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Poms ponder anthem's worth

2012-08-07 19:09
London - The ubiquitous playing of God Save the Queen at these Olympics has Britons questioning the worth of their anthem.

English musicologist Alisun Pawley finds God Save the Queen deficient as a crowd-pleaser because it lacks a "climax where people feel compelled to join in or belt it out".

She has conducted research in dozens of English pubs and clubs - tough job, that - to identify the song most likely to inspire a sing-along.

The winner? Queen's We Are the Champions.

Other options

Many Britons find God Save the Queen a strong, effortlessly singable melody - and blessedly short compared to most countries' militaristic rambles - regardless of whether you go for the 18th-century royalist lyrics or Samuel Francis Smith's 19th-century adaptation into America, or My Country, 'Tis of Thee.

Several opinion-makers think Britain can do better, pointing to several beloved patriotic tunes such as Hubert Parry's Jerusalem or I Vow to Thee, My Country by Gustav Holst.

Other anthems more lustily sung include Edward Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory and, though its Victorian celebration of empire is hopelessly outdated, the ferocious Rule Britannia.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  uk


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