Sherman, Robert Sherman – ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’
Colin Tully – Gregory’s Girl Theme
William Pitt – ‘City Lights’
Mud – ‘Tiger Feet’
Led Zeppelin – ‘Trampled Under Foot’
The Specials – ‘A Message to You Rudy’
Captain Algernon Drummond/William Johnson Cory – ‘Eton Boating Song’