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National Anthems

I flicked over to the England/ Sweden match last night (ad breaks in CSI, y'see), just in time to see Oor Henrik score. It was after that I got a bit of a shock, though, when the England fans (I assume) started singing God Save The Queen.

People sing it? Of their own free will?! And know the words?!? When did this start happening?

I'm not sure whether I should be annoyed, as a Scot, that the English have taken the British national anthem and are using it to refer to just England. I probably should be, but I can't get too upset about it on the grounds that, well, we don't want the bloody thing. We've got a selection of anthems of our own, and while none of them are brilliant, they're all better than God Save The Queen.

And England don't really have a national anthem of their own. What do they sing at the rugby? Is it Jerusalem? I mean, that's just a hymn that's been shanghaied into sports service. Land of Hope and Glory's quite good, I suppose, but I learned the Land of Soap and Water version years before I found out the actual words, which makes it hard for me to take it seriously. Plus it's way too slow. So I guess we can let them have God Save The Queen.

I've just found a site with all countries' national anthems on it, so that'll be me amused for the rest of the day.


( 41 comments — Comment )
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
Make sure you listen to the Spanish one! It's brilliant!
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:10 am (UTC)
It turns into Rule Britannia halfway through! That's very odd.
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
Typical Scottish manoeuvring to make themselves look better than the English, here. So now you're all in favour of patriotism and anthems all of a sudden?
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:04 am (UTC)
as in YOU, not the Scotch.
(no subject) - pickwick - Jun. 21st, 2006 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dermfitz - Jun. 21st, 2006 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Jun. 21st, 2006 11:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
Jerusalem is not exactly a hymn. I know it usually gets classified as one, but it has nothing about God in it that even makes any sense, let alone that anyone who hadn't been thoroughly anaesthetised would actually want to sing to him. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's very poetic and all that, but it's very much "what the heck?".

Of course, William Blake was a bit odd, to put it mildly.
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
That's what makes it a great English anthem, of course. It appeals to a broad spectrum of people, the right and left alike, without all of that tedious god-bothering.

As for the sense in it, it's rather simple. The first two verses are a series of questions to which the answer is "no", the third is a series of requests to which the answer is "get them yourself", and the last verse is the blood and thunder bit that get's everyone worked up.

Wikipedia has a rather good entry, as per bloody usual.
(no subject) - miss_next - Jun. 21st, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Jun. 21st, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
I'd contribute to this thread, but I have some rebellious Scots to crush.

(GSTQ is indeed awful, but Floor o Scotland is way worse).
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
At least it's got call-and-response shouty bits.
(no subject) - sloopjonb - Jun. 21st, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bopeepsheep - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sloopjonb - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bopeepsheep - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sloopjonb - Jun. 21st, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magda_vogelsang - Jun. 21st, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pooka_joe - Jun. 22nd, 2006 09:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 21st, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
Can't find the ref, but someone famous once decribed GSTQ as "the funeral march of a dead earwig". Undoubtedly one of the worst national anthems of any nation musically.
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yes, that sounds about right.
Jun. 21st, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure England's rugby team used GSTQ during the 6 nations this year. Irish rugby uses Ireland's call because the team is all 32 counties (and the 26 counties anthem is pretty grim). Anthems are a tricky subject.

This is one of those things that are invisible to many English people because they unconsciously think of English and British as interchangable and don't understand why other British people get annoyed by this.
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
I've never even heard of Ireland's Call... Anthems are weird!
(no subject) - pooka_joe - Jun. 22nd, 2006 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
Scotland's national anthem should be Runrig's "Alba" or Big Country's theme from "Restless Natives".

England's should be Maddy Prior's "Wake Up England".

Wales: Catatonia's "International Velvet" (every day when I wake up I thank the Lord I'm Welsh).

And the USA's should be Springsteen's bitterly ironic "Born in the USA". Or perhaps Abba's "Money Money Money".
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
Sounds great! But I might have to move to Wales, then.
Jun. 21st, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
At least most people have enough vocal range to sing GSTQ, which isn't necessarily true of TSSB. I personally have to start the song near the bottom of my vocal range in order not to screech through "the rockets red glare". So if it's not in exactly the right key, it's not pretty. The fact that it was written to the tune of a drinking song makes the mind boggle trying to imagine what it would sound like sung by a tavern full of drunks. Probably about the same, actually...

As national anthems go, I prefer "Oh Canada" myself.
Jun. 21st, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
Heh, I suppose ease-of-singing should be important in national anthems.

I can't think of Oh Canada without getting Blame Canada from South Park stuck in my head instead.
Jun. 21st, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
God Save the Queen is one of my pet hates. What a dirge! Besides I hate the royal family.

I liked Billy Connolly's suggestion that we should replace it with the theme tune from the Archers.
Jun. 21st, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of the Archers theme tune too. I think it's gathering popular support... Hmm, where's that website you can start your own petitions? *ponders*

Who's in charge of deciding what the national anthem is anyway? Should we be writing to the Queen or to dear Tony? The things I don't know...
(no subject) - poliphilo - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sloopjonb - Jun. 21st, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - magda_vogelsang - Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donbert - Jun. 21st, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pickwick - Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pooka_joe - Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poliphilo - Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
Much as I hate to disagree with you all, the old soviet/russian anthem is the best in the world. Just listen to it, it's like classical music compared to the rest.

I'd also like to recommend the italian anthem for listening pleasure, as it was for five long years the only good thing about Michael Bloody Schumacher and Ferrari winning all the time. It's very italian, with silly twiddly ponceyness and everything.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:17 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I like the Italian one. Don't know if I've heard the Russian one.
( 41 comments — Comment )


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