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Should This Be the Oz New Anthem?

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Author Topic: Should This Be the Oz New Anthem?  (Read 77 times)
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« on: February 11, 2011, 08:47:28 am »
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See, this is the sort of man you want to have as a neighbour, someone you'd invite around for afternoon tea...


Quote from: darjeeling board=general thread=6580 post=123255 time=1297395603
Caskur, here's a piece of musical history that not many people are aware of: the song in which the British call upon the Almighty to come to the rescue of their Reigning Monarch is known to date back to the early 1700s and is probably even earlier. In any case the tune is a very old one. The current British Royal Family were originally German before 1714 (the Windsors celebrate 300 years of their dynasty in 2014) and George 1 couldn't speak English. Fast forward over 100 years to the reign of Queen Victoria and the German connection is still strong, with her husband, Prince Albert, being German and apparently there was as much German spoken at Buck Palace as english, and fast forward again to George 5 (the present Queen's grandfather) who, in WW1 anglicised their name to Windsor and dropped the awfully German-sounding Saxe-Gotha, and also renounced all his German titles. The british royals those days were also dukes, counts etc etc of lots of places in Germany.

Anyhoo ... the British first started, officially, to call upon the Almighty in song to come to the rescue of the Monarch after this bunch of germans occupied the throne. Mind you they had to beat off a couple of challenges from several Pretenders (those pesky Stuarts who stayed in denial over their being dumped - the wife of the current British PM is a descendant) and the threat was real so maybe it was appropriate to call on the Almighty in this way - and back it up with cannon, muskets and cold steel.

A lot of people thought it was a darned good tune. The Americans made their own version and called it God Bless America which is sung to the tune of God Save the Queen. The German Kaiser liked it so much that in the 1800s he commissioned an anthem called Heil Dir im Siegerkranz

It didn't last. The German-speakers weren't going to adopt an originally British song as their national anthem and the Kaiser of the Austro/Hungarian Empire commissioned the renowned composer Josef Haydn to compose an anthem which would rival God Save the Queen and Haydn delivered. He came up with Gott Erhalte Franz den Kaiser = God Save Franz the Emperor, which unfortunately gained a certain notoriety under the Nazis as Deutschland über Alles. But here's the tune Haydn composed:

But back to God Save the Queen. I don't think the Windsors need saving from any threat from the Stuarts. That one is well and truly over. If anything they'd need saving from the indifference of their subjects. So maybe God Save the Queen is still an appropriate anthem. We still have it as the Royal Anthem, to be played when Her Maj is present in the flesh. My favourite is the second verse:

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!
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