According to the Associated Press, the British government is currently considering replacing “God Save The Queen” as England’s national anthem. That song is traditionally used as the anthem for the whole United Kingdom, but while Scotland and Wales both have separate anthems of their own, England itself does not (neither does Northern Ireland, but nobody seems to care about that). As part of this plan, international competitions like the Olympics would still feature “God Save The Queen,” but sporting events in which England competed against Scotland or Wales would feature the new song.
The popular choice to replace “God Save The Queen” is “Jerusalem,” a very hymn-like tune with lyrics by William Blake. It’s apparently already England’s “unofficial anthem,” so choosing it seems like the safest choice, but it’s also a bit boring as far as these things go. (Compared to the most dramatic and exciting national anthem of all time, that of the Soviet Union, it’s a total snooze-fest.) No, what England needs to do is tap into the country’s proud history of popular music and pull out something that will really inspire its football teams to kick the asses of everybody else’s football teams.
To that end, we’d like to make some suggestions for England’s new national anthem:
1. “Wonderwall,” Oasis: The song is a little overplayed, but what national anthem isn’t?
2. “We Will Rock You,” Queen: If we’re talking about pumping up sports teams while also bragging about how great England is, this is the way to go.
3. The whole Abbey Road medley, The Beatles: It’s impossible to pick one good Beatles song to represent the whole country, so why not pick a ton of Beatles songs?
4. A continuous cycle of different David Bowie songs: Choosing a David Bowie song to be the national anthem would be a great way to honor him, and as a nod to his constant reinventions, the government could change the anthem to a different Bowie song every week or so.
5. The Doctor Who theme: England has contributed a lot of things to the world, from Shakespeare to Hugh Grant, but nothing has stood the test of time (get it?) like Doctor Who. Someone would have to write lyrics for the song about how majestic England is, but that wouldn’t be too hard.
6. “Anarchy In The U.K.,” Sex Pistols: If you’re going to pick a new national anthem, why pick something that’s thematically similar to the old one? “Anarchy In The U.K.” is pretty far removed from “God Save The Queen,” so picking it would be a good way to gather support from all of those mohawk-having, denim vest-wearing punks that are constantly forming gangs on the streets of London.
Really, though, as great as those suggestions are, there’s only one song that England should pick. It wasn’t written by a British person and it’s actually about the United States, but it’s definitely the most patriotic song ever recorded and it deserves to be somebody’s anthem. America already has a pretty solid anthem and has no use for this one, so it would only make sense for the U.S. to give the song to England as a memento of the special relationship between the two countries. That song, of course, is Toby Keith’s “Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue.”
There it is, England. Your new national anthem. Sing it proud!