A National Anthem for England?

A National Anthem is a pretty important symbol of belonging.

MPs have just voted in favour of a National Anthem for England – distinct from the UK’s ‘God Save The Queen’ – for big sporting events where all the nations of the United Kingdom take part.

“Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins believes England needsits own anthem and presented his case in the House of Commons as a ten minute rule motion”.
It’s hard not to be moved by a Welsh chorus of ‘Land of my Fathers’. Scotland uses both ‘Oh Flower of Scotland’ and ‘Scotland the Brave’.

Does England need its own national song?

Early suggestions are Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, andI Vow To Thee My Country.

Is this a good idea, a hearty national sing-along is a fine part of a big sporting event? Or, in the age of devolution, are we diluting our national interdependence?

The idea will be debated again at a second reading on 4 March. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will be required to hold a consultation across the UK.

Belonging Space offers a few suggestions, from our rich heritage of film and entertainment:

‘The Archers’ theme (‘Barwick Green’ by Arthur Wood) – no need to learn words, Dum-de-dums will do

The theme from’The Great Escape’ – enthusiastic whistling encouraged

‘This is the Self-Preservation Society’ – if you have to look it up, you’re too young

‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ – we know the words, it’s optimistic, and inclusive of multi-faith or no faith

Or, of course, the whole of Wembley singing Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.

Better still, ‘Life on Mars’

What finer satisfaction, for a mass-singalong, than hitting the high note: ‘Is there li-ife on MAA-Ah-aars’ all together, at the top that great build-up?

What would you choose as a National Anthem for England?

Belonging Space helps leaders create a sense of belonging in their organisations.