The best national anthem in the world…
For anyone who hasn’t experienced hearing anything in Welsh, I cannot think of a better example than Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the Welsh National Anthem. This is what it sounds like when it is being belted out by the Welsh rugby team and the home fans at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Now, that’s how an anthem should sound and what one should be about! How can anyone hear that and not be moved? The video was taken from the 6 Nations match against England in 2019 which Wales won 21-13. Wales went on to complete the Grand Slam.
Here are the lyrics to the version sung above which is the first stanza and chorus:
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad,
Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i’r heniaith barhau.
Click here for the full lyrics presented with side-by-side translations plus a pronunciation guide.
It boils my piss that the English national anthem is about the head of state. The idea of a Royal Family in modern Britain carries the stench of the British Empire which resulted in bloodshed and misery around the world. I can’t think of a single positive reason for having a Royal Family in a so-called developed democratic country. As a nation, or group of nations, the UK has serious issues with poverty, racism and greed but hey, lets celebrate that by throwing millions of pounds of public money at a family borne to immense wealth and privilege. At the same time, lets all sing a prayer to celebrate our country by asking that she be saved and can reign over us for a long time.
I’m kinda tempted to run the lyrics to the North Korean national anthem through Google translate as I’m pretty sure it would look something like this:
God save our gracious Kim,
long live our noble Kim…
See what I mean?
An anthem should unite the people…
Instead, we’re revering someone born into comfort that is not afforded to 99% of her subjects, and then asking for divine intervention to keep things that way. The choice of God is not flexible either. It’s the same Christian God that supported the British Empire and helped to ‘scatter out enemies’. This alone doesn’t really encourage people of other faiths, or those without faith to get behind the anthem.
As for sending the Queen victorious, victorious in what exactly? The next illegal war, or helping family members escape prosecution for their alleged depraved indulgences, or when attacking in-laws of mixed-race?
One verse includes the request for her to defend our laws. No wonder the Tories have such a boner for the royal family. If you have the stomach for it, check out the full lyrics. The more I read it, the more it seems like a mixture of totalitarian fascist propaganda and a church advertisement from the days of the Crusades.
Time for a change?
I used to think Jerusalem would make an ideal national anthem for England. It’s way more uplifting and moving than GSTQ, but it also has overt religious connotations.
Rule Britannia is another song that is frequently mentioned as a potential national anthem, but no fucking way. Let me just remind you of the second line of that song:
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves
These lyrics were penned in 1740, which was ironically the height of the slave trade years. Which was also somewhat ironically a time when Britain was a fundamental part of that permanent stain on our history. The song also drops in references to heaven, guardian angels as well as obvious undertones of battle.
Whilst the title of Elgar and Benson’s Land of Hope and Glory offers some hope, it again mentions God as well as references to the Empire so that’s fucked too.
Fucking hell, apologies if this comes across as a rant, but GSTQ just epitomises divisiveness to me. I can’t sing it and do not agree with the message it sends. The people of England deserve an anthem which has a real meaning and connection to them.
One possible alternative that would reduce quite a bit of administrative work is sticking with GSTQ, but going with the Sex Pistols‘ version instead.
Back of the net!
There we go. That should please the majority, although I expect Lizzie is turning the air blue at Windsor Castle and has just booted a corgi across one of the many gardens!
Anyway, I do sometimes wonder if that little lamb was ok, and if Tony got his furniture delivery.