Will England bid goodbye to “God Save the Queen”?
British lawmakers agreed on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time) to consider replacing the royalist song that serves as England’s anthem at sporting events.
“God Save the Queen” is the national anthem of the United Kingdom – made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and is played at the Olympics and other events where the UK fields a single team.
At contests where the four areas compete separately, such as the football World Cup, England and Northern Ireland generally use “God Save the Queen,” but Scotland and Wales have their own official songs – “Flower of Scotland” and “Land of My Fathers.”
Labour Party lawmaker Toby Perkins said adopting an English anthem would “re-establish the idea that the United Kingdom is a union of four separate nations with their own identities.”
Perkins told the House of Commons that said “Jerusalem,” regarded by many as England’s unofficial anthem, was the most obvious choice. The song, whose words are by mystical 18th-century poet William Blake, vows to transform a country of “dark satanic mills” into a “green and pleasant land” like the ancient England that, legend says, was once visited by Jesus Christ.
I doubt this will happen, but U think it would be a good thing – and not just because Jerusalem is such a powerful anthem.
I think the future of the UK will be as a federation of four countries, similar to the US. Four national Parliaments and one federal Parliament. So an English anthem (and English Parliament) would be steps towards that.