MPs are set to vote later on the idea of England adopting an official national anthem in time for this year’s Euro 2016 football tournament.
‘God Save the Queen’ is currently used by English teams at major sporting events, but of course the song is actually the national anthem for the UK as a whole.
Now Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has decided that England needs its own national anthem, an idea that has caught the attention of many campaigners.
If the vote is passed, Perkins’ bill we be debated at a second reading, and the MP would like a public consultation on which would be the best song to use, suggesting people could opt for something traditional or new.
Currently leading the favourite’s list is ‘Jerusalem‘, a poetic song about and directly referencing England. But who wants poetic when you can have some contemporary or alternative bangers leading the charge?
Allow us to humbly make some suggestions…
The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
The Smiths seem to be one of those quintessentially English bands; one of the first you think about when you imagine the country’s musical heritage. They’re also moany buggers, so that lends itself quite well to summing up the national mood half the time. This track could easily be adapted as a metaphor for our teams’ unfettered determination in the face of great odds. If you take out all the stuff about being gleefully run over by ten ton trucks, of course.
Pros: That light that never goes out? Could easily be our nation’s passion and determined spirit. ENG-GER-LAND!
Cons: Morrissey might have us feeling miserable even before we’re inevitably knocked from the tournament. Perhaps ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ would make a good post-match anthem instead?
The Clash – London Calling
London’s Calling boys. Bring that gold home for Queen and country. This track might be a little too London-centric for fans in outlying cities who’d have to ask “what about us?”, but for a foot-stomping, clap-a-long opener, Strummer and co.’s finest is a strong contender.
Pros: Rabble rousing call-to-arms on one of England’s great cities
Cons: May be a little London-centric for more regional fans
Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm
An older, less mellow ‘Monkeys song as far as anthem possibilities go, yes. But who couldn’t agree that Matt Helders’ thunderous drum intro wouldn’t get absolutely everyone in attendance (away fans included) going completely bonkers to the Sheffield four-piece?
Pros: Thunderous tempo, enough to get everyone in attendance raring to go for the game ahead
Cons: Might demolish the stadium before the game’s even begun
Oasis – Live Forever
“You and I are gonna live forever.” What a perfect mantra for the immortality of sporting greatness. A nation, brought together under the uniting power of football (and Noel Gallagher’s chiming guitar chords)… Rooney, Kane, Vardy. They’ll all live forever in the annals of sporting history, and so will we. We were there.
Pros: That Manchester twang makes for great, terrace style singing
Cons: Some fans might find it hard to get over the Gallagher brothers’ Manchester City connections…
The Specials – Ghost Town
OK, so promoting England as a country of desolate high streets, all boarded up pound shops and chewing gum splattered pavements might not be the best move from the tourist board’s point of view, but just imagine those haunted shrieks ringing out around the Stade de France? It’d certainly give our opponents the willies.
Pros: Spooky stuff, destined to put even the best teams off their game
Cons: England’s not all concrete jungles and boarded up office towers you know!
The Stone Roses – This Is The One
“This is the one she’s waiting for.” “She” being the good ship Albion as our boys finally bring the coveted trophy back home. It’d certainly get the levels of hopeful optimisim among those watching the games soaring, and the long-from nature of the song means that by the time it does all kick in, it’s a real fist pumping moment. That being said, there’s a game to get on with here, and Adrian Chiles needs to cut to an ad-break soon…
Pros: Inspiring message (“this is our year, lads!”), big, stadium filling sound
Cons: Takes a couple of minutes to get going
The Jam – English Rose
Of all of our suggestions so far, this would probably be the most likely if any of them were ever taken in to account. A delicate little acoustic number from Paul Weller and co, it features the distant sound of waves lapping at the English coast as the singer tells us “no matter where I roam/I will return to my English Rose”, which would sound absolutely majestic sung by thousands of fans at the top of their lungs.
Pros: Would make for genuine goosebump inducing moments when sung by a crowd of thousands of sports fans
Cons: Doesn’t quite carry the same punch as some of our other suggestions
Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
Imagine the scene. Wales have just finished their run through of ‘God Save The Queen’ before the big game against England. It’s a typical, hands on hearts affair, and everyone’s feeling mighty patriotic. “Ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of England…” Then Jonny Rotten an co. kick in and everyone goes beserk, pogoing like mad in the stands. It’d certainly get you fired up.
Pros: Rotten’s snarling lyrics and punk spirit will certainly get everone raring to go
Cons: Attitudes may have to change quite a bit before such an anti-Monarchy song is so widely accepted
Fat Les – Vindaloo
This song’s already been pretty ubiquitous with football crowds, being used as one of the unofficial anthems of England’s 1998 World Cup campaign. Written with the terraces in mind, this track’s lowest denominator hook of “nahh-nahh-nahh-nahh-nahh” (pretty complex stuff) can be picked up by anyone. Mind you, it is a little bit too close to the ugly football hooligan stereotype that is better left alone.
Pros: Upbeat, easily chantable song (that’s seen a lot of use on the terraces already)
Cons: Reinforces the laddish, lager-lout stereotype of football fans