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Would you change your national anthem?

14:04 UK time, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Canada has dropped a proposal to change the country's national anthem by making it more gender-inclusive. Is there anything you would change about your national anthem?

The issue was raised after the anthem was played a record 14 times during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Public outcry was so strong that PM Stephen Harper dropped the idea after two days.

What does your national anthem mean to you? Does it need updating? If so, what would you change about it?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I'm quite happy with my national anthems (I'm Welsh, so have our own plus God Save the Queen), but as England likes to field national teams in most sports I'd really like for them to have an anthem of their own rather than having to make do with the UK one.

    What is even worse is when English fans turn up, particularly at the rugby, waving a Union flag. Poor dears look baffled when I ask them which side they are supporting.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes. I would change our dreadful dirge tomorrow for Jerusalem, an anthem of hope

  • Comment number 3.

    Would I change the UK national anthem? Don't know, not sure I could be bothered learning another one.

    I'm not a big supporter of the monarchy although I have warmed to them in recent years. For as long as Britain stays a monarchy "god save the queen" still has relevance. Personally I’d happily see us become a Republic and have the anthem changed then.

  • Comment number 4.

    I would prefer an inclusive world nation, though it's obvious that nationalism is beneficial to the large corporations as it helps to maintain uneven income levels for people across the globe. Since these corporations control western governments, we will not see any change in this status.

    As for the anthem, who cares? It is a symbol of corporate repression and I'm not interested in it whatsoever.

  • Comment number 5.

    As an Englishman, my national Anthem, 'God Save the King/Queen', could not possibly mean less to me. I find it abhorrent that in the 21st century, we, a developed and wealthy nation, are still under the monarchy, still under the same ruling families that have enslaved europe for the virtually all of recorded history.

    I find our national anthem insulting and degrading. The sooner both it and the Mmonarchy are gone, the better.

  • Comment number 6.

    As far as I'm concerned, Land of Hope and Glory IS Britain's national anthem.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm English, so I don't currently have a national anthem, only the one I share with the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. So I wouldn't change it, but I wouldn't mind adopting one.

    Jerusalem anyone?

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    There is no getting away from the fact that our National Anthem is a dull dreary dirge. Let us have something inspiring like Jeruselem or Land of Hope and Glory.

  • Comment number 10.

    What an inane dumbed-down question. As a freeman I find the notion of nationalism/monarchy dangerous and insulting, neither having any place in my life. The English have been a slave nation since 1066, having themselves helped displace the Romano-Britains after 400AD (except of course in Wales Ireland and Scotland). As for a tune, "Eat the Rich" ought to do it.

  • Comment number 11.

    My country - England - doesn't have a national anthem.

    The closest thing we English have is the (dirge of a) UK national anthem; God Save the Queen.

    England needs a new national anthem, but there are certain things associated with nationhood that England needs a lot more than an anthem.

    Can't say any more. as I'd like my comment to stay published.



  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    The change proposed to the Canadian Anthem was to make it more P.C.. The Canadian simply threw out such rubbish.

    The British National Anthem has served well for around 200 years, it needs no rewriting to please a few people with no sense of history.

  • Comment number 14.

    No.

    Much as I like both Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, at this point in time neither is particularly appropriate. Perhaps we should make more use of Rule Britannia with special emphasis on the line 'Britons never, never, never shall be slaves'

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm a Canadian citizen, and one thing I would change is the line "our home and native land". Canada is my home, but it sure isn't my native land - I was born and brought up in England. This objection applies to an enormous number of Canadian citizens.

  • Comment number 16.

    Land of Hope and Glory or Jerusalem. God save the Queen is the most uninspiring song out of all national anthems

  • Comment number 17.

    Flags, Anthems and Patriotism is outdated.

    Flags only really have a purpose flying on a trading ship, or in the military.

    Anthems only ever get used at events where they want to pretend there is prestige.

    Patriotism is now what we used to call Nationalism in the '40s.
    It should be about caring about your community and doing what you could to improve it.
    Now it means: Complain whenever someone tries to change anything, and keep blaming those immigrants.

    They're all tools of manipulation, and I don't play by that game.

  • Comment number 18.

    A national anthem should certainly reflect the values of a country; if its lyrics reflect values that are no longer held, by all means, make some changes.

    At the same time, a national anthem should be more than a fashion statement. It needs a sense of solemnity and should provide a sense of historical context. Accommodating all sensitivities and assuaging the complaints of all of those who claim offence - although very Canadian - will create a national anthem that is devoid of national pride and will stir nobody.

    Sadly, I fear that this is the ultimate goal and the likely outcome.

  • Comment number 19.

    I like our new national anthem which was made 2 years ago after revolution against king and his regime.

    Maoists changed our national anthem because they changed our country's name from "Kingdom of Nepal" to "The republic of Nepal". Our previous anthem was all about praising the King and his land and powers.

    Our new anthem is about being republic, praising natural wonders (that we are not using for our profits) and being ONE. It's more catchy and singable and it's the only positive thing that they have done in the country. It's good.

  • Comment number 20.

    No, I would not changed the National Anthem of the United States, although I will be the first to admit that I do make mistakes in "singing" the National Anthem...

    (D)

  • Comment number 21.

    Tony Dixon wrote:

    "Yes. I would change our dreadful dirge tomorrow for Jerusalem, an anthem of hope"

    Oh, please no! It is bad enough having God in our current anthem, let a lone the gallons of it in the WIs favourite bit of jingoism.

    Nice to have a good, healthy NON religious anthem! Once that celebrates diversity and our rich cultural mix, and is not nationalistic or exclusive.

  • Comment number 22.

    I would personally change things around to the way that other monarchial countries do things. This is to have a national and a royal anthem. In Denmark and Norway for instance, they have both with rules on their use. taking the Danish anthems, the Royal anthem, "Kong Kristian stod ved højen mast" is used when there is a member of the royal family present at an event, or when something is done in honour of the monarchy. the National anthem "Der er et yndigt land" is used at other times.

    In this light, I would firstly create/adopt an anthem for England, "Land of Hope and Glory" being one of my preferred choices, before adopting a new National anthem for the UK as a whole, this would have to at least give the people some thoughts of unity. "Rule Britannia" is potentially a good choice here, however, the classification of it - English or British - needs to be a bit clearer. Finally I would give "God Save the King/Queen" as a Royal anthem, for use in cases of monarchial tradition, or the attendence of a member of the Royal family, perhaps being combined under certain circumstances with the National anthem of the UK or a constituent country - royal first, national second.

    In the UK, we have a great musical heritage, coming from all constituent nations. We should embrace it and use it.

    Oh, and get Northern Ireland back to having its own symbols again. Maybe by restoring some element of pride of the people in their area, we can do even more on the still ongoing peace process.

  • Comment number 23.

    Would you change your national anthem? No, Never, No way.

  • Comment number 24.

    I want an English National Anthem. Our current one is garbage.

  • Comment number 25.

    Pakistan's National Anthem is a pride of Pakistani Nation: Here is a translation of our Natinal Anthem which is shared for the interest of the readers:


    Blessed be the sacred Land
    Happy be the bounteous realm
    Symbol of high resolve
    Land of Pakistan
    Blessed be thou citadel of faith

    The order of this sacred land
    Is the might of the brotherhood of the People
    May the nation, the country, and the state
    Shine in glory everlasting
    Blessed be the goal of our ambition

    This Flag of the Crescent and Star
    Leads the way to progress and perfection

    Interpreter of our past, glory of our present
    Inspiration of our future
    Symbol of Almighty's protection

    I love my National Anthem. May God Bless Pakistan.

  • Comment number 26.

    It would be nice to have one instead of using the official UK, something like Land of Hope and Glory or Jerusalem.

  • Comment number 27.

    A sign of a shallow person or society the need to change something for the sake of change.
    South African changed its anthem for very good reasons, its connotations with the past!
    No doubt NU-Lab would love to change the anthem for a reason, its connotations with the past.
    A past of success, power, status and pride. Earned, justified and deserved. A time when Brits did not follow but lead, a time when people wanted “special relationships” with us, instead of us cravenly bleating about one-sided deals that cost us too much!
    Doesn’t sit with the PC brigade! Or is that too militaristic for them?

  • Comment number 28.

    God Save The Queen must be changed to 'Jerusalem','I Vow to Thee My Country' or 'Rule Britannia'.

  • Comment number 29.

    has Scotland got one to change ?

  • Comment number 30.

    We should get rid of National anthems altogether & have an anthem for the World.

  • Comment number 31.

    Perhaps we should get Leonard Cohen to knock up a little number, the tone of his songs is far more in keeping with the mood of the country. How about "Bannit, Taxit, Sellit" for a working title?

  • Comment number 32.

    ian cheese wrote:

    We should get rid of National anthems altogether & have an anthem for the World.

    ##

    It is sad how all the small minded nationalists in this country would fight against such an idea. "Put up high walls, man the towers, throw out the foreigner!" If this country behaved in such a way, we would be a very sad, forgotten little backwater.

  • Comment number 33.

    18. At 4:43pm on 06 Mar 2010, A scion of the red maple wrote:
    //A national anthem should certainly reflect the values of a country//

    Oh dear, I would love to hear suggestions for a UK national anthem which reflected our country's diverse, sometimes strange and disturbing values!

    Also, as a general point - why would anyone want to build a Jerusalem here in our green and pleasant land - We have London! And don't want to upset people, but Jerusalem already exists in the Middle East - its not such a great place and has many many problems! Not sure that's what we want here is it? Or are people suggesting with have a divided capital city with disputed neighbourhoods, racism and religious inspired violence? Just wondering!

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm not sure our country has a great deal to sing about.......

  • Comment number 35.

    30. At 5:34pm on 06 Mar 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    We should get rid of National anthems altogether & have an anthem for the World.


    I sometimes dream about it but I get bombarded with reality that it is NOT possible because there are borders in this world. Depressive really.

  • Comment number 36.

    We used to have one national anthem for the UK God Save the Queen. However now that the Scottish and Welsh are choosing to go their own seperate ways we English also need an English National Anthem for England. A referendum should be held or at least a poll to choose a new one. I suggest Land of Hope and Glory.
    I hope the UK will not last for much longer, but while it does the British National Anthem GSTQ should be retained for UK purposes.

  • Comment number 37.

    At 4:42pm on 06 Mar 2010, uninstall wrote:
    I'm a Canadian citizen, and one thing I would change is the line "our home and native land". Canada is my home, but it sure isn't my native land - I was born and brought up in England. This objection applies to an enormous number of Canadian citizens.
    ----

    Well I'm British (grew up there and left when I was 37) and Canadian, and living in Canada. The Canadian anthem stirs me to tears and I find your post typically arrogantly British. I would have interpreted 'my native land' to be a sincere reminder as to just whose territory we all landed and descended upon. 'Native' - a word used then to describe First Nations. If it isn't it jolly well should be, and I'm thankful it is anyway, because to me it does mean First Nation Land.

    All those who scoff at the monarchy, as usual describing it as a symbol of repression. Do your reading and study history better. The monarchy is an historical and cultural symbol and they are the ones who are prisoners. It is a constitutional monarchy and they have to work hard for the nation and the people - which they do with little thanks. To imagine England as a republic like all the others without an additional point on the radar creates mental nausea.

    It is the rebublican era within England that has led to the state the country now finds itself in. Labourites with a serious agenda. They think they are the true 'rulers'. It's all rubbish. I'd die for my Queen anyday - not the government that sends its soldiers out cheap.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    I like verse 6 of the current anthem:

    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade
    May, by thy mighty aid,
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush
    And, like a torrent, rush
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the King.

    Whilst Marshal Wade was none too successful in holding back the Jacobites, the general sentiment of crushing rebellious Scots is something that should be remembered.

    However, it's probably time to change the whole thing. What does "God save" mean to the majority of people in England (or GB)? Only a minority attend faith services to the Christian god. The vast majority of people are secular. And long may it continue. Perhaps a certain Mr Cowell could organise Anthem-Factor and we could all have a vote.

  • Comment number 40.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 41.

    Personally I don't have a problem with 'God Save the King/Queen' since it is traditional and like it or not we are a kingdom not a republic. However if we had to change it I would prefer 'Rule Britannia', a little imperialistic perhaps but its inspiring and a good tune. I certainly would not want 'Jerusalem' which is basically a slice of god-squad jingoism nor would I like 'Land of Hope and Glory' although I prefer it to 'Jerusalem'

  • Comment number 42.

    No.

  • Comment number 43.

    We desperately need a new national anthem. Current one is a disgrace: a dreary song (originally a French hymn!) with lyrics about one person (not a national song at all) who has been privelige because she passed through a particular birth canal and asking support from a fictitious superbeing. It's wrong on so many ways. A total embarassment. We need a new, vibrant, inclusive anthem. 

  • Comment number 44.

    Many other country have the most wonderful rousing, stirring National Anthems. The French, Americans, Welsh, Canadians, Scots. Ours? Typically English and boring.

    Still ........... God Save The Queen.

  • Comment number 45.

    No leave it as it is, I grew up with it & know no other, no other country change theirs only the one above mentioned, to each country it is special; & to me ours is special too! I hope it never changes.

  • Comment number 46.

    Jerusalem? No way. I'm not being anti-Christian, or anti-religion even, and it's a great tune. But the words are just a list of ridiculous questions to which the answer is no.

  • Comment number 47.

    God Save the Queen isn't an anthem. It's a hymn. It's asking God to perform such and such an action. The only credible song I can think of, the one that sums Britain up beautifully is Crazy Crazy Nights by Kiss.

  • Comment number 48.

    Interesting that "In all thy sons" is seen as gender bias whereas Canada the country portrayed as the 'mother' is not mentioned. The complete metaphor here is comparing Canada to a mother and its citizens as her sons. It is too much, I suppose, to expect politicians to understand literary language.

  • Comment number 49.

    Why? - change for change sake, what absolute rubbish. Instead of moaning about this country we should be proud of what is Great Britain. Yes, it gets up the nose of the Americans, 'Sorry sir our computer doesn't recognise that country, only UK!'
    Our anthem has been established for 200 years and, so long as we don't sing the verses that upset the Scots, and the Americans, there is no harm in us keeping it.
    There are far more important things that society ought to be changing - this government for one.

  • Comment number 50.

    I fully appreciate that each person is entitled to their own opinion, but I really can't understand somepeople. Around this planet when our National Amthem is played everyone recorgnises it. When people talk about The Queen everyone knows that although many countries have roayl families it is the British Monarchy which is being reffered. And yet people in this country wish to do away with it. Outside our shores we are a laughing stock. I am a 1st generation asian, proud to be born and raised in this country I love to call home and yet some folks insist on making changes where what we really need is to go back to the identity which made this country well known and respected around the world. No wonder the youth of today have no identy and no cares. No wonder this country is the dumping ground of Europe and the laughing stock of the world. As I said at the start we are all entilted to our opinions but somethings should be left alone. Next people will be saying that the white cliffs of dover should be sold as advertising space!!

  • Comment number 51.

    To number 15 - hogwash. I am Canadian living in the UK. It is an always be my native land because I was born there. And none of my family and friends nor even the Canadian media make a big thing about this line of the anthem. I take insult that you would even think that we would! And as I am also British - I have no problem singing the current anthem - it is part of our heritage. Canada has got it right - becoming to politically correct just stirs things in a negative way, much like what number 15 and some others have mentioned - which is way off the mark in my opinion!

  • Comment number 52.

    No 29: john mitchell wrote:

    has Scotland got one to change ?

    If you don't know the answer to the qtn why waste your time in taking part in the debate? Unless, of course, you are a little englander.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why change what is a good part of our heritage it is just change for changes sake.

  • Comment number 54.

    No I'm quite happy with the national athem we have and also in acknowledgement of the head of state who we have, just as I don't mind having a monarchy, the alternative in a republic would most likely be yet another sound bite, spinning, deceitful politician something as equally god awful as President Brown or Blair!, ..think I'm going to be sick at just the thought!, so I'm quite happy to do without them given how low they've all sunk themselves to in the House of tealeafs!, and most of all the Queen is no better example of being steadfast and honourable in duty and public service something our politicians forgot about long ago!

  • Comment number 55.

    I wish we would change our National Anthem. It has nothing to do with the Nation, it just glorifies the Queen.

    I quite like the idea of Rule Britannia or even Land of Hope and Glory (not that there's much in the way of glory or hope about Britain at the moment!!)

  • Comment number 56.

    Lyrically, the Canadian national anthem is a bit of a yawn, musically it's verging on banal.

    "Northwest Passage" has everything the current anthem doesn't, and what more fitting tribute to one of Canada's finest sons, Stan Rogers?

  • Comment number 57.

    I Vow to Thee, My Country created in 1921 from a poem by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, gets my vote.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MG27BKwjaI

  • Comment number 58.

    To Nos 15 and 50:

    I too am a British born Canadian citizen, currently living in the UK for family reasons. An an agnostic, the line in the Canadian anthem that I just HATE to sing is: 'God keep our land.....'

    What if there isn't a God? Who keeps 'our land' glorious and free then?

    This is the line that should be changed. I'm surprised that more Canadians haven't suggested this, as Canada is a quite liberal (in the good sense) country with many diverse religions (and many who have no religion).

  • Comment number 59.

    The national anthem is a boring tuneless dirge, the words are not in the least bit inspiring and it is racist. Something about crushing the Scots. I’m surprised the Scots havn’t objected before about the words. But then, why would they bother when England supporters don’t even know what their own flag looks like. They seem to think that the Union flag is English.

  • Comment number 60.

    Our national anthem (Dutch) is a tad silly. It sings of Willem of Nassau, who is German, apparently, and loyal only to the Spanish king. There's also something in there about a count Adolf dying while fighting the Frisians.

    Come to think of it, it suits the Dutch to a 't', daftness-wise.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    No. Our Anthem is known worldwide and changing it would look as if we are no longer proud of Great Britain (renamed UK)or our Queen.

  • Comment number 63.

    ABBA song " Money , money , money " would be appropriate for the deficit spending USA govt. . A change of USA national anthem would start a civil war . We can not agree on anything in our polarized political climate .

  • Comment number 64.

    In the very early 1950s, when I was at primary school, I remember our teacher geting us to learn the words of the British anthem. When we came to the line 'Send her victorious', she said the easiest way to remember that line was to think of a tin of Victorias Plums (back then a porpular brand) - and then imagine send the Queen a tin....

    Corny, but quite hilarious to us 9 year olds.

  • Comment number 65.

    I share the sentiment that the British anthem is a personal one and should be reserved for the monarch and family members where appropriate. As a NATIONAL anthem the English might adopt Rule Britannia but it is virtually unsingable except for the chorus; maybe that would be enough? Ruling the waves was a particularly English thing after all.

    If the Scots wish to start winning at rugby they had better try another anthem to replace that miserable dirge that takes them to failure after failure. And this from a nation that can boast some of the most thrilling music ever written!

    How lucky are France and Wales with their inspiring anthems.

  • Comment number 66.

    'The national anthem is a boring tuneless dirge, the words are not in the least bit inspiring and it is racist. Something about crushing the Scots. I’m surprised the Scots havn’t objected before about the words. But then, why would they bother when England supporters don’t even know what their own flag looks like. They seem to think that the Union flag is English.'

    The bit about crushing the Scots is never included these days. I wish it was when England play Scotland at sport.

    Their anthem is basically all about winning one battle against King Edwards army (an English one) and sending them home 'to think again'. The whole anthem is about beating England. Talk about having a chip on your shoulder!

    I reckon if we ever write a new national anthem for England, there should be a verse about how King Edwards army thought again and then came back across the border and kicked arse!

  • Comment number 67.

    I a naturalized US citizen (and have UK citizenship too). The US national anthem is sung at almost every event and so badly that you wonder why they bother. Its a hard song for a professional to sing (and many have trashed it too), so find something else that is better please

  • Comment number 68.

    Surely God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols is the best option

    or Albion by everyone’s favourite musician Pete Docherty as its the only patriotic song racist people don’t like.

  • Comment number 69.

    No. Let's face facts, upon reflection most national anthems are rather boring tripe. But that's beside the point isn't it? Anthems are like symbols, they condition us to feel part of something, a community, etc. Ask any person in the USA to explain "and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air," and I would be amazed if more than a few knew that it describes the British bombardment of Baltimore in the war of 1812. But they still sing it, hand over heart.

    Perhaps it would be more logical to discard anthems every set number of years and force the citizenry to define what it is to be part of their respective countries (I don't say nation as that means race). Once a consensus is reached a new anthem could be constructed to match.

    That said, the UK is a tricky fish to pin down. It is not unlike the rest of Europe in that its tribal composition (Welsh, Irish, Scots, Anglo-Saxons, Assorted) has produced a long history of discord. I say tribal because there is NO ethnic difference between any of the Euro tribes, as many posters here would seem to suggest (Romano-Britain vs Anglo-Saxon rubbish). Add to this already volatile mix of competing tribal identities, a huge number of non-European (in descent) migrants and it becomes harder and harder to generate anything that truly binds everyone living in the UK together. Perhaps that is just a byproduct of the modern age of migration that everyone will be forced to accept.

    I would speculate, in the UK's case, as with many other increasingly cosmopolitan countries, that any modern attempt to rewrite or change the national anthem would produce a rather more boring collection of words than God Save the Queen. However it would be entertaining to try!

  • Comment number 70.

    Being Anglo-Danish and Welsh on my father's side, England needs an anthem just like Wales' Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau "Land of My Fathers" and sung with pride just as the Welsh do. I still think that I Vow to Thee, My Country by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice will stand the test of time.

  • Comment number 71.

    Never in a million years, although you sometimes feels it should be "This land is your land".

  • Comment number 72.

    Being English, living in Wales, the Welsh National Anthem has got to be one of the best in the world, yet God Save The Queen is one of the dullest.
    England needs its own National Anthem and God Save the Queen should be used solely by the Queen and the royal family.

  • Comment number 73.

    Canada's anthem is fine the way it is. I'm not sure I know some of the verses as they are today, a change to appease Quebec not so long ago.
    I rather like 'The Maple Leaf Forever'. I remember my Dad sang it with patriotic fervour. (survivor of Dunkirk)

  • Comment number 74.

    I like the hymn Jerusalem (despite being an atheist) but it should never be the UK’s national anthem. For one it refers to "England’s green and pleasant land", missing out the other 3 UK countries. Plus it has far too much religious undertone (not surprising since it is a hymn).

    As for an anthem that reflects the identity of the UK? How about Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping"?

  • Comment number 75.

    I'm not sure I know all the words to the old one, let alone contemplate a new one.

  • Comment number 76.

    Lets have "Jerusalem".

  • Comment number 77.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 78.

    Neither Scotland or Wales have national anthems. The UK has an anthem, which shares a tune with Liechtestein. Alternatives could be Pomp and circumstance march number 4(which is not land of hope and glory); Jupiter from the Planet suite by the British composer Gustav Holst. We could get new appropriate words written that reflect the merits of the UK, similar to the anthems of Australia and New Zealand.

  • Comment number 79.

    I don't really see the point of national anthems. Maybe it's because ours is so dreadful and irrelevant. Maybe it's because I am internationalist and don't really see the point of borders and the nation state. It is people that count not nations and empires.

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm Canadian. I would've liked to see the change made.
    The version on which the official English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Mr. Justice Robert Stanley Weir. I think the judge, if alive today would want the anthem to be politically correct.
    This would not be the first time our anthem was changed. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons.
    The French lyrics remain unaltered.
    Mr. Harper should not have dropped the issue; he should have seen the change through.
    Official Lyrics of O Canada!
    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy SONS command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    I’m no lyricist but the change seems so simple to me
    e.g. True Patriot love from SEA TO SEA command.

  • Comment number 81.

    72. At 7:47pm on 06 Mar 2010, Andrew Lye wrote:
    Being English, living in Wales, the Welsh National Anthem has got to be one of the best in the world, yet God Save The Queen is one of the dullest.

    ------

    Here! Here!

  • Comment number 82.

    Yes, we should change the Anthem to something a bit more reflective of our modern society. I've gone to the trouble of writing some new words to start us off (posted on another blog if rejected here.)

    How about:

    "We're the surveillance state that Europeans love to hate. There's no patriotism in our land since our government used slight of hand. They just got rid by selling it off to the highest bid.

    We have stealthy taxes and diminishing freedoms, it's all because we've bread too many greedy ones.

    With a welfare state, we're the treasure of the globe. Gifted to the foreigners visiting, but get nothing if you're one of our working citizens.

    Our Government keeps on spending while the population earns less and less. They borrow to buy big brother cameras leaving our finances in a complete mess.

    Political parties cannot run without being financed by a back hand bung. Rip off Britain, it's the place we sweat and toil and all because the government wants us to pay through the nose for the oil."


    Perhaps someone else could put a tune to the words. Something a bit more upbeat that doesn't sound so miserable.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hate it. Awful monarchistic dirge. I want an anthem about my Nation, not about its monarch. We should have a proper anthem for England to go alongside those of the Scots and the Welsh. Patriotic, with a stirring tune, but not militaristic: those days are over. And although I'm a believer I wouldn't want God in it.
    Keep the existing one just for events involving the UK as a whole. When the English one's settled down, have a UK-wide consultation about changing it to something that unifies us rather than sets us apart.

  • Comment number 84.

    'God Save Our Gracious Queen' is not a national anthem, it is the Btitish anthem. Britain is not a nation, it is a grouping of nations which each have their own national anthem, apart from England, which has no national anthem.

  • Comment number 85.

    Number 77, Each part of the UK *EXCEPT ENGLAND* has its own anthem on top of God Save the King. And I for one find that very sad.

    Number 78, Words have already been written to Jupiter - its called I Vow to Thee My Country.
    --------------

    I think that it would be a great shame to lose the tradition of God Save the King, but please can England have their own anthem like Scotland and Wales. I personally think I Vow to Thee My Country has a beautiful melody, and the lyrics are great:

    "And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
    Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
    We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
    Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
    And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
    And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace" (2nd verse)

  • Comment number 86.

    God Save The Queen is a little anachronistic but most of the other English suggestions are equally bizarre (unless you're one of the Yahoos at the Last Night of The Proms!)What we need is a really good tune like On Ilkley More Bar Tat but with more appropriate words - OK Beeb now run the competition!

  • Comment number 87.

    As an American, I like the Star-Spangled Banner just the way it is. Watching the 2010 Games made me very passionate about this.

    Granted it's impossible to sing well. But the first verse has a real yearning: someone (who? let's forget for now) has burned Washington, D.C. to the ground. The President of the United States, the Father of the Constitution, is wandering the countryside, a refugee. Ships beyond our ability to return fire are raining death down on Fort McHenry. The singer just wants to know whether the fort has held. Are we still a country? Are we still a free people?

    The second verse, which we never sing, tells us that we are. I'm glad we never sing it, it'd kill the drama.

  • Comment number 88.

    It would be very difficult to change the British National Anthem. It would be impossible to find politically correct words that do not offend someone from some religion or ethnic group. I would suggest therefore that the line "If you don't like it here then bog off back where you came from instead of trying to impose your culture on us" be introduced to the British National Anthem. I am sure some bright musical talent could even get it to rhyme.

  • Comment number 89.

    National anthems are fundamentally irrational things. The American anthem was written during the war with Canada, which, essentially, the US lost. (So painful is this that every attempt by Canadians to put it into the historical record in Wikipedia is almost instantly corrected by Wikipedia's US monitors). And as every participant in this (almost) annual debate knows, the French national anthem is all about the enemy's bloody fertilising fields, the British national anthem was once upon about frustrating the enemy's "popish tricks", and the Norwegian national anthem is all about recovering the ancient provinces lost to Sweden.The Irish national anthem is called (in english) The soldiers song and all about fighting and killing the brits etc......

  • Comment number 90.

    I would start with a few changes to the French version of O Canada. It could do without "carrying the cross," for starters. Very Catholic... not even inclusive of Protestants let alone Jews and Moslems. And the "exploits of our ancestors" refers directly to the subjugation of aboriginals. That can go, too.
    BTW, "our home and native land" was clearly intended to distinguish native-born Canadians from FOB Englishmen. This is my native land, i.e. the land of my birth, and that of my children. If it isn't, perhaps we can all return to Scotland to reclaim the aboriginal territory stolen when my ancestors were encouraged to emigrate by the English army.

  • Comment number 91.

    I Vow To Thee My Country, complete lyrics:

    I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
    Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
    The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
    The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
    The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

    The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
    I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
    Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;

    -- Omit the following --

    I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
    Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
    Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
    And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
    I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
    I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.

    Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
    And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
    I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
    Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.

    -- Omit the above --

    And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
    Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
    We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
    Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
    And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
    And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

    We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
    Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
    And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
    And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

  • Comment number 92.

    Well, I believe in a British republic, and so obviously would like to see our national anthem changed completely. Also, being an atheist, I am utterly opposed to the word 'God' being mentioned in it or referred to in it at all. I know that God Save The Queen has been played and sung at many wonderful events, and very solemn ones too, and has a special meaning for many people in Britain. Nevertheless, taking all that into account, I myself believe it is now time to modernise and peacefully progress from a backward rather embarrassing and indeed for me humiliating monarchist system, to a progressive republican one, which would have no place for royalist sentiment nor reference it in any way. Oh, and in case some people think I am anti-Elisabeth Windsor as an individual, well, no! I would be quite happy to see her become the first President of that republic too! Indeed, I think she would do a great job continuing to represent our country at the new Head of State level! She of course, would never take up the new position, but anyway...!

  • Comment number 93.

    A national anthem implies a single people. The UK anthem does not suitably include me, therefore I do not ecognise it.

  • Comment number 94.

    The idea that we as English people should be requesting God (not a universally accepted notion) to save our Queen (not a very English national) seams rather absurd and irrelevant. Land of Hope and Glory is probably the best option, as hope is about all we have left and glory is an unattainable and simplistic fantasy.
    This country, England, and our anthem, is not about monarchy or polatics, it is about how we as ordinary people want to feel about the place we were born.

  • Comment number 95.

    If you look at the 'Last Night of the Proms', the song that gets the best reception and fiercest flag-waving is without a doubt 'Land of Hope and Glory'. Surely the song that can cause such national fervour should be the chosen anthem.

  • Comment number 96.

    Of course this durge should be abandoned. It was first sung by the mistress of a French king, and subsequent verses added which are totally inappropriate in a modern state. Also for those of us who do not want to be "subjects of a monarch" it is offensive.

  • Comment number 97.

    One common suggestion for our Canadian anthem is to replace "in all our sons command" with "in all of us command"; this flows better and is perfectly inclusive.

    In the matter of whether I would change it: I don't think it's important enough to change it for this reason alone - people understand that it's not totally PC because it's old. However, when a change is made for any OTHER reason, I would favour incorporating this update too. (I don't think changing a traditional item is something that should be undertaken lightly, or done too frequently.)

  • Comment number 98.

    People like O Canada but there is still plenty of us out there in Canada that like our other official and original anthem, God Save The Queen and still support and defend the Queen of Canada. And yes, GSTQ is still legally Canada's other national anthem(passed by Parliament 1980), it's our Royal Anthem. And no, I'm not an elderly person living in the past, which many republicans like to make out, that anyone who supports Canada's constitutional monarchy system and it's historic symbols and traditions must be old. I'm in my 30s.

    It was also great to hear God Save The Queen played at the Opening Ceremonies at the Vancouver Olympic Games! As part of our Canadian Vice Regal Salute it is played before O Canada as it should be.

    ...and to 4chan's post. I think you are unfortunately confused between absolute monarchy from hundreds of years ago to our modern and very successful governing system called constitutional monarchy. A system that is newer than republics. So if you want something modern, you're already living in it.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am usually quite embarrassed by 'God Save the Queen' when it is played at international and indeed national events. Whenever a foreign anthem is played, it lasts a long time. Why is it then that people insist on ALWAYS playing solely the first verse of GSTQ? If two verses of GSTQ were played, or indeed three, it would make it a much longer anthem that would indeed rival the length of anthems of other countries. To me, playing only the first verse of our national anthem (especially at international events) is quite shameful and I sometimes wonder if people are ashamed of being from this country. I propose that whenever GSTQ is performed (be it at the world cup or the 6 nations or the FA cup) it should be performed with two verses, so as to beef it up a bit.

    Another proposal that I would make is for England to perhaps play either land of hope and glory or Jerusalem, especially when we play against a home nations team. This would show off our English identity and it would also allow for the British national anthem to be played to represent both home nations after the respective anthems of the two home nations have finished playing. I am often annoyed at how Scotland and Wales get to play their respective anthems / patriotic songs when they play, however England always play the first verse of GSTQ (which is in fact the official anthem of the United Kingdom, not England).

    Sorry for my rant there, but basically where GTSQ is concerned, it should be performed with two verses. And secondly, when England play against a home nations team, we should play land of hope and glory or jerusalem so as to bring about some English identity. Why not? The Scots and Welsh do it!

  • Comment number 100.

    I think I know one woman who would gladly hear another anthem played occasionally. HRH must be sick to the back teeth hearing God Save the Queen every few minutes.

    Personally I'm still stirred every time I hear our present anthem but I certainly wouldn't stamp my feet in a fit of pique if Jerusalem was played on the right occasions.

 

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