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Do your children know the words to the British national anthem?

(17 Posts)
joshandjamie Sun 11-Sep-11 07:41:15

I was watching the Last Night of the Proms and everyone was belting out the national anthem (all the verses) and I was ashamed to say that I didn't know all the verses, just the first that we always sing (but I'm foreign so that's my excuse).

But it got me wondering:
a) how many Brits know the full song?
b) how many kids even know the words to the short version?

Mine don't - they're 5 and 7. I asked them if they ever single the national anthem at school and they said 'Only for things like the royal wedding'.

Contrast that to the patriotism you see in the USA or even thinking back to when I lived in SA - we all knew the words to the anthem from a young age. Is it just my kids who don't know it or do most kids not know it? Do schools not teach it as a matter of course?

cjdamoo Sun 11-Sep-11 08:00:13

Mine dont but we Live In Oz and they sing the Australian anthem each morning before lessons commence so they know that. They can also sign it.

joshandjamie Sun 11-Sep-11 11:41:25

anyone else??

cjdamoo - they can sign it? that's pretty impressive

yousankmybattleship Sun 11-Sep-11 11:42:50

Mine don't. Neither do I. Who gives a monkeys?

ByTheSea Sun 11-Sep-11 11:50:20


edam Sun 11-Sep-11 11:52:41

I doubt many people know all the verses - expect the Prommers mug up beforehand. Think ds knows the first verse as I think it was one of the things they sang in a special Assembly at school about the Royal Wedding.

The other verses are quite nasty, there's one about killing all the Scots or something.

soymama Sun 11-Sep-11 11:57:55

What are the words? I don't remember ever being taught them in school

hocuspontas Sun 11-Sep-11 11:58:24

I think I remember learning one of the other verses at school (...choicest gifts in store, .....pleased to pour, Long may she reign). My own dds would recognise the tune but probably don't even know all the words to the first verse.

Hopefully next year at the Olympics there will be many opportunities to sing along!

edam Sun 11-Sep-11 12:28:13

Just found the anti-Scottish verse on the net:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

joshandjamie Sun 11-Sep-11 12:47:51

Ok, so additional verses aside, do British kids not know the national anthem and if they dont, what does that say about the country? That we're not one for patriotic songs (bar the proms of course and swing lo sweet chariot and three lions on a shirt). Is it because it's about the queen and anti-royalists don't approve? Has it always been like this? Or has the national anthem just gradually been phased out of being taught at school?

Genuine questions

DamselInDisarray Sun 11-Sep-11 12:50:37

I would really hate it if my kids were made to sing the national anthem regularly at school. And I'd object loudly. I'm not sure the kind of blind, uncritical patriotism seen in the US is something to be aspired to.

DamselInDisarray Sun 11-Sep-11 12:52:27

And, no, I don't know any of the verses to God Save the Queen.

Honeydragon Sun 11-Sep-11 12:53:51

ds does he's 8. dd doesn't but is excused on account of being 20 months

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sun 11-Sep-11 12:55:49

I'm past 50 and have never been taught the National Anthem in civilian schools.
However, being a Forces child, I know all the words and have to force myself not to stand up when it's played.
When would you use that knowledge as a child or adult now?

wordsonapage Sun 11-Sep-11 13:07:48

Dc,s Dubai school have to stand up whilst the. UAE national anthem is played in Assembley. ds told me it was sung by one of the Sheiks and when he died last year they had to get another version.. Not sure how true that is,but how fab to gear Her Madge warble eout a tyewnne.

joshandjamie Sun 11-Sep-11 13:38:13

I agree that the blind patriotism you see in the US is OTT but learning the national anthem was something everyone did in school in SA. And it really does help build national pride. Then after apartheid ended, the country had a major challenge in that it had a brand new anthem and most of the population didn't know it. But they wanted to know it because it helped to unite everyone. Now I'd say most South Africans do know the words to the anthem, even though it's in multiple languages.

I still don't know the words to the new one because I'd left school and then left the country and didn't get an opportunity to get it hammered into me. But I regret that I don't know the words everytime I hear it played at a sporting event.

It just seems strange (and rather sad) that a country like the UK is so apathetic about learning its national anthem. I assume for the Scots and Welsh that they have their own anthems but England? I know a national anthem can't solve the problems of a country but it does help provide national pride and unity across all classes, races, ages etc.

didgewest Sat 24-Sep-11 22:37:11

Yep, we all do and always have!

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