Today, the House Of Commons adopted a proposal from Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins to debate whether England should have its own National Anthem.
Presently, when England plays sporting events, the team and crowds sing ‘God Save The Queen’ before the game – which is actually the anthem for the UK as a whole, while Scotland’s got ‘Flower of Scotland’ and Wales gets the crowds going with ‘Land of My Fathers’.
William Blake’s Jerusalem seems to be the obvious choice as a replacement, but what’s fun about being obvious? Team NME has got together a far more appropriate selection of tracks that’ll make for fitting alternatives.
The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
There’s absolutely no sensible reason for having this as the national anthem. But hey, the image of Keith Richards in black sunglasses and trademark leopard-print fur coat stood in Wembley centre circle blaring out that riff before every England game is too good not to follow up. Alex Flood
Blur – ‘This Is A Low’
Like The English, it talks about the weather. Like England, it’s pretty depressing, but beautiful with it. It name-checks numerous English towns and landmarks, including Blackpool, The Thames and The Tyne. And there’s this line: “And the Queen, she’s gone round the bend,” which balances out the sickening Royal bum-kissing in ‘God Save The Queen’. Dan Stubbs
Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
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Let’s just consider a few things about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. 1: Everyone knows the lyrics. 2: England needs an anthem where the grandiose and the multifaceted converge – this is perfect. 3: Hearing a nation yell out its six flamboyant minutes in watertight harmony would strike fear into the heart of every sports team in the world. 4: Doesn’t everyone want to see Wayne Rooney mouth “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?” Larry Bartleet
PJ Harvey – ‘The Last Living Rose’
While kicking off a track with the words “Goddamn, Europeans” might not curry much favour with our EU compadres, PJ Harvey is without a doubt the very best person to write our national anthem and The Last Living Rose is a belter of a song. Polly Jean’s call to “walk through the stinking alleys/ to the music of drunken beatings” alongside references to glistening rivers and rolling mountains perfectly encapsulates the contrasting bleak and beautiful reality of modern day England. Charlotte Gunn
Death Grips – ‘Have A Sad Cum’
Given that the new national anthem will be played before England compete in various sports, football in particular, it makes sense to pick a song which is all about a disappointing ending; something that happened way before it really should have done and leaves everyone upset. David Renshaw
Pulp – ‘Common People’
There’s something quintessentially British about Pulp’s ‘Common People’. Perhaps it’s Jarvis’ witty one-liners or the various odes to hanging around a pool hall with a cigarette on the go. Either way – how great would this sound being belted out when we win a Gold at the Olympics? Tom Smith
Billy Bragg – ‘A New England’
Essex boy Billy Bragg’s emotive, shouty 1983 classic is prime new national anthem material. Not least because of the title, but also because Bragg himself has spoken often on matters of national identity, like in his 2007 book, The Progressive Patriot. Leonie Cooper
The Libertines – ‘Time For Heroes’
Mainly for these stirring lines: “Few more distressing sights than that/Of an Englishman in a baseball cap/We’ll die in the class we were born/Well that’s a class of our own, my love/A class of our own, my love”. Jordan Bassett