National anthem of England

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God Save the Queen
Land of Hope and Glory
Abide With Me

Proposals for a national anthem of England
Adopted None

While there is no official national anthem of England, there are many songs which are considered to fill such a role. In most of the national sporting fixtures 'God Save the Queen', the British national anthem, is used.

Motions are currently in process for England to have its own anthem. In January 2015, Member of Parliament William shelley introduced the 'English National Anthem Bill' to the House of Commons which was later adopted by the house. The bill was to have been debated in a second reading on 4 March 2016 but there was insufficient time for a full debate.[1][2]

Anthems currently used at sporting events[edit]

At present, the following anthems are used:

Multi-sport events[edit]

Single sport events[edit]

  • At international football matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem. Whilst at the beginning of the FA Cup Final "Abide With Me" is also played prior to the match.
  • At international rugby union matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem whilst "Jerusalem" or "Land of Hope and Glory" is the anthem played prior to kick off.
  • At international rugby league matches, England uses "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem. "Abide With Me" is also played prior to the Challenge Cup Final.
  • At international Test cricket matches, England has, since 2003, used "Jerusalem" as its entrance anthem.[4]
  • At international lacrosse matches, the England Men's team uses "God Save The Queen" and the Women's team uses "Land of Hope and Glory" as the national anthems.
  • At international darts matches, England uses "Land of Hope and Glory" as the national anthem.

Proposed anthems[edit]

On 20 April 2007, Greg Mulholland, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds North West, introduced an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons, proposing that England have its own national anthem. The EDM called for all English sporting associations to "adopt an appropriate song that English sportsmen and women, and the English public, would favour when competing as England."[5] There has also been an EDM calling for "Jerusalem" to be given official status as the national anthem of England, proposed by Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservative Party MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham on 18 October 2006.[6]

In April 2008, Greg Mulholland called for the England national rugby league team to replace "God Save the Queen" with an English national anthem at the Rugby League World Cup (RL World Cup) to be held in Australia in autumn 2008[7] and on 28 April he put forward another EDM in the House of Commons, noting that Scotland and Wales who are also taking part in the RL World Cup, will all have their own national anthems, and therefore calling on England to use an English national anthem rather than the British national anthem, with the proposal that English rugby league fans should be given the chance to choose an English anthem.[8] However, God Save the Queen was used.

On St George's Day, 23 April 2010, the Commonwealth Games Council for England launched a poll to allow the public to decide which anthem would be played at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Voters could choose between God Save the Queen, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory with the winning song being adopted as the official anthem for Team England.[9] Jerusalem was declared the winner on 30 May 2010, securing 52% of the vote.[3]

In January 2016, MPs gven initial support to the idea of England adopting an official national anthem after Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins presented his case in the House of Commons as a ten-minute rule motion.[10]


The best-known version of William Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time" is the song "Jerusalem", with music by Hubert Parry, which was orchestrated by Edward Elgar in 1922 for a large orchestra at the Leeds Festival. Upon hearing the orchestral version for the first time, King George V said that he preferred that "Jerusalem" replace "God Save the King" as the national anthem. "Jerusalem" is also performed at the annual Last Night of the BBC Proms as are "Land of Hope and Glory" and "God Save the Queen".

It was used as a campaign slogan by the Labour Party in the 1945 general election when Clement Attlee said they would build "a new Jerusalem". The song is also the unofficial anthem of the Women's Institute, and historically was used by the National Union of Suffrage Societies. It has also been sung at conferences of the Conservative Party.

It is frequently sung as an office or recessional hymn in English cathedrals, churches and chapels on St George's Day. The hymn is also sung in some churches on "Jerusalem Sunday"[citation needed], a day set aside to celebrate the Holy city of Jerusalem in Anglican Churches throughout the world and even in some Episcopal Churches in the United States. However some clergy in the Church of England have refused to allow it in their churches on the grounds that it is too nationalistic and is not a prayer to God.[11]

There have been calls to give "Jerusalem" official status.[6]

In 2000 a rendition of "Jerusalem" by Fat Les was adopted by the English Football Association as the England football team's official song for the UEFA Euro 2000 competition.[12] Jerusalem has been the ECB's official hymn[13] since 2003,[4] being played before the start of play each day of home test matches. Although God Save the Queen was the anthem sung by England players before games at ICC events and recent Ashes series.

Land of Hope and Glory[edit]

Land of Hope and Glory has long been traditionally played amidst much flag-waving at the climax of the Last Night of the BBC Proms.

At international rugby league matches, England often sang Land of Hope and Glory as their national anthem (but since the 2005 internationals switched to God Save the Queen). The song was also used once as the victory anthem of England at the Commonwealth Games[14] until Jerusalem was adopted in 2010. England has no official national anthem, and usually just adopts the United Kingdom's official anthem, God Save the Queen during sporting events, though there are calls for this to be changed.[15][16] A 2006 survey conducted by the BBC suggested that 55% of the English public would rather have Land of Hope and Glory than God Save the Queen as their national anthem.[17]

In 2016 MP's Approved A Bill in the House of Commons which included a debate about the English National is currently at its second reading.[18]

Other English patriotic songs[edit]

I vow to thee my country is a popular patriotic English hymn. Other English patriotic songs which have been proposed as possible national anthems of England include traditional songs such as "Rose of England", an English patriotic song written by Ivor Novello in 1937 for his musical Crest of the Wave, and popularised by Vera Lynn. The flower to which the song's lyrics refer is one of England's national emblems, the Tudor Rose. Also, "There'll Always Be an England", an English patriotic song, written and distributed in 1940 and highly popular throughout World War II. It was composed and written by Ross Parker. The words were written by Hughie Charles, and the most popular version was sung by Vera Lynn. 1950s comedy duo Flanders and Swann premiered "Song of Patriotic Prejudice" (with refrain "The English, the English, the English are best/I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest") in their At the Drop of Another Hat revue in London on 2 October 1963. Also proposed have been modern patriotic songs such as "A Place called England" written by English folk singer Maggie Holland, which won the Best Original Song award at the 2000 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b We are England (30 May 2010). "England announce victory anthem for Delhi chosen by the public!". Commonwealth Games England. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Sing Jerusalem for England!". BBC News. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  5. ^ Mulholland, Greg (20 April 2007). "Early Day Motion EDM 1319, English National Anthem". House of Commons Information Office. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Kawczynski, Daniel (18 October 2006). "Early Day Motion EDM 2791, English National Anthem". House of Commons Information Office. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "World Cup RL anthem plea by Leeds MP". Yorkshire Evening Post. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  8. ^ Mulholland, Greg (28 April 2008). "Early Day Motion EDM 1429, English National Anthem for the Rugby League World Cup". House of Commons Information Office. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  9. ^ We are England (23 April 2010). "Nation to chose anthem for England's medalists in Delhi". Commonwealth Games England. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "MPs back calls for English national anthem". BBC News. BBC. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Borland, Sophie (18 April 2008). "Cathedral bans popular hymn Jerusalem". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  12. ^ "Fat Les score for England". BBC News. 8 May 2000. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Anthem4england, 08.05.2007
  14. ^ Anthem 4 England – Land of Hope and Glory
  15. ^ Welcome (14 September 2005). "| Anthem 4 England". Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Comment & Analysis". Republic. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  17. ^ BBC survey on English national anthem
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Previous winners". BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 

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