"God Save the Queen" (alternatively "God Save the King", depending on the sex of the reigning monarch) is the national or royal anthem in a number of Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown dependencies. The author of the tune is unknown, and it may originate in plainchant; but an attribution to the composer John Bull is sometimes made.
"God Save the Queen" is the national anthem of the United Kingdom and one of two national anthems used by New Zealand since 1977, as well as for several of the UK's territories that have their own additional local anthem. It is also the royal anthem – played specifically in the presence of the monarch – of all the aforementioned countries, as well as Australia (since 1984), Canada (since 1980), Barbados and Tuvalu. In countries not previously part of the British Empire, the tune of "God Save the Queen" has provided the basis for various patriotic songs, though still generally connected with royal ceremony. The melody continues to be used for the national anthem of Liechtenstein, "Oben am jungen Rhein", and the royal anthem of Norway, "Kongesangen". In the United States, the melody is used for the patriotic song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee".
Beyond its first verse, which is consistent, "God Save the Queen/King" has many historic and extant versions. Since its first publication, different verses have been added and taken away and, even today, different publications include various selections of verses in various orders. In general, only one verse is sung. Sometimes two verses are sung, and on rare occasions, three.
The sovereign and her or his spouse are saluted with the entire composition, while other members of the Royal Family who are entitled to royal salute (such as the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex along with their spouses) receive just the first six bars. The first six bars also form all or part of the Vice Regal Salute in some Commonwealth realms outside the UK (e.g., in Canada, governors general and lieutenant governors at official events are saluted with the first six bars of "God Save the Queen" followed by the first four and last four bars of "O Canada"), as well as the salute given to governors of British overseas territories.
|God Save the Queen|
Publication of an early version in The Gentleman's Magazine, 15 October 1745. The title, on the contents page, is given as "God save our lord the king: A new song set for two voices".
National or royal anthem of
|Also known as||"God Save the King"|
(when the monarch is male)
"God Save the Queen"
In The Oxford Companion to Music, Percy Scholes points out the similarities to an early plainsong melody, although the rhythm is very distinctly that of a galliard, and he gives examples of several such dance tunes that bear a striking resemblance to "God Save the King/Queen". Scholes quotes a keyboard piece by John Bull (1619) which has some similarities to the modern tune, depending on the placing of accidentals which at that time were unwritten in certain cases and left to the discretion of the player (see musica ficta). He also points to several pieces by Henry Purcell, one of which includes the opening notes of the modern tune, setting the words "God Save the King". Nineteenth-century scholars and commentators mention the widespread belief that an old Scots carol, "Remember O Thou Man" was the source of the tune.
The first published version of what is almost the present tune appeared in 1744 in Thesaurus Musicus. The 1744 version of the song was popularised in Scotland and England the following year, with the landing of Charles Edward Stuart and was published in The Gentleman's Magazine (see illustration above). This manuscript has the tune depart from that which is used today at several points, one as early as the first bar, but is otherwise clearly a strong relative of the contemporary anthem. It was recorded as being sung in London theatres in 1745, with, for example, Thomas Arne writing a setting of the tune for the Drury Lane Theatre.
Scholes' analysis includes mention of "untenable" and "doubtful" claims, as well as "an American misattribution". Some of these are:
Scholes recommends the attribution "traditional" or "traditional; earliest known version by John Bull (1562–1628)". The English Hymnal (musical editor Ralph Vaughan Williams) gives no attribution, stating merely "17th or 18th cent."
Like many aspects of British constitutional life, "God Save the Queen" derives its official status from custom and use, not from Royal Proclamation or Act of Parliament. The variation in the UK of the lyrics to "God Save the Queen" is the oldest amongst those currently used, and forms the basis on which all other versions used throughout the Commonwealth are formed; though, again, the words have varied over time.
England has no official national anthem of its own; "God Save the Queen" is treated as the English national anthem when England is represented at sporting events (though there are some exceptions to this rule, such as cricket where "Jerusalem" is used). There is a movement to establish an English national anthem, with Blake and Parry's "Jerusalem" and Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory" among the top contenders. Scotland has its own national song and Wales has its own national anthem for political and national events and for use at international football, rugby union and other sports in which those nations compete independently. On all occasions Wales' national anthem is "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (Land of my Fathers). Scotland has no single anthem; "Scotland the Brave" was traditionally used until the 1990s, when "Flower of Scotland" was adopted. In Northern Ireland, "God Save the Queen" is still used as the official anthem.
The phrase "No surrender" is occasionally sung in the bridge before "Send her victorious" by England football fans at matches. The phrase "no surrender" is also associated with Combat 18, a white supremacist group. The phrase is also associated with Ulster loyalism and can sometimes be heard at the same point before Northern Ireland football matches.
Since 2003, "God Save the Queen", considered an all inclusive Anthem for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as other countries within the Commonwealth, has been dropped from the Commonwealth Games. Northern Irish athletes receive their gold medals to the tune of the "Londonderry Air", popularly known as "Danny Boy". In 2006, English winners heard Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, usually known as "Land of Hope and Glory", but after a poll conducted by the Commonwealth Games Council for England prior to the 2010 Games, "Jerusalem" was adopted as England's new Commonwealth Games anthem. In sports in which the UK competes as one nation, most notably as Great Britain at the Olympics, "God Save the Queen" is used to represent anyone or any team that comes from the United Kingdom.
The phrase "God Save the King" is much older than the song, appearing, for instance, several times in the King James Bible. A text based on the 1st Book of Kings Chapter 1: verses 38–40, "...And all the people rejoic'd, and said: God save the King! Long live the King! May the King live for ever, Amen", has been sung at every coronation since that of King Edgar in 973. Scholes says that as early as 1545 "God Save the King" was a watchword of the Royal Navy, with the response being "Long to reign over us". He also notes that the prayer read in churches on anniversaries of the Gunpowder Plot includes words which might have formed part of the basis for the second verse "Scatter our enemies...assuage their malice and confound their devices".
In 1745, The Gentleman's Magazine published "God save our lord the king: A new song set for two voices", describing it "As sung at both Playhouses" (the Theatres Royal at Drury Lane and Covent Garden). Traditionally, the first performance was thought to have been in 1745, when it was sung in support of King George II, after his defeat at the Battle of Prestonpans by the army of Charles Edward Stuart, son of James Francis Edward Stuart, the Jacobite claimant to the British throne.
It is sometimes claimed that, ironically, the song was originally sung in support of the Jacobite cause: the word "send" in the line "Send him victorious" could imply that the king was absent. However, the Oxford English Dictionary cites examples of "[God] send (a person) safe, victorious, etc." meaning "God grant that he may be safe, etc.". There are also examples of early eighteenth century Jacobean drinking glasses which are inscribed with a version of the words and were apparently intended for drinking the health of King James II and VII.
Scholes acknowledges these possibilities but argues that the same words were probably being used by both Jacobite and Hanoverian supporters and directed at their respective kings.
In 1902, the musician William Hayman Cummings, quoting mid-18th century correspondence between Charles Burney and Sir Joseph Banks, proposed that the words were based on a Latin verse composed for King James II at the Chapel Royal.
O Deus optime
Salvum nunc facito
Sic laeta victoria
Comes et gloria
Salvum iam facito
There is no definitive version of the lyrics. However, the version consisting of the three verses reproduced in the box on the right hand side has the best claim to be regarded as the "standard" British version, appearing not only in the 1745 Gentleman's Magazine, but also in publications such as The Book of English Songs: From the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century (1851), National Hymns: How They Are Written and How They Are Not Written (1861), Household Book of Poetry (1882), and Hymns Ancient and Modern, Revised Version (1982).
The same version with verse two omitted appears in publications including Scouting for Boys (1908), and on the British Monarchy website. At the Queen's Golden Jubilee Party at the Palace concert, Prince Charles referred in his speech to the "politically incorrect second verse" of the National Anthem.
According to Alan Michie's Rule, Britannia, which was published in 1952, after the death of King George VI but before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, when the first General Assembly of the United Nations was held in London in January 1946 the King, in honour of the occasion, "ordered the belligerent imperious second stanza of 'God Save the King' to be rewritten to bring it more into the spirit of the brotherhood of nations."
In the UK, the first verse is the only verse typically sung, even at official occasions, although the third verse is sung in addition on rare occasions such as during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, and usually at the Last Night of the Proms. At the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the fourth verse of the William Hickson alternative lyrics was sung instead of the third verse.
The standard version of the melody and its key of G major are still those of the originally published version, although the start of the anthem is often signalled by an introductory timpani roll of two bars length. The bass line of the standard version differs little from the second voice part shown in the original, and there is a standard version in four-part harmony for choirs. The first three lines (six bars of music) are soft, ending with a short crescendo into "Send her victorious", and then is another crescendo at "over us:" into the final words "God save the Queen".
In the early part of the 20th century there existed a Military Band version in the higher key of B♭, because it was easier for brass instruments to play in that key, though it had the disadvantage of being more difficult to sing: however now most Bands play it in the correct key of G.
There have been several attempts to improve the song by rewriting the words. In the nineteenth century there was some lively debate about the national anthem and, even then, verse two was considered to be slightly offensive. Notably, the question arose over the phrase "scatter her enemies." Some thought it placed better emphasis on the respective power of Parliament and the Crown to change "her" to "our"; others pointed out that the theology was somewhat dubious and substituted "thine" instead. Sydney G. R. Coles wrote a completely new version, as did Canon F. K. Harford. In 1836, William Edward Hickson wrote four alternative verses. The first, third, and fourth of these verses are appended to the National Anthem in the English Hymnal (which only includes verses one and three of the original lyrics).
William Hickson's alternative (1836) version includes the following verses, of which the first, third, and fourth have some currency as they are appended to the National Anthem in the English Hymnal. The fourth verse was sung after the traditional first verse at the Queen's Golden Jubilee National Service of Thanksgiving in 2002 and during the raising of the Union Flag during the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
God bless our native land!
May Heav'n's protecting hand
Still guard our shore:
May peace her power extend,
Foe be transformed to friend,
And Britain's rights depend
On war no more.
O Lord, our monarch bless
With strength and righteousness:
Long may she reign:
Her heart inspire and move
With wisdom from above;
And in a nation's love
Her throne maintain
May just and righteous laws
Uphold the public cause,
And bless our Isle:
Home of the brave and free,
Thou land of Liberty,
We pray that still on thee
Kind Heav'n may smile.
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 o'er
A less militaristic version of the song, titled "Official peace version, 1919", was first published in the hymn book Songs of Praise in 1925. This was "official" in the sense that it was approved by the British Privy Council in 1919. However, despite being reproduced in some other hymn books, it is largely unknown today.
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!
One realm of races four
Blest more and ever more
God save our land!
Home of the brave and free
Set in the silver sea
True nurse of chivalry
God save our land!
Of many a race and birth
From utmost ends of earth
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease
Bid hope and joy increase
Spread universal peace
God save us all!
Around 1745, anti-Jacobite sentiment was captured in a verse appended to the song, with a prayer for the success of Field Marshal George Wade's army then assembling at Newcastle. These words attained some short-term use, although they did not appear in the published version in the October 1745 Gentleman's Magazine. This verse was first documented as an occasional addition to the original anthem by Richard Clark in 1822, and was also mentioned in a later article on the song, published by the Gentleman's Magazine in October 1836. Therein, it is presented as an "additional verse... though being of temporary application only... stored in the memory of an old friend... who was born in the very year 1745, and was thus the associate of those who heard it first sung", the lyrics given being:
Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.
The 1836 article and other sources make it clear that this verse was not used soon after 1745, and certainly before the song became accepted as the British national anthem in the 1780s and 1790s. It was included as an integral part of the song in the Oxford Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse of 1926, although erroneously referencing the "fourth verse" to the Gentleman's Magazine article of 1745.
On the opposing side, Jacobite beliefs were demonstrated in an alternative verse used during the same period:
In May 1800, following an attempt to assassinate King George III at London's Drury Lane theatre, playwright Richard Sheridan immediately composed an additional verse, which was sung from the stage the same night:
From every latent foe
From the assassin's blow
God save the King
O'er him Thine arm extend
For Britain's sake defend
Our father, king, and friend
God save the King!
Various other attempts were made during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to add verses to commemorate particular royal or national events. For example, according to Fitzroy Maclean, when Jacobite forces bypassed Wade's force and reached Derby, but then retreated and when their garrison at Carlisle Castle surrendered to a second government army led by King George's son, the Duke of Cumberland, another verse was added. Other short-lived verses were notably anti-French, such as the following, quoted in the book Handel by Edward J. Dent:
From France and Pretender
Great Britain defend her,
Foes let them fall;
From foreign slavery,
Priests and their knavery,
And Popish Reverie,
God save us all.
However, none of these additional verses survived into the twentieth century. Updated "full" versions including additional verses have been published more recently, including the standard three verses, Hickson's fourth verse, Sheridan's verse and the Marshal Wade verse.
God save the Guillotine
Till England’s King and Queen
Her power shall prove:
Till each appointed knob
Affords a clipping job
Let no vile halter rob
France, let thy trumpet sound –
Tell all the world around
How CAPET fell;
And when great GEORGE's poll
Shall in the basket roll,
Let mercy then control
When all the sceptre'd crew
Have paid their Homage, due
Let Freedom’s flag advance
Till all the world, like France
O'er tyrants' graves shall dance
And PEACE begin.
The style most commonly heard in official performances was proposed as the "proper interpretation" by King George V, who considered himself something of an expert (in view of the number of times he had heard it). An Army Order was duly issued in 1933, which laid down regulations for tempo, dynamics and orchestration. This included instructions such as that the opening "six bars will be played quietly by the reed band with horns and basses in a single phrase. Cornets and side-drum are to be added at the little scale-passage leading into the second half of the tune, and the full brass enters for the last eight bars". The official tempo for the opening section is a metronome setting of 60, with the second part played in a broader manner, at a metronome setting of 52. In recent years the prescribed sombre-paced introduction is often played at a faster and livelier tempo.
Until the latter part of the 20th century, theatre and concert goers were expected to stand while the anthem was played after the conclusion of a show. In cinemas this brought a tendency for audiences to rush out while the end credits played to avoid this formality. (This can be seen in the 1972 Dad's Army episode "A Soldier's Farewell".)
The anthem continues to be played at some traditional events such as Wimbledon, Royal Variety Performance, the Edinburgh Tattoo, Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta and The Proms as well as at Royal events.
The anthem was traditionally played at closedown on the BBC, and with the introduction of commercial television to the UK this practice was adopted by some ITV companies (with the notable exception of Granada). BBC Two never played the anthem at closedown, and ITV dropped the practice in the late 1980s, but it continued on BBC One until the final closedown on 8 November 1997 (thereafter BBC One began to simulcast with BBC News after end of programmes). The tradition is carried on, however, by BBC Radio 4, which plays the anthem each night as a transition piece between the end of the Radio 4 broadcasting and the move to BBC World Service. Radio 4 and Radio 2 also play the National Anthem just before the 0700 and 0800 news bulletins on the actual and official birthdays of the Queen and the birthdays of senior members of the Royal Family.
The UK's national anthem usually prefaces The Queen's Christmas Message (although in 2007 it appeared at the end, taken from a recording of the 1957 television broadcast), and important royal announcements, such as of royal deaths, when it is played in a slower, sombre arrangement.
Frequently, when an anthem is needed for one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom – at an international sporting event, for instance – an alternative song is used:
In April 2007 there was an early day motion, number 1319, to the British Parliament to propose that there should be a separate England anthem: "That this House ... believes that all English sporting associations should adopt an appropriate song that English sportsmen and women, and the English public, would favour when competing as England". An amendment (EDM 1319A3) was proposed by Evan Harris that the song "should have a bit more oomph than God Save The Queen and should also not involve God."
For more information see also:
"God Save the King/Queen" was exported around the world via the expansion of the British Empire, serving as each country's national anthem. Throughout the Empire's evolution into the Commonwealth of Nations, the song declined in use in most states which became independent. In New Zealand, it remains one of the official national anthems.
In Australia, the song has standing through a Royal Proclamation issued by Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen on 19 April 1984. It declared "God Save the Queen" to be the Royal Anthem and that it is to be played when the Australian monarch or a member of the Royal Family is present, though not exclusively in such circumstances. The same proclamation made "Advance Australia Fair" the national anthem and the basis for the "Vice-Regal Salute" (the first four and last two bars of the anthem). Prior to 1984, "God Save the Queen" was the national anthem of Australia. In 1975 former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, alluded to the anthem in his comment "Well may we say 'God save the Queen', because nothing will save the Governor-General!".
By convention, "God Save the Queen" (French: Dieu Sauve la Reine, Dieu Sauve le Roi when a King) is the Royal Anthem of Canada. It is sometimes played or sung together with the national anthem, "O Canada", at private and public events organised by groups such as the Government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion, police services, and loyal groups. The governor general and provincial lieutenant governors are accorded the "Viceregal Salute", comprising the first three lines of "God Save the Queen", followed by the first and last lines of "O Canada".
"God Save the Queen" has been sung in Canada since the late 1700s and by the mid 20th century was, along with "O Canada", one of the country's two de facto national anthems, the first and last verses of the standard British version being used. By-laws and practices governing the use of either song during public events in municipalities varied; in Toronto, "God Save the Queen" was employed, while in Montreal it was "O Canada". Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in 1964 said one song would have to be chosen as the country's national anthem and, three years later, he advised Governor General Georges Vanier to appoint the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on the National and Royal Anthems. Within two months, on 12 April 1967, the committee presented its conclusion that "God Save the Queen", whose music and lyrics were found to be in the public domain, should be designated as the Royal Anthem of Canada and "O Canada" as the national anthem, one verse from each, in both official languages, to be adopted by parliament. The group was then charged with establishing official lyrics for each song; for "God Save the Queen", the English words were those inherited from the United Kingdom and the French words were taken from those that had been adopted in 1952 for the coronation of Elizabeth II. When the bill pronouncing "O Canada" as the national anthem was put through parliament, the joint committee's earlier recommendations regarding "God Save the Queen" were not included.
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces regulates that "God Save the Queen" be played as a salute to the monarch and other members of the Canadian Royal Family, though it may also be used as a hymn, or prayer. The words are not to be sung when the song is played as a military royal salute and is abbreviated to the first three lines while arms are being presented. Elizabeth II stipulated that the arrangement in G major by Lieutenant Colonel Basil H. Brown be used in Canada. The authorised version to be played by pipe bands is Mallorca.
The first verse of "God Save the Queen" has been translated into French, as shown below:
There is a special Canadian verse in English which was once commonly sung in addition to the two standing verses:
"God Save the Queen" was the sole official national anthem until 1977 when "God Defend New Zealand" was added as a second. "God Save the Queen" is now most often only played when the sovereign, governor-general or other member of the Royal Family is present, or on some occasions such as Anzac Day. The Māori-language version was written by Edward Marsh Williams under the title, "E te atua tohingia te kuini".
There is a special New Zealand verse in English which was once commonly sung to replace the second and third verses:
All verses of "God Save the Queen" have been translated into Māori. The first verse is shown below:
When Rhodesia issued its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the UK on 11 November 1965, it did so while still maintaining loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II as the Rhodesian head of state, despite the non-recognition of the Rhodesian government by the United Kingdom and the United Nations; "God Save the Queen" therefore remained the Rhodesian national anthem. This was supposed to demonstrate the continued allegiance of the Rhodesian people to the monarch, but the retention in Rhodesia of a song so associated with the UK while the two countries were at loggerheads regarding its constitutional status caused Rhodesian state occasions to have "a faintly ironic tone", in the words of The Times. Nevertheless, "God Save the Queen" remained Rhodesia's national anthem until March 1970, when the country formally declared itself a republic. "Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia" was adopted in its stead in 1974 and remained in use until the country returned to the UK's control in December 1979. Since the internationally recognised independence of the Republic of Zimbabwe in April 1980, "God Save the Queen" has had no official status there.
"God Save the Queen" (Afrikaans: God Red die Koningin, God Red die Koning when a King) was a co-national anthem of South Africa from 1938 until 1957, when it was formally replaced by "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" as the sole national anthem. The latter served as a sort of de facto co-national anthem alongside the former until 1938. As South Africa was a Commonwealth realm at the time, "God Save the Queen" continued to remain the royal anthem of the country until it became a fully independent state in 1961.
"God Save the King" was one of the first songs to successfully be used as a national anthem; only the Dutch Het Wilhelmus (~1568) is older. (The Spanish La Marcha Real is older as well, but took longer to become popular. Japan's anthem Kimigayo has lyrics which are older still, but a more recent melody). Its success prompted a number of other countries to pen similar anthems to help construct a concrete national identity - many of which used the same tune:
The melody is also used as a hymn tune by Christian churches in various countries, including by the United Methodist Church and other denominations. "Glory to God on High" is frequently sung to the tune, as is "Since I Have My Retreat" in the Protestant Church of Korea, and the Dutch hymn "Eeuwig en machtig Heer".
The Ren & Stimpy Show uses a parody version of the tune for the anthem of the "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen".
About 140 composers have used the tune in their compositions, including Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Clementi, J. C. Bach, Liszt, Britten, Carl Maria von Weber, Niccolò Paganini, Johann Strauss I, and Edward Elgar.
Ludwig van Beethoven composed a set of seven piano variations in the key of C major to the theme of "God Save the King", catalogued as WoO.78 (1802–1803). He also quotes it in his orchestral work Wellington's Victory.
Muzio Clementi used the theme to "God Save the King" in his Symphony No. 3 in G major, often called the "Great National Symphony", catalogued as WoO. 34. Clementi paid a high tribute to his adopted homeland (the United Kingdom) where he grew up and stayed most of his lifetime. He based the Symphony (about 1816–1824) on "God Save the King", which is hinted at earlier in the work, not least in the second movement, and announced by the trombones in the finale. • Symphony No. 3 "Great National Symphony " in en sol majeur/G-dur/G major/sol maggiore 1. Andante sostenuto – Allegro con brio 2. Andante un poco mosso 3. Minuetto. Allegretto 4. Finale. Vivace
Johann Christian Bach composed a set of variations on "God Save the King" for the finale to his sixth keyboard concerto (Op. 1) written c. 1763.
Joseph Haydn was impressed by the use of "God Save the King" as a national anthem during his visit to London in 1794, and on his return to Austria composed "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" ("God Save Emperor Francis") for the birthday of the last Holy Roman Emperor and Roman-German King, Francis II. It became the anthem of the Austrian Empire after the end of the Holy Roman Empire with revised lyrics, its tune ultimately being used for the German national anthem. The tune of "God Save the King" was adopted for the Prussian royal anthem "Heil Dir im Siegerkranz".
Franz Liszt wrote a piano paraphrase on the anthem (S.259 in the official catalogue, c. 1841).
Johann Strauss I quoted "God Save the Queen" in full at the end of his waltz Huldigung der Königin Victoria von Grossbritannien (Homage to Queen Victoria of Great Britain) Op. 103, where he also quoted Rule, Britannia! in full at the beginning of the piece.
Heinrich Marschner used the anthem in his "Grande Ouverture solenne", op.78 (1842).
Joachim Raff used this anthem in his Jubelouverture, Opus 103 (1864) dedicated to Adolf, Herzog von Nassau, on the 25th anniversary of his reign.
Gioachino Rossini used this anthem in the last scene of his "Il viaggio a Reims", when all the characters, coming from many different European countries, sing a song which recalls their own homeland. Lord Sidney, bass, sings "Della real pianta" on the notes of "God Save the King". Samuel Ramey used to interpolate a spectacular virtuoso cadenza at the end of the song.
Fernando Sor used the anthem in his 12 Studies, Op. 6: No. 10 in C Major in the section marked 'Maestoso.'
Claude Debussy opens with a brief introduction of "God Save the King" in one of his Preludes, Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C.. The piece draws its inspiration from the main character of the Charles Dickens novel The Pickwick Papers.
Niccolò Paganini wrote a set of highly virtuosic variations on "God Save the King" as his Opus 9.
A week before the Coronation Ode was due to be premiered at the June 1902 "Coronation Gala Concert" at Covent Garden (it was cancelled, owing to the King's illness), Sir Edward Elgar introduced an arrangement of "Land of Hope and Glory" as a solo song performed by Clara Butt at a "Coronation Concert" at the Albert Hall. Novello seized upon the prevailing patriotism and requested that Elgar arrange the National Anthem as an appropriate opening for a concert performed in front of the Court and numerous British and foreign dignitaries. This version for orchestra and chorus, which is enlivened by use of a cappella and marcato effects, was also performed at the opening of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on St. George's Day, 1924, and recorded under the composer's Baton in 1928, with the LSO and the Philharmonic Choir. Elgar also used the first verse of the Anthem as the climax of a short "Civic Procession and Anthem", written to accompany the mayoral procession at the opening of the Hereford Music Festival on 4 September 1927. This premiere performance was recorded, and is today available on CD; the score was lost following the festival, and Elgar resorted to reconstructing it by ear from the recording.
Carl Maria von Weber uses the "God Save the King" theme at the end of his "Jubel Overture".
|"God Save the Queen"|
|Song by Benjamin Britten|
|Songwriter(s)||Henry Carey (writer)|
Charles Ives wrote Variations on "America" for organ in 1891 at age seventeen. It included a polytonal section in three simultaneous keys, though this was omitted from performances at his father's request, because "it made the boys laugh out loud". Ives was fond of the rapid pedal line in the final variation, which he said was "almost as much fun as playing baseball". The piece was not published until 1949; the final version includes an introduction, seven variations and a polytonal interlude. The piece was adapted for orchestra in 1963 by William Schuman. This version became popular during the bicentennial celebrations, and is often heard at pops concerts.
Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776–1835), one of the musical trinity in South Indian classical (Carnatic) music composed some Sanskrit pieces set to Western tunes. These are in the raga Sankarabharanam and are referred to as "nottu swaras". Among these, the composition "Santatam Pahimam Sangita Shyamale" is set to the tune of "God Save the Queen".
Johan Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) wrote the Variations from God Save the King in D major, op. 10 and quoted the tune briefly in his Freudenfest-Ouverture in D major S 148
Adrien-François Servais (1807–66) and Joseph Ghys (1801–48) wrote Variations brillantes et concertantes sur l'air "God Save the King", op. 38, for violin and cello and performed it in London and St Petersburg.
Georges Onslow (1784-1853) used the tune in his String Quartet No. 7 in G Minor, op.9, second movement.
The Beatles performed an impromptu version of "God Save the Queen" during their 30 January 1969 rooftop concert, atop the Apple building. They had also whistled the melody of the song on their first fan club Christmas record in 1963.
Jimi Hendrix of The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an impromptu version of "God Save the Queen" to open his set at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Just before walking onto the stage, he can be seen (on the DVD) and heard to ask "How does it go again?" in reference to said UK national anthem. He may have been able to simply hear it mimicked by voice and then perform it, though the same melody was (and is) widely known in the United States to the lyrics "My country, 'tis of thee". Hendrix gave the same sort of distortion and improvisation of "God Save the Queen", as he had done with "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Woodstock Festival, 1969.
The rock band Queen recorded an instrumental version of "God Save the Queen" on their 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It was arranged by guitarist Brian May and features his distinctive layers of overdubbed electric guitars. A tape of this version would be played at the end of almost every concert, with Freddie Mercury walking around the stage wearing a crown and a cloak on their Magic Tour in 1986. The song was played whilst all the Queen members would take their bows. On 3 June 2002, during the Queen's Golden Jubilee, Brian May performed the anthem on his Red Special electric guitar for Party at the Palace, performing from the roof of Buckingham Palace, and features on the 30th Anniversary DVD edition of A Night at the Opera.
|"God Save the Queen"|
|Song by Queen|
|from the album A Night at the Opera|
|Recorded||27 October 1974 at Trident Studios|
|Label||EMI, Parlophone (Europe)|
Elektra, Hollywood (US)
|Producer(s)||Queen, Roy Thomas Baker|
|A Night at the Opera track listing|
In 1977, the Sex Pistols recorded a song titled "God Save the Queen" in open reference to the National Anthem and the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations that year, with the song intending to stand for sympathy for the working class and resentment of the monarchy. They were banned from many venues, censored by mainstream media, and reached number 2 on the official U.K. singles charts and number 1 on the NME chart.
The title is Dog Save the Queen, from T.U.F.F. Puppy
In Team Fortress 2, one of the Sniper's quotes is the same title as the anthem. This is in reference to New Zealand (the Sniper's birthplace) being a former British colony.
In the movie version of V for Vendetta during an episode of Gordon Deitrich's show, which sends up Chancellor Adam Suttler.
In 'The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen' episode of Ren & Stimpy (the song is the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen anthem.)
The anthem was the first piece of music played on a computer, and the first computer music to be recorded.
Musical notes were first generated by a computer programmed by Alan Turing at the Computing Machine Laboratory of the University of Manchester in 1948. The first music proper, a performance of the National Anthem was programmed by Christopher Strachey on the Mark II Manchester Electronic Computer at same venue, in 1951. Later that year, short extracts of three pieces, the first being the National Anthem, were recorded there by a BBC outside broadcasting unit: the other pieces being "Ba Ba Black Sheep, and "In the Mood". Researchers at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch restored the acetate master disc in 2016 and the results may be heard on Soundcloud.
The philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham praised "God Save the King" in 1796: "the melody recommending itself by beauty to the most polished ears, and by its simplicity to the rudest ear. A song of this complexion, implanted by the habit of half a century in the mass of popular sentiment, can not be refused a place in the inventory of the national blessings." Ludwig van Beethoven wrote "I have to show the English a little of what a blessing 'God Save the King' is". Alex Marshall, the British author of Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems, called the anthem "ludicrous".
There have been calls within the UK for a new national anthem, whether it be for the United Kingdom itself, Britain and/or England (which all currently use God Save the Queen). There are many reasons people cite for wishing for a new national anthem, such as: from a non-religious standpoint (the majority of people in the UK today identify as not religious), claims of God Save the Queen being long outdated and irrelevant in the 21st century, rejection of odes to promoting war and rejection of praising the monarchy from a republican perspective. A further reason is that England has no anthem of its own for sporting contests and the like, whereas Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales do; Flower of Scotland, Londonderry Air, and Land of My Fathers fill this niche (the former two on an unofficial basis), while England tends to use God Save the Queen exclusively and also unofficially.
[Remember O Thou Man] is the air on the ground of which God Save the King Is sometimes claimed for Scotland. It is in two strains of 8 bars each and has the rhythm and melody of the modern tune in the first and third bars of the second strain. But it is in minor.
Remember O thou man is unquestionably the root of God save the King
Meanwhile the choir sings the anthem Zadok the Priest, the words of which (from the first Book of Kings) have been sung at every coronation since King Edgar’s in 973. Since the coronation of George II in 1727 the setting by Handel has always been used.
Since the arrival of Otto to Greece, the German national anthem was formalised in Greece, which is an imitation of the British one. On the melody of "God Save the King" the following Greek lyrics were adapted: God Save our King, Otto the First / Lengthen, Strengthen his Reign / God Save our King.
A Night at the Opera is the fourth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 21 November 1975 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen, it was reportedly the most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release. The album takes its name from the Marx Brothers film of the same name, which the band watched one night at the studio complex when recording.
The album was recorded at various studios across a four-month period in 1975. Due to management issues, Queen received almost none of the money they earned for their previous albums. Subsequently, they ended their contract with Trident Studios and did not use their studios for their album (with the sole exception being "God Save the Queen", which was recorded the previous year). They employed a complex production that extensively used multitrack recording, and the songs incorporated a wide range of styles, such as ballads, music hall, dixieland, hard rock and progressive rock influences. Aside from their usual equipment, Queen also utilised a diverse range of instruments such as a double bass, harp, ukulele and more.
Upon release, the album topped the UK Albums Chart for four non-consecutive weeks. It peaked at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart and became the band's first Platinum-selling album in the US. The worldwide sales for the album are over six million copies. It also produced the band's most successful single in the UK, "Bohemian Rhapsody", which became their first UK number one and one of the best-selling singles in both the UK and the world.
A Night at the Opera received contemporary mixed reviews from critics, but they praised its production and the diverse musical themes, as well as recognising it as the album that established Queen as superstars. In 1977, it received two Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus and Best Arrangement for Voices. Retrospective reviews have hailed it as Queen's magnum opus, and one of the greatest albums in rock history. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number 231 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2018, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.A Night at the Opera Tour
The A Night at the Opera Tour was a concert tour in 1975 by Queen to promote A Night at the Opera. It spanned 1975 and 1976, and covered the UK, the US, Japan, and Australia. It marked the debut of "Bohemian Rhapsody", which would be played at every Queen gig thereafter.
The DVD A Night at the Odeon is taken from the Christmas Eve concert at the Hammersmith Odeon. "It's quite something to watch", said Brian May. "We were just a four-piece, but we made a lot of noise. I'm quite shocked at how good it was. We were incredibly tight and, at the same time – because we knew each other so well – very loose in terms of improvisation."Gibraltar Anthem
The Gibraltar Anthem is the national song of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.
In common with the United Kingdom, Crown dependencies and other British territories, the official national anthem of Gibraltar is God Save the Queen. The Gibraltar anthem is the national song, and was chosen in a competition in 1994. Both the lyrics and music were composed by Peter Emberley, who is not a Gibraltarian.
The anthem is sung every 10 September by the general public at the annual release of 30,000 red and white balloons on Gibraltar National Day.God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners
God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners is the second solo album by Robert Fripp, released on the Polydor Records label in 1980 (US catalogue no. PD-1-6266).
The album largely consists of Frippertronics, with much of the work being performed by improvisation. On the Under Heavy Manners side of the album, the effect was modified in what Fripp described as "Discotronics", adding a solid drum beat and bass line to create a dancier sound. The design concept was by Fripp and Chris Stein, with Stein credited for the cover photography.
The original planned title for the album was Music for Sports, but Fripp eventually decided to choose a title that would not be associated with colleague Brian Eno's Music for... album series.
This record has never been released on CD. However, the track "Under Heavy Manners" and a longer and retitled version of "The Zero of the Signified" (called "God Save the King") with an added guitar solo are on the abridged Robert Fripp and The League of Gentlemen God Save the King CD release. "God Save the Queen" was retitled "The New World" and released on the 1886 album Live! by Robert Fripp & the League of Crafty Guitarists.God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols song)
"God Save the Queen" is a song by the British punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band's second single and was later included on their only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. The song was released during Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record's lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to play the song. The original title for the song was "No Future", with the lyrics themselves being a general expression of the band's view of the Monarchy or any individual or establishment commanding general obligation.The song reached No.1 on the NME charts in the United Kingdom, and made it to No. 2 on the official UK Singles Chart as used by the BBC. This led to accusations by some that the charts had been "fixed" to prevent the song from reaching No.1.God Save the Queen (band)
God Save the Queen (Spanish: Dios Salve a la Reina) is an Argentine Queen tribute-band formed in 1998. The band's members are: Pablo Padin (vocals), Francisco Calgaro (guitar), Matias Albornoz (drums) and Ezequiel Tibaldo (bass).
The band takes their name from the United Kingdom's national anthem which was played on tape at the end of every Queen show while the band took their bows.Hot Space Tour
The Hot Space Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen in support of their 1982 album Hot Space. The tour started on 9 April in Gothenburg, Sweden and ended, after sixty-nine concerts, in Tokorozawa, Japan.Jamie Reid
Jamie Reid (born 1947) is an English artist and anarchist with connections to the Situationists. His work, featuring letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note, came close to defining the image of punk rock, particularly in the UK. His best known works include the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols and the singles "Anarchy in the UK", "God Save The Queen" (based on a Cecil Beaton photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, with an added safety pin through her nose and swastikas in her eyes, described by Sean O'Hagan of The Observer as "the single most iconic image of the punk era"), "Pretty Vacant" and "Holidays in the Sun".
He was educated at John Ruskin Grammar School in Croydon. With Malcolm McLaren, he took part in a sit-in at Croydon Art School.Reid produced a series of screen prints in 1997, the twentieth anniversary of the birth of punk rock. Ten years later on the thirtieth anniversary of the release of God "Save the Queen," Reid produced a new print entitled "Never Trust a Punk," based on his original design which was exhibited at London Art Fair in the Islington area of the city " ". Reid has also produced artwork for the world music fusion band Afro Celt Sound System.
Jamie Reid created the ransom-note look used with the Sex Pistols graphics while he was designing Suburban Press, a radical political magazine he ran for five years.
His exhibitions include Peace is Tough at The Arches in Glasgow, and at the Microzine Gallery in Liverpool, where he now lives. Since 2004, Reid has been exhibiting and publishing prints with the Aquarium Gallery, where a career retrospective, May Day, May Day, was held in May 2007. He now exhibits and publishes work at Steve Lowe's new project space the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell, London.
In 2009 following allegations Damien Hirst was to sue a student for copyright infringement, Reid called him a "hypocritical and greedy art bully" and in collaboration with Jimmy Cauty produced his For the Love of Disruptive Strategies and Utopian Visions in Contemporary Art and Culture image as a pastiche replacing the God Save The Queen with God Save Damien Hirst.He is also represented by John Marchant Gallery who look after Reid's extensive archive.
In October 2010, US activist David Jacobs – founder of the early 1970s Situationist group Point-Blank! – challenged claims that Reid created the "Nowhere Buses" graphic which appeared on the sleeve to the Sex Pistols' 1977 single Pretty Vacant and has subsequently been used many times for limited edition prints. Jacobs said that he originated the design, which first appeared in a pamphlet as part of a protest about mass transit in San Francisco in 1973.Reid has also been involved in direct action campaigns on issues including the poll tax, Clause 28 and the Criminal Justice Bill.His former partner was actress Margi Clarke, with whom he had a daughter, Rowan.Jazz Tour
The Jazz Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen, supporting the album Jazz. The tour was memorable for the spectacle created by the band. As James Henke of Rolling Stone said about the band's Halloween 1978 concert in New Orleans: "...when they were launching a U.S. tour in support of their Jazz, album, Queen threw a bash in New Orleans that featured snake charmers, strippers, crossdressers and a naked fat lady who smoked cigarettes in her crotch." Part of the European leg was recorded for the band's first live album, Live Killers. Due to the tour starting within the same month as the final recording sessions for Jazz, Freddie Mercury's voice is worn out from the start, and his performances are generally sub-par when compared to the previous tour.Magic Tour (Queen)
The Magic Tour was Queen's final tour with their lead singer Freddie Mercury and their bass guitarist John Deacon, with 26 concert dates in Europe in 1986. The band would not tour again until 19 years later, when the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour began in 2005, after the death of Mercury on 24 November 1991, and the retirement of Deacon in 1997. The Magic Tour supported the band's album A Kind of Magic.
In 1987, Mercury was diagnosed as having AIDS and the band together made the decision to stop touring, making the concert at Knebworth on 9 August 1986 the last time that the four original members of Queen performed on stage together.Over a million people attended the Queen tour, making it one of the largest ever. Support acts included The Alarm, The Bangles, Big Country, Belouis Some, INXS, Level 42, Marillion, Gary Moore, Status Quo, and Zeno.From this tour, Queen have since released Live at Wembley on VHS, Laserdisc, CD & DVD, Live Magic on CD and Live in Budapest on VHS & Laserdisc (later re-released and retitled as Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest on DVD, Blu-ray and Deluxe editions).Music of Liechtenstein
The music of Liechtenstein has produced an internationally renowned composer in Josef Rheinberger (1839–1901), who was mentor to Engelbert Humperdinck and a friend of Franz Liszt.
The national anthem of Liechtenstein is "Oben am jungen Rhein", which was written in 1850 by Jakob Josef Jauch to the tune of "God Save the Queen", the national anthem of the United Kingdom.
One of the most notable singers from Liechtenstein is Al Walser. Other notable acts that have had success outside Liechtenstein are Erben der Schöpfung and Elis.My Country, 'Tis of Thee
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", also known as "America", is an American patriotic song, whose lyrics were written by Samuel Francis Smith. The melody used is the same as that of the national anthem of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen", arranged by Thomas Arne. The song served as one of the de facto national anthems of the United States (along with songs like "Hail, Columbia") before the adoption of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the official U.S. national anthem in 1931.National anthems of New Zealand
New Zealand is one of only two countries in the world—the other being Denmark—with two official national anthems of equal status. The traditional anthem "God Save the Queen" is generally used only on regal and viceregal occasions. "God Defend New Zealand" is more commonly used on occasions when the national identity of New Zealand is the focus, such as sports events, where it is sung with English and Māori verses. On a few occasions both anthems may be used.Oben am jungen Rhein
"Oben am jungen Rhein" ("High on the young Rhine") has been the national anthem of Liechtenstein since 1920. It shares the same melody as the United Kingdom's national anthem, "God Save the Queen", and Norway's royal anthem, "Kongesangen", the only difference being an additional refrain at the end of the song.Proposals for a national anthem for England
The national anthem of England is usually taken to be the same as that of the United Kingdom as a whole—"God Save the Queen", but in 2016 some MPs felt that England should have its own distinct anthem with the result that there have been discussions on the subject in the UK Parliament. There are a number of songs which may fulfil this role. Several candidate songs have been discussed, including "Jerusalem", and "Land of Hope and Glory". Alternatives to "God Save the Queen" have been used for England teams at sporting events.Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London, England in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.The Sex Pistols originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. Under the management of impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band provoked controversies that both captivated and appalled Britain. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organizers and authorities, and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Through an obscenity-laced television interview in December 1976 and their May 1977 single "God Save the Queen", attacking Britons' social conformity and deference to the Crown, they precipitated one of the more significant pop culture-based moral panics.
In January 1978, at the end of a turbulent tour of the United States, Rotten left the band and announced its break-up. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren's film version of the Sex Pistols' story, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979, following his arrest for the alleged murder of his girlfriend. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; through 2008, they staged further reunion shows and tours. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols—the four original members plus Vicious—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum "a piss stain".Sheer Heart Attack Tour
The Sheer Heart Attack Tour was the first world tour by the British rock band Queen, and supported their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack.The Game Tour
The Game Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen to support their successful 1980 album The Game. This tour saw the band being the first to play in South American stadiums in early 1981. In Buenos Aires, Queen drew a crowd of 300,000—the largest single concert crowd in Argentine history as of 1982. In São Paulo, Brazil, the attendance was 131,000 and 120,000 on two consecutive nights. This was the only tour that Queen played in Venezuela where they were due to play 3 shows in its capital city Caracas. However, after their first performance, the Venezuelan government declared an 8-day period of National Mourning due to the passing of Venezuelan former president Romulo Betancourt. The remaining two concerts were cancelled and all tickets were refunded to more than 50,000 disappointed fans.The Works Tour
The Works Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen. During the tour, Queen participated in the Rock in Rio festival in 1985; the concert was released on VHS. The band released a DVD from a concert in Tokyo titled We Are the Champions: Final Live in Japan, but the name of the concert was incorrect as the band performed 2 further concerts after Tokyo in Nagoya and Osaka.