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Associate minister East Ham, Queen’s chaplain, Cllr Rev Ann Easter asks is the National Anthem relevant

PUBLISHED: 09:37 30 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:37 30 September 2015

Archant

Suddenly, since the newly-elected leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, appeared not to sing God Save the Queen at a recent memorial service, people are talking about the National Anthem.

Is it fit for purpose in modern Britain? Are the words appropriate? Should we have new words to that tune or another one? Do we need a song to sing together at all? And so on! Fascinating!

The song God Save the Queen was written about 1745 and became our National Anthem at the beginning of the 19th century; we don’t know who wrote the words or the music.

For many years, it was played at the end of theatre performances and when television broadcasts finished (they actually stopped for the night, once upon a time!) and people would stand up as a mark of respect – sometimes even when they were at home.

Around the time of Her Majesty’s Jubilee Celebrations, we and our neighbours had a street party and it was lovely to stand, in the rain of course, singing the National Anthem together.

Our mayor had popped in to the party so we were relieved that we’d not included the verse about “crushing rebellious Scots” …….!

I am aware that our national song is a hymn, asking God to bless and save our monarch and I recognise that there may well be people who don’t care for the Queen or for God but who still want to sing in praise of our country – its traditions and customs, its diversity and its sense of humour, among other things!

I would like to keep God Save the Queen for occasions when Her Majesty is present but add a song, maybe set to the tune Thaxted – I vow to thee my country which Her Majesty could sing too! More from Ann


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