The Labour politician Toby Perkins has opened up a discussion in Parliament today on the possibility of replacing “God Save the Queen” with an English national anthem for Football matches. With Scotland, Wales and Ireland already having their own signature tunes that are regularly heard at such as the Six Nations’ rugby tournament, the suggestion has been made that England should follow suit and adopt their own unique anthem as well.

Mr. Perkins justified his stance

Justifying his stance, Mr. Perkins stated that he was both English and British but that the two are not the same thing in his mind, so “a song that celebrated England rather than Britain would be more appropriate.”

What are the alternatives?

Should the possibility arise for the choice of a replacement tune to serenade and arouse the spirits of our sporting heroes at such as the Euro 2016 finals, what would be an appropriate alternative though?

England’s cricketers often utilise the strains of “Jerusalem” as they take on the might of the other Test playing nations in their home matches. William Blake’s words and Sir Hubert Parry’s Music as accompaniment provide a rousing and heady mix for sure, with the references to England’s “green and pleasant land” making it a potential option.

Other people more familiar with “The Last Night of the Proms” could well make a strong case for “Land of Hope and Glory” as a soundtrack that many will be familiar with.

The ‘Promenaders’ at the Royal Albert Hall can annually be seen to enjoy singing along with its powerful sentiment.

Remaining patriotic to the Queen?

Certainly England could be seen as remaining patriotic to the Queen by not following the example of the Scots (“Flower of Scotland”) and Welsh (“Land of Our Fathers”). But does that put them on the back foot from the start, with the fans unable to fully get behind their nation and provide a lift to their players?

Suggestions from radio listeners

Listeners to former footballer Alan Brazil’s radio show on Talksport rather amusingly suggested the song “Vindaloo” by Fat Les.

Colin Murray’s Talksport show also opened up the discussion to tweeters and callers, with the theme tune from “The Archers” being favoured by several. Fans of Billy Connolly may well remember that he hilariously suggested the same many years ago during his “Audience With” programme on television.

Other football-related tunes also sprung to mind, with New Order’s popular “World in Motion” mentioned and that has indeed previously been adopted as an anthem for supporters during past World Cup campaigns.

Commission musicians to create a new song

Should the concept of adopting a hymn or anthem seem too archaic, a more modern approach might be to open up a national poll on the topic. Or a commission could be given for selected musicians to create a new tune, although the idea of a Band Aid- type solution might not be everyone’s cup of tea as a national selection.

Whether MPs will give much credence to the 10-minute motion remains to be seen, but one thing that is not up for debate is the continuation of “God Save the Queen” as Britain’s overall national anthem.

Will the public back the idea (given the chance) or prefer to retain the status quo?