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Northern Ireland May Have To Get Rid Of 'God Save The Queen' Before Euro 2016

Northern Ireland May Have To Get Rid Of 'God Save The Queen' Before Euro 2016
By Conor Neville
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Will they dust off Danny Boy or will Phil Coulter be handed another writing gig?

Labour MP for Chesterfield Toby Perkins is on a mission to get England, and English sport, its own national anthem. He has nothing against God Save The Queen but he is arguing that particular song is the anthem of the UK, not the anthem of England.

A by-product of his crusade is that Northern Ireland would also have to drop 'God Save The Queen', a musical switch which we suspect might annoy a segment of the population up there (the same segment to which Billy Hutchinson referred today).

I have nothing against God Save the Queen but that is the national anthem of the United Kingdom.

England is a component part of the UK but it competes as a country in its own right and I think a song that celebrated England rather than Britain would be more appropriate.


Perkins is bringing his English National Anthem Bill to parliament on 13 January.

The IFA are reluctant to alter the status quo but President Jim Shaw told the Belfast Telegraph that if the motion in the Commons succeeds, then the days of the Northern Ireland football team standing before GSTQ ahead of kick off could be numbered.


The national anthem debate is one of the most divisive in our history. We’ve been debating it for years. If we keep it, we annoy people and we know if it goes, there will be plenty of angry supporters...

I think it would be very difficult for us to continue using ‘God Save the Queen’ if the English decide they want a new anthem. I think we would be duty bound to follow suit.

Prior to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the English public - in light of the fact that it is England that compete in the Commonwelath Games rather than Team GB - was polled on which anthem they should adopt. Interestingly, God Save The Queen was an option but it finished third and last in the vote, well behind second placed song 'Land of Hope and Glory'.


The winning song, Jerusalem, based on the William Blake poem 'And did those feet in ancient time' won easily securing over 50% of the vote.

The Scottish rugby team used 'God Save The Queen' up until the late 1980s, first standing for 'Flower of Scotland' before the famous 1990 Grand Slam decider against England.

Read more: Warning That Belfast Reception For Republic Of Ireland Team Will Spark Loyalist Protests

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