What Should Be The New “English” National Anthem?
13 January 2016, 12:16
MPs are going to debate a bill that says England should drop God Save The Queen at sporting events. But should we have another fusty old hymn or something that everyone really likes? Radio X looks at some of the options.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is proposing that England has its own National Anthem, with a bill due to be debated in parliament. He’s arguing that as England is a country in its own right “a song that celebrated England rather than Britain would be more appropriate.”
The hymn Jerusalem seems to be a favourite, but are we in danger of swapping one dull song for another? Let’s look at some other songs that we think could be serious contenders… and are more likely to get people standing up and singing.
David Bowie - “Heroes”
PROS: If we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that David Bowie was one of the country’s most beloved artists of the past 50 years.
CONS: It’s anthemic, but it talks a lot about Germany.
Oasis - Don’t Look Back In Anger
PROS: Admit it, if this song ever gets played in public, the communal singing starts immediately.
CONS: It goes on a bit.
Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
PROS: The alternative national anthem, of course.
CONS: Not much use if we have a King, however. And not much of a singalong.
Billy Bragg - A New England
PROS: One of the Bard Of Barking’s finest moments.
CONS: Do you know all the words?
Radiohead - The National Anthem
PROS: Well, the title’s correct.
CONS: Would you want to hear this at the World Cup?
Morrissey - Irish Blood English Heart
PROS: Very patriotic.
CONS: If you’re not of Irish descent, what does it mean to you?
Queen - We Are The Champions
PROS: Already a fixture at a lot of sporting events, is it time we reclaimed it for England?
CONS: Freddie Mercury was born in Tanzania. But he’s an honorary Englishman.
Blur - This Is A Low
PROS: “And into the sea goes pretty England and me.” What’s more English than a song that concerns the Shipping Forecast on Radio 4?
CONS: Bit of a downer.
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
PROS: Amazing tune and so anthemic.
CONS: Incredibly, some people are not keen on The Smiths.
Which of these songs would you go for? Vote here and tell us what you think!