Why Are We Singing The Wrong Tune?
I AM a proud Englishman, and as a proud Englishman I will always follow the fortunes of any of England’s national sports teams.
But what really gets my goat up is the fact that whenever the English national anthem is meant to be played, I must listen instead to the British national anthem!
The other countries that make up the UK (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) all have their own anthems played. So why don’t we?!
Scotland are allowed to belt out ‘Flower of Scotland’, Wales always give a rousing rendition of ‘Land of my Fathers’, and Northern Ireland may sing ‘Danny Boy’ to the tune of ‘Londonderry Air’. Even the Isle of Man (‘O Land of Our Birth’), Jersey (‘Island Home’) and Cornwall for Christ’s sake (‘The Song of the Western Men’) have their own anthems, yet England doesn’t. Essentially all we are doing is covering for the others, and that is just not on.
Now don’t get me wrong, I will quite happily sing ‘God Save the Queen’ with pride whenever Great Britain is playing or being honoured, because that is the national anthem of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The England Cricket team have the right idea by coming onto the field to ‘Jerusalem’ by William Blake, but they still have to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ before a World Cup match. This is why I like the Commonwealth Games; England actually gets a song all to itself.
All I really want is for the England sports teams to sing ‘Jerusalem’ before (and if we win, after) each match. It’s not that much to ask is it?
If I ever become PM, changing the anthems will be one of the first things that I do.