Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dispense with national anthem?

reposted from: NSS newsline 5/10/07
Chris Street comments are in bright green; highlights in blockquotes (yellow).

From Steve Hill:
Whilst encouraging, obviously, the wish that at the next Coronation we should not have a Defender of (Any!) Faiths, can I also engage the membership's interest in dispensing with our abomination of a national anthem? It is, quite simply, a prayer to God. Worse, it is to put it mildly, a xenophobic, racist tirade – notably the seldom-heard second verse, which expresses views which I am assumed to share about, say, the people of Iraq at the moment. (The lyrics are here.)

UK National Anthem Lyrics

United Kingdom

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

O lord God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Confound their knavish tricks,
Confuse their politics,
On you our hopes we fix,
God save the Queen!

Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world ov'er

From every latent foe,
From the assasins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign!
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!

I am proud of my country in many ways. I wish to feel a sense of pride and belonging at the beginning of an international sporting event, or when we win a medal, and on other state occasions. Instead I feel alienated by this crude imperialist relic, and am regularly obliged to apologise for its crassness to foreign friends.

Let's have something the other 95% of the population can identify with, and sing with pride, instead. Until we do, I'm remaining seated, and silent.

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