Thursday, November 23, 2006

The English Anthem

This bewhiskered old cove is Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, composer of perhaps the greatest of all sacred choral anthems, I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me. I sang it many times as a choirboy, most memorably to HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother when she came to rededicate our church following a refurbishment in 1979.

Sir Hubert Parry, as he was known, is perhaps better known for having composed the tune to William Blake's Jerusalem, which I have long advocated should be the English, as opposed to the British, national anthem.

So I'm glad to see that indefatigable campaigner Little Man in a Toque making use of No 10's much-vaunted new e-petitions functionality to argue for England to get an anthem of its own at long last.

Should you feel so inclined, you can sign it HERE.

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5 comments:

skipper said...

Agree absolutely that we need a new national anthem; compared with just about any of the others, it's rubbish.

David Gladwin said...

But why hoary old Jerusalem?

Why not something a bit more modern?

I nominate Still Ill, composed by Steven Patrick Morrissey and John Martin Maher in 1983, and first recorded by their band The Smiths on 14 September of the same year at Maida Vale studios for the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show.

This recording appears on the 1984 compilation Hatful of Hollow, and a studio recording produced by John Porter can be found on the band’s eponymous debut album from the same year.

STILL ILL

I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving.
England is mine - it owes me a living.
But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye.
Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye.

But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore.
No, we cannot cling to those dreams.
Does the body rule the mind,
or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno.

Under the iron bridge we kissed,
and, although I ended up with sore lips,
it just wasn't like the old days anymore.
No, it wasn't like those days.
Am I still ill?

Does the body rule the mind,
or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno.
Ask me why, and I'll die.
Oh, ask me why, and I'll die.

And if you must, go to work tomorrow,
well, if I were you, I wouldn't bother,
for there are brighter sides to life,
and I should know, because I've seen them,
but not very often.

Under the iron bridge we kissed,
and although I ended up with sore lips,
it just wasn't like the old days anymore.
No, it wasn't like those days.
Am I still ill?

Toque said...

indefatigable - now there's a back-handed compliment.

Thanks for the link. And if you ever want to make your case for Jerusalem, or discuss any other matters anthemic, you are welcome to come and blog for the Anthem4England website.

james higham said...

What's Jerusalem then? I agree it's demonically manic high aristocracy but it seems to be the one.

G Eagle Esq said...

'
Sehr geEhrter Paul

Have you signed the Remittance Man's petition on the No 10 Petition Site, asking for a Referendum on having an English Parliament ?

If not, why not ?

You'll find a link to the Remittance Man's Blog in the Anglosphere section of Mr Dale's Blog

He has a Link to his Petition on one of his recent posts

He also explains the failure of the Von Schlieffen Plan in 1914 (apparently 80% of the German Army was sent eastwards to Warschau in search of Plain Belgian Schokolade und Dry Champagne, instead of racing West to Paris)

Your obedient servant etc and
Tot siens