I was at Middlesbrough FC’s match on Monday where the national anthem was played before the game.
It appeared from my vantage point it was generally well respected and sung along with.
There were a number of people who remained seated and did not join in and a section of the crowd turned their back to the pitch whilst it was being played. Why did people stay seated or indeed turn their backs?
Is the reason behind it a dislike of the monarch or possibly a dislike of the anthem itself?
The national anthem itself
The monarchy is being discussed ad nauseum at the moment, so I decided to take a look at the anthem itself to wonder if it was fit/appropriate for 21st Century Great Britain.
God save our gracious King/Queen, Long live our noble King/Queen, God save the King/Queen! Send her/him victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the King/Queen It was, when originally written, made up of two verses but over a number of years three more were added.
Now, I would challenge readers to know the words to the second verse, never mind the fifth!
Did you even know there are five verses?
I wanted to take it at face value and leave out any bias from my reasoning.
Reading the words, I would call it a poem lauding one person, not a country. Britain is not mentioned in the original two verses.
The person it is about, has not earned this position, and is, therefore, an anthem dedicated to them alone. A position gained by being the first-born of their parents, who was the first-born of their parents who was the first-born of their parents etc. There are of course exceptions to this, but it is the usual rule of succession.
I wanted to leave my bias to one side, because I was one of the people who didn’t sing along.
I love my country, but this anthem does nothing for me. A national anthem, should be something the whole country can be proud of. A loud and proud anthem, one that stirs the heart and soul. An anthem that is about Great Britain and not a person who “reigns over us”.
An anthem fit for the 21st Century, not one that harkens back to a time of yore.
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