England Hums Jerusalem

The adoption of Jerusalem as England’s ‘victory anthem’ at the Commonwealth Games has provoked some controversy. Admittedly not much, but some. The Guardian decided to conduct an online poll to determine what the English anthem should have been. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve… Too late, Guardian.

Our first gold medalist, Fran Halsall, complained that she did not know the words:

“It definitely wasn’t expected, even my coach got a little bit excited about that and he doesn’t get excited by much. It was really nice to see the England flag at the top and two Aussies underneath. I don’t really know the words to Jerusalem, though: I was going to sing Land of Hope and Glory because that’s the one I know.”

Jerusalem was slagged off by Clare Balding and everyone in the BBC studio. Clare read out one of the ‘many’ anthem-related emails that they had received, and the particular one she chose asked “Why is our anthem not God Save the Queen?” To her credit Clare gave the following answer that could have been lifted straight from this site.

Technically it shouldn’t be actually because, obviously, God Save the Queen is the national anthem of Great Britain, it is not the national anthem of England and it would be rather arrogant if England were to assume that it was.

Liam Tancock, England’s second gold medalist of the day, was far more relaxed, remarking that Jerusalem allowed him to enjoy a longer time on the podium than would otherwise have been his privilege with the shorter Land of Hope and Glory.

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. B.F.E. says:

    I am glad that Jerusalem is now our national anthem.It is a good song,the words of which i learnt when i was in junior school,many years ago.

    Lets hope it soon becomes our permanent National Anthem

  2. Janet says:

    As if God Save the Queen wasn’t bad enough England have now opted for Jerusalem! It’s a great song but it’s not anthem material. Our winners look totally embarrassed standing on the rostrum. What’s wrong with Land of Hope and Glory at least it stirs the blood even if England is no longer a land of hope or glory.

    • James says:

      I agree, the choice of Jerusalem was clearly not considered carefully enough for the English Anthem. More Englishmen and women know the words to ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ already and it was used to great effect at the Commonweath Games. It is much more rousing, inspiring and uplifting than the timid strains of Jerusalem when it strikes up. The first verse is all that is needed today and why should we not be proud of such a rich historical past even if it does ruffle the PC feathers of a few who wish to erase it from memory. A great pity England didn’t get the famous anthem it truly deserves.

    • PrangWizard says:

      If England is no longer the land of hope and glory, why the heck have the song? It would be even more embarrassing. I cringe when I hear it.

  3. Paul says:

    Jerusalem is all about striving to make England better whereas Land of Hope & glory is a load of pompus nonsense

    • AlanHarvey says:

      Nothing pompous about “Land of Hope and Glory” Paul – and certainly not nonsense! It is both patriotic and inspirational, and clearly about Great Britain – if not England specifically! May I also remind you that Jerusalem is not in England. It is in Israel.

  4. AlanHarvey says:

    As I commented on my FaceBook page at the start of this year’s Commonwealth Games, “Land of Hope and Glory” has always previously been England’s anthem at all Empire/Commonwealth Games ever since the Empire Games were initiated at Hamilton, Canada, in 1930 – so why change it now? The old maxim “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it” seems to apply I think. I’ve got nothing against “Jerusalem” I hasten to add, but why alter something which has been traditional for 80 years! Yet another case, I fear, of “political correct” change for change sake. Let’s all stick together and demand that “Land of Hope and Glory” is restored for Glasgow 2014!

  5. Nothing pompous about “Land of Hope and Glory” Paul – and certainly not nonsense! It is both patriotic and inspirational, and clearly about Great Britain – if not England specifically! May I also remind you that Jerusalem is not in England. It is in Israel.

  6. Nona Mills says:

    Nothing pompous about “Land of Hope and Glory” Paul – and certainly not nonsense! It is both patriotic and inspirational, and clearly about Great Britain – if not England specifically! May I also remind you that Jerusalem is not in England. It is in Israel.

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