Saturday, 26 February 2011

Do the English Know Who They Are?

Mergers and Acquisitions
I have just watched a less than impressive Wales win their match in Rome against Italy. Not great, but a win is a win.

Then, after a swift stretch of the legs and my ablutions, I returned to the gogglebox to see the run-up to the start of the England - France game.

Now one of my bugbears: do the English know who they are?

At the start of every rugby match they will insist on singing the (anti-Scottish) God Save the Queen which is, of course the British national anthem (despite being against the Scots). That's why the Northern Irish sports teams sing God Save the Queen (because they don't have their own anthem, as a Protestant planter-enclave, they sing the British one to show they don't think they're Irish).

The English anthem is, of course, Land of Hope and Glory.

Why don't the English know that? Does it really take a Welshman of part-Irish extraction to tell the English what their national anthem is?

Now it's almost half time and France are holding the English at 9-9... Vive La France ;-)


  1. England has no official national anthem of its own; generally the United Kingdom and Commonwealth anthem, "God Save the Queen", is used. There have been calls for a unique national anthem to be adopted for England specifically.

    At the Commonwealth Games, Team England uses "Jerusalem" as the victory anthem from 2010 onwards. The Commonwealth Games Council for England conducted a poll of members of the public which decided the anthem for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The three options were "God Save The Queen", "Jerusalem" and "Land of Hope and Glory". Jerusalem was the clear winner with 52% of the vote.[1]
    At international football matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem.
    At international rugby union matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem.
    At international rugby league matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem.
    At international test cricket matches, England has, since 2003, used "Jerusalem" as its entrance anthem.[2]
    At international Lacrosse matches, the England Men's team uses "God Save The Queen" and the Women's team uses "Jerusalem" as the national anthems.

    At the Commonwealth Games, the Northern Ireland team uses the Ulster Banner as its flag and Londonderry Air (usually set to lyrics as Danny Boy) is used as its anthem

  2. Anti - scottish anthem?
    As I understand it an unofficial verse invented at the time of the Jacobite rebellion and not meant to apply to all Scots. There's apparently even a Jacobite version from about the same time praising Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    If you watch the Scottish game you will of course see them start of by singing their anti-English anthem but I doubt we'll see a complaint about that. After all this whole article's basically someone indulging their English bashing tendencies.

    England doesn't have an 'standard' specifically English sporting anthem. If you get one sometimes Land of Hope and Glory is used, sometimes Jerusalem. I'm sure that won't stop you lecturing us that it's definitely Land of Hope and Glory though.

  3. Ooooh Sarah. Did I touch a nerve?

    The Scottish anthem, btw, is against Proud Edward's Armies - not the English.

    Practice what you preach luvvee. ;-)

    I like Flower of Scotland, because it celebrates the Scots regaining their nationhood. It is not imperialist or against its neighbours, simply stating that they beat an invading army ("and sent them homeward to think again").

    There is a big difference between celebrating your nationhood against an invader and seeking overlordship of one's neighbours.

    I speak of course as a Welshman who's nation didn't exist under law for many years from the time of Henry VIII, but I don't want to regale you for that lest I be acussed of being a nasty anti-English person!

    Some of my best friends are English. ;-)

    btw, one person did post here [with foul language so i deleted it] saying Land of Hope and Glory is imperialist.

    He missed the point. The issue is WHAT is the English national anthem -- it ain't God Save the Queen.

    Love and kisses!

  4. Lavarack Barracks28 February 2011 at 03:07

    But it is an Anti-English posting: done with a bit of finesse I will admit; but even I can hear the sneers from here in Australia.

    I thought we Queenslanders had it bad with those New South Welshman as neighbours, but I am beginning to feel sorry for the English having to share a small island with such 'delightful' neighbours. And after the ashes loss that's not easy!!

    And my grandma comes from Wales, she snorted when I showed this to her, and said to tell the 'silly old sod' that Wales never was a nation, merely a collection of warring fiefdoms.

    ...and keep your kisses to yourself!!


  5. Englands problem is that the government have deliberately undermined ethnic English identity,

    On one hand we English are indiginous because dodgy DNA results say so.
    On the other we are a nation of immigrants because the English are Anglo Saxon immigrants.

    The Celtic nations have their own parliament/assemblies whilst the English majority have the British parliament running England for the benefit of Britain not the benefit of England.

    English history in schools, doesnt happen, Alfred the Great? our children and most adult have no idea who he is but mention the fictional stories of King Arthur.

    Tony Blair Gordon Brown David Cameron: Britishness not Englishness, why, because an England with a strong national identity would demand an English parliament how long would the Barnett formula last then?

    Mass immigration is mainly into England further eroding our sense of Englishness, But just as the Celtic nations perception of an English majority dominating the British Union threatening thier identity then so too is mass immigration, devolution and biased Westminster seen as a threat to English identity.

    The recently released Searchlight poll doesnt talk of British identity it talks of a perception of English identity.
    Todays English have been complacent (not tolerant) whilst they have had easy money, in the coming years your perception of the English and the English's perception of themselves is going to change.

    As an Englishman I cant wait.

  6. Jerusalem should be the English National Anthem, the Scotch sing the Regional Anthem of Flower of Scotregion before the Scottish EU Region Football team loses, so it's only fair, England should rid itself of the non English Regions of britain at the nearest opportunity.

    It may be more appropriate though if the Scottish Region sing "God Save the Subsidy".

  7. you seem to have ignored my post, we English have no official anthem,and when given a choice voted by a majority for Jerusalem, as i have shown in my blog ,we are all the same basicaly.

  8. If Wales was warring fiefdoms then the same could be said of England, Germany and many other modern nations. Are we to conjecture that Australia isn't a nation because some might sneer that it was 'a dumping ground for criminals?' Of course not - and I would never stoop so low. I would wish Australians to be proud of their culture(s) and their young nation. And would not seek to belittle them for doing so.

    It seems some people cannot accept that Wales and Scotland are nations; that they are prepared to deny this whilst decrying a post made simply to state that the English team sing the BRITISH national anthem (just as in the 80s English football fans would wave the Union Jack) says much.

    I would love the English to have their own identity cherished, to have Jeruslam as their anthem, to have English history promoted: the English knowing who they are might help them drop the whole British overlordship mentality.

    We might start with the English learning more of their hustory pre-1066 and pre-Reformation, as much of this is airbrushed out (too Catholic perhaps?)

    Funny though isn't it whenever anyone points these kinds of things out, too many people get all high and mighty.

    As for the response by Sarah implying I dont like coloureds because of a humourous retort that "some of my best friends are English" - i deleted it with the contempt it deserves. I judge people as I find them, whatever their background.

    For the record some of my best friends (and relatives) are indeed English. You may think me a baiter of all things English, not so, it is called fun, sporting rivarly etc. You should see how I talk tomy Irish and Italian friends when Wales play them!

    And I still tell my English friends that the wrong anthem is sung at the beginning of their rugby matches.

    But then again (having worked and lived in England and Scotland for many years) I have seen how various people treat the Welsh (hint: I had no abuse, foul language etc. in Scotland). Now that's water off a ducks back and didn't (and doesn't) bother me at all, but isn't it funny that when you make a humourous post outlining a basic fact how some people - not all English, by any means - get all defensive and make anti-Welsh comments, even decrying Welsh nationhood.

    That speaks volumes in and of itself.

    As for the subsidy note, I daresay the Scots can speak for themselves (and in so doing might mention North Sea oil), but again, why do people get all offensive and nasty just because people debate or even mention English V British nationhood?

    Would you want England to be an American State if the USA subsidised England? I'm sure most wouldn't. Now I am sure the same is true of the Welsh and Scots (whether they favour independence, or devolution on any sliding scale).

    BTW, it's time to grow up and use mature talk. e.g. Scotland is not a "region" it is an ancient nation as even a cursory read through history might make even the most obtuse contrarian admit.

    But then the internet is full of them, as we can witness ourselves.

    Perhaps one answer to all this is to have God Save the Queen dropped as a "UK anthem" and have it officially adopted as the English anthem. I wouldn't mind then - at least I could watch the rugby without wondering if the English know they are English.

    Cymru Am Byth ;-)

    (That's Welsh for "Can my region have more money?")

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. P.S. For those thinking my digs at English rugby (e.g. supporting France) are vindictive, might I point out in light of the previous two posts that a. I know Chad Hurley doesn't want jeans from Splott Market and b. that "Gadaffi is a Taffy" was a humourous football chant and not a statement of fact.

    Sense of humour by pass anyone?

    [sorry I deleted the last effort as a mistype on one word made it nonsense. I know: you can't tell the difference].

  11. Why are people getting their knickers in a twist? God Save the Queen IS the UK anthem. The English one is undecided, but i think it should differ for obvious reasons.

    As an English Nationalist I am not anti_scottish or anti_welsh any more than a birdwatcher is anti_hamster or anti_goat.

    I feel we English especially we patriots should be strong enough and kind enough to live alngside Wales and Scotland. We must all be good neighbours.

    Sure. friendlty rivalry especielly on the pitch, but come on. give the guy a break. He made a vaild point.

    i think England should have its own anthem and not the lucky dip we have and i now others who agree.

  12. Happy Saint Davids Day
    (England for the Grand Slam!)
    you keep your side of the pitch very tidy!

  13. yes: we keep a very civilised approach to rugby!

    seriously i do think England are going to get the Grand Slam (that's the kiss of death right there).

    As much as it pains me, English rugby is very powerful and clearly better than the other nations [not regions] but that was Wales just a few years back, so these things ebb and flow.

    Having said that, Wales aren't that bad at the moment: they just need to be more clinical (see my post on the Lessons of Culloden) and stop making the little errors that annoy us passionate Welshmen (and armchair critics) so much.

    Diolch yn fawr i chi. Cymru am byth [means: i am proud to be a region of the uk].

    I can hear you singing Calon Lan and Sopan Fach from here.

  14. Sospan Fach! My tryping errots get the better of me.

  15. See: it's not just me -

  16. Thanks to the "gent" who left the message littered with the "f" word. I say no foul language and I mean it.


No foul language please