Lily Allen calls for ‘Rule Britannia’ to be banned

"Sorry what? Britannia rule the waves… I think we should not read this song anymore."

Lily Allen has faced a barrage of criticism after calling for ‘Rule Britannia’ to be banned.

The ‘Smile’ singer dissected the lyrics of the traditional anthem, which was first penned in 1740, in a series of posts on her Instagram stories.

Taking aim at the track, which originated from a poem by James Thomson, she singled out the lyrics: “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves. The nations, not so blest as thee, Must in their turn, to tyrants fall, While thous shalt flourish, shalt flourish great and free.”


Allen said: “Sorry what? Britannia rule the waves… I think we should not read this song anymore.”

While Allen’s criticism comes after the track was featured in last weekend’s Remembrance Day services, the idea soon faced widespread backlash.

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One Instagram user wrote: “You should respect the fallen, who gave you the chance to sing and make a career. It’s a song going back hundreds of years. Britain shouldn’t be slaves nor should any country. It was created when Britain did rule the waves with the largest naval fleets.”

Another argued: “She should be bloody grateful. Shame on her and her inflated ego!”

But others were more supportive. Defending Allen, one fan said: “Hear hear. Progress. Update. Be the country we ought to be, not the awful nation we once more.”


A second fan joked: “We could sing Vindaloo instead.”

Allen’s criticism of the anthem comes after critics likened it to a “Ukip rally” in 2016.

Lily Allen
Lily Allen

In 2002, it was also removed from the repertoire at the Last Night Of The Proms in a break from tradition.

Leonard Slatkin, chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, subsequently claimed the choice reflected the views of the public, describing the anthem as “militaristic.”

Allen is currently living in the US, having vowed not to permanently return to the UK until “Brexit is sorted”.

The latest controversy comes after she backed an open letter backing Extinction Rebellion, which signed by a string of celebrities who admitted they were “hypocrites” for demanding change.