Dating back to the 18th century, the English National Anthem was a patriotic song, originally used during the reign of George II, and titled ‘God Save the King’. It has now been officially chosen as the National Anthem of England, and has been adapted based on the current monarch, which is currently the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, thus the National Anthem is now “God Save the Queen’.
While it’s use in 1745 may not have been the same as it’s use today, the English National Anthem still holds a special place in the hearts of many, mine included. Two lines in particular ‘Scatter her enemies, and make them fall’, is especially significant to me, as my grandfather was a soldier in WW2, and made himself a badge engraved with these words, which has since been handed down to my mother. However, since moving to New Zealand, while I still believe myself to be English, I find myself in a more New Zealand-looking home every day, and with my official NZ citizenship and almost a third of my life spent in New Zealand, It’s getting harder and harder to keep up an English accent when I’ve spent 6 years surrounded by accents that sound like the polar opposite.
Personally, I don’t find the English National Anthem as significant to me as the New Zealand National Anthem, mainly because I’ve never had to sing the English National Anthem, but also because the years I’ve spent in NZ feel like I’ve interacted more with the local community than I ever did living in England, and I definitely feel like I’ve integrated myself into the community to a greater extent.
Whenever I hear the English National Anthem, I feel a sense of historical significance, because although I am the first generation in my family to live outside England, my English roots always seem to emerge, and I still believe myself to be English, and will continue to until the day I die.