God Save the Queen: Is it time to change the national anthem?

A simple question, but what that has brought to my attention recently and you know what, it is an interesting question.

It is something I saw Stan Collymore mention. Now I must admit, I don’t often agree with the TalkSport presenter but on this point I can see where he is coming from.

Throughout the whole of the World Cup, many people have queried why it is that the English players do not show the passion that other countries such as Brazil, something which has been much has been made of, or other countries.

It is a topic that does grate on the English public, it continues to distance the public from the mega rich footballers who seem at times to be miserable and lacking pride as their national anthem is played.

The Brazilians have even claimed that singing the national anthem in the way that they do gives them an advantage in games (although writing this is I am not, they are getting absolutely pummeled by the Germans).

The power of the anthem in a football context was something that was first brought to light during Brazil’s Confederations Cup triumph of 2013 when the team, who had received a lot of criticism over recent years, showed total unity and passion.

“Everyone came together: the team, the entire population. That was our power. I remember I spoke to the Spanish guys playing for Chelsea and they said that when they saw the people singing the national anthem like they did at the final, they all said, ‘It’s impossible to win today’,” is what David Luiz said following the final.

Brazil had regained the nations’ respect.

And there is some logic in that.

The fact of the matter is, ‘God Save the Queen’ is becoming outdated, especially so when you consider as a nation, support for the monarchy is wavering, with many believing that we should follow the route of the Americans by having a President. (But that is a totally separate debate)

An ICM poll shortly before the royal wedding suggested that 26% thought Britain would be better off without the monarchy, with only 37% “genuinely interested and excited” by the wedding.

With over a quarter of people supposedly against the monarchy, how can they be expected to sing a national anthem dedicated to our head of state? Every individuals opinion should be respected.

Other than Stan Collymore, there are others who are in favour of a more republican society. The likes of Colin Firth, Ken Livingstone and Jo Brand have given their views on why the monarchy has become defunct.

Other sports do not use the ‘God Save The Queen’. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, you will hear Jerusalem played when England win a gold medal, something that was decided by the public before the previous games in Delhi.

In 2010, the public voted for what they wanted to represent their country. 52.5% of the public for Jerusalem, 32.5% for Land of Hope and Glory and only a lowly 12% for God Save the Queen.

That vote shows that just over one in ten wanted God Save the Queen. I wonder if there was to be a vote for the football, what the outcome would be.

This is not to say that the national anthem is not rousing. You only have to look back at the 2012 Olympic Games to see some of the passion and spirit of the athletes and even to the fans at the World Cup who bellow it out throughout the game.

Of course, much of this blog has been about the national anthem in a sporting sense. I’m not trying to say whether it should or shouldn’t be change, but I for one would like to see the debate raised a bit more.

In a general sense, I am not saying that it should be changed permanently, especially not whilst we have a monarchy in the country, but again, the debate should be there to be raised. Surely it would be more beneficial to have an anthem that rallies both the players and the crowd.



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