LONDON, The British Parliament is set to discuss whether England should have its own national anthem, replacing the commonly used — yet not official — “God Save the Queen.”
“God Save the Queen” is typically used at sporting events and ceremonies in England, but the song is actually the anthem for the United Kingdom, which is comprised of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each of the countries within the United Kingdom has its own anthem, except England.
Parliament member Toby Perkins said he will propose inviting the to debate choices for an appropriate song.
“England is a component part of the [United Kingdom] but it competes [in sporting events] as a country in its own right and I think a song that celebrated England rather than Britain would be more appropriate,” Perkins.
A sentimental choice is “Jerusalem,” based on a poem by famed British poet William Blake. It was used after a public vote when English athletes competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
“It’s a beautiful song, and it actually mentions and is about England, unlike its competitors. People wrongly think it’s a hymn and object to the fact it references a Middle Eastern city, but Jerusalem was actually a metaphor for a better place,” Garth Young of the group Anthem for England told the BBC.
“Land of Hope and Glory,” by English composer Edward Elgar, has also been suggested. The song has been used in prior Commonwealth Games.
Perkins will introduce his proposal under Parliament’s “Ten-Minute Rule,” in which a member has 10 minutes to persuade fellow members to allow a bill to proceed. Bills introduced in this manner rarely succeed.
A similar motion was introduced in Parliament in 2007 by member Greg Mulholland, who called for adoption of “an appropriate song that English sportsmen and women, and the English public, would favor when competing as England.”
By Ed Adamczyk