It seems that the England football team have been told by Roy Hodgeson to sing the National Anthem. Quite right too. However, I do have some sympathy with the non-singers. apart from not everyone being able to sing, our Anthem is a dreary dirge. It is NOT an English Anthem either, but the British National Anthem. Scotland, Wales and Ireland all have a different one for events that are not British, so why not England. What we have is not a National Anthem, celebrating what it means to be English, but a cry to protect our monarch.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a Republican, but surely our anthem should be more than this? Some suggestions are:
Jerusalem. A good rousing tune, but the words are asking if Jesus walked the ground of Britain. Hardly a suitable anthem for a country in which there are so few practicing Christians.
Rule Brittania. Another rousing tune, but it is again celebrating Britain and not England.
Land of Hope and Glory. One of my favourite contenders, although it is a bit imperial 'Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set.' Good tune though.
Lastly, my own suggestion. I Vow to Thee my Country. Words as follows:
I vow to thee my country all Earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect the service of my love.
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best.
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
Good tune too. What do other people think?