There'll Always Be an England

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"There'll Always Be an England"
Cover of sheet music for There'll Always Be An England by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles.jpg
Sheet music cover
Song by Vera Lynn
GenrePatriotic song
Songwriter(s)Ross Parker, Hughie Charles

"There'll Always Be an England" is an English patriotic song, written and distributed in the summer of 1939, which became highly popular following the outbreak of the Second World War. It was composed and written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles.[1] It was recorded in 1939 by Billy Cotton and his Band (REX 9632), whose recording is mentioned on the original 1939 sheet music, and supplied him with a finale for his show for years. A popular version was later recorded by Vera Lynn in 1962 (HMV CSD 1457).[1][2]


In its lyrics, the song invokes various clichés of English rural life, liberty, and the Empire. It is best known for its chorus:

There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.

The song first appeared in Discoveries, a 1939 film by Carroll Levis, in which it was sung by the boy soprano Glyn Davies. After war broke out on 1 September, the song became popular and many records of the song were made but Vera Lynn did not record it until 1962. Within the first two months of the war, 200,000 copies of the sheet music were sold.[1][3] The song was used to express British patriotic defiance in the finale of Two Thousand Women, a successful 1944 film starring Phyllis Calvert and Patricia Roc about women interned by the Germans in occupied France.[4]

Versions of the song were sung by Tiny Tim and the 1970 England World Cup Squad.[5] The punk band The Sex Pistols came on stage to the tune in 2008.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Hayes, Nicky (1999). 'Millions Like Us'?: British Culture in the Second World War. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-0-85323-763-1.
  2. ^ ""There'll Always Be An England" | Wartime Canada". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ Seidenberg, Steven, Maurice Sellar and Lou Jones (1995). You Must Remember This: Songs at the Heart of the War. Boxtree. ISBN 978-0-7522-1065-0. See pp. 28–29.
  4. ^ Babington, Bruce (2013). Launder and Gilliat (British Film Makers). Manchester University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-07-19056-68-0.
  5. ^ James, David E. (2017). Rock 'n' Film: Cinema's Dance with Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-19-938759-5.
  6. ^ Faulk, Barry J. (23 May 2016). British Rock Modernism, 1967-1977: The Story of Music Hall in Rock. Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 9781409411901.

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