As I mentioned in the previous post I don’t ‘do’ the whole National Anthem thing anymore than I ‘do’ the patriotism thing.
Personally, I consider such nonsense, just like religion, to be divisive and does not in any meaningful way build positive relations.
I grew up in the UK but have lived in South Africa for decades. I am sure I must have sung God Save The Queen at some point in time, though I can’t honestly remember when, probably as a lark before a soccer game I expect.
Only the first verse of this despicable song is usually sung ( there are four verses) and I’ll venture most people don’t even give the lyrics a second thought as they belt them out with all the gusto and false bravado they can muster.
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!
Right off the bat we have ‘God’. And you can be sure we are not talking about any other god than the Christian god.
As an atheist this is right up my street, of course!
And it is worth reminding those who may have forgotten or are unaware, Kings and Queens were considered to rule by Divine Right.
As the UK is no longer considered a Christian nation all those British agnostics and atheists merrily singing along are only reinforcing this ‘Divine Right’. I expect the Royal Family are laughing themselves silly.
And I wonder how the Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc feel about it? Not their god after all.
Rather silly, don’t you think?
Let’s look at the second verse. ( Which as far as I know is never sung).
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!
Make of that as you will, but to me it is nothing but a rallying war cry. Reminds me of something one might find in the Old Testament before another round of slaughter ensued.
I won’t bother with the other two verses. They are much the same drivel. (You can Google them if you like).
And I suspect that most anthems are along similar lines: What’s mine is mine and what’s your is yours and if you try to take mine you’ll get yours. And if you don’t watch out we’ll take yours in any case. Because we have God on our side.
Which tends to be what a lot of history is all about.
As for the South African anthem. A more ridiculous song you are unlikely to find. A PC version comprising five languages of something one might hear on the Eurovision Song Contest. I have never learned it, or sung it, and simply shake my head whenever I hear the damn thing played.
If you want to listen to a National Anthem then this is the only version worth bothering with, not least because Hendrix’ interpretation has all the screams and cries of falling bombs and machine gun fire.