Poetry – A New National Anthem

Last night of the Proms – let’s get away from bombastic nationalism, xenophobic patriotism, smug superiority and slavery!
If there has to be a National Anthem at all! I’d prefer a world anthem!
But who’s a musician out there who can put it to music???

Opher's World

Well, we have to have something better that God Save the bloody Queen, something rousing, something that reflects the strength of equality and diversity, something that encompasses the beauty of nature and the spirit of our people.

Britain is a hybrid nation and all the richer for that. It’s time we exalted nature and embraced our differences.

I don’t like nationalism or patriotism; I like togetherness and shared values. Britain is such a wonderful place. Its people have striven for equality and freedom for centuries. Social justice and an end to racism are worthy causes. We have such beauty and wonderful nature. Surely that all needs to be there in any anthem??

Trevor more or less dared me. This is the first attempt. Perhaps we can work on it???

A New Anthem

Equality! Diversity!

My Britain, our love of thee!

From Green rolling hill,

Down to your rippling sea,


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8 thoughts on “Poetry – A New National Anthem

  1. Opher, I’m years ahead of you on this one. Here are two attempts from the “Darn-Poor Rhymer,” both from 2014. I was in one of my more “anarchist” moods at the time.

    England and Britain

    (To be sung to the hymn tune “Bemerton (Caswall)”)

    England is a nation,
    Britain is a state.
    England’s past redemption,
    Britain’s out of date.

    England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

    (To be sung to the hymn tune “Innocents”/“Conquering kings their titles take”)

    England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales,
    When the state that rules them fails,
    They won’t sink into the sea!
    They’ll be there for you and me.

    Oh, and I’ve even written “an anthem for humanity.” Words and music. It’s an adapted version of my submission to the BBC Christmas Carol contest in 2016. But I’ll have to do quite a bit of work to make it publishable.

    1. The first one is great – the second one surely lacks the last line – in the chaos of anarchy!
      What’s the Anthem for Humanity go like. I like the sound of it.

      1. Opher, anarchism and anarchy are very different things. I have some anarchist friends, but I don’t have any anarchic friends. (Nor does anyone else!)

        In the next few days, I’ll do the work to put the new (old?) words to the old (new?) music. You’ll then be able to judge. As to how it goes, it’s in 6/8 time at dotted crochet = 78 to the minute. And the title is “Peace and justice forever!”

        BTW, do you know of any way to publish an mp3 on a blog like yours or mine, that doesn’t require external storage?

      2. Aah Neil – there you have put your finger on it. You and I would make perfect anarchists – we are moral people with intrinsic values (except with regard to nature). Most people are like us. They would be perfectly capable of regulating themselves and living harmoniously with others. Unfortunately, not all humans are like that. A sizeable minority have always been aggressive, violent and lazy. They want to control others and exploit them. In a perfect state of anarchy everybody would be respectful of others. The minority would use force to impose themselves, steal, wreck and destroy. That is human nature and is why I am not an anarchist. I believe we need law, order and authority to stop the greedy, selfish bastards who have made life misery right down the ages.

      3. Well Opher, this is one of our more interesting discussions. BTW, I’ve done the adaptation of the anthem tune to the new words. I’ll e-mail you the MP3 and PDF – but they are, obviously, only drafts at the moment.

        Yes, indeed you and I do have more in common that might have appeared in some of our exchanges at WriterBeat. But as I’m sure you’ve worked out, I’m not actually an anarchist. I identify myself as minarchist – someone who wants just a minimal government, merely to ensure that the criminal minority don’t get away with their crimes. (For that position, I get flak from all sides – conservatives, left-libertarians and anarchists. But I can deal with it).

        You and I disagree with regard to “nature.” I have an altogether more positive view of human nature than you have. Though I would readily concede that some of those born human (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Blair, G W Bush, maybe even Trump) don’t measure up to species standards. But more importantly, I think that humans have the capability to be far more than we are at present. Where you see humans as essentially no more than “other” animals, I see us as special. That’s a world-view choice, just like religion; and so, not amenable to rational argument.

        On your last paragraph, I agree with “law and order,” but not with “authority.” “Authority” is what allows “the greedy, selfish bastards who have made life misery right down the ages” (nice phrase, by the way) to carry on doing their dirty tricks.

      4. Hi Neil – I am just starting to read Humanity – a book that I think you would greatly enjoy. It puts a very positive view on everything humans have done.
        I agree with you about most people. Most people are very good, helpful, fair and compassionate. Unfortunately, they are rarely the ones who achieve any leadership roles or get into power. The minority, composed of sociopaths and psychopaths, who have no compunctions about hurting people, lying or deliberately deceiving, do that. Hence our political systems, big business, army, gangs and institutions are packed with self-serving, greedy, narcissistic, cruel and nasty vicious types.
        I think that without a system in place to check their outrageous behaviour they would stop at nothing – the complete destruction of nature or a nuclear war.
        Big Business has been happily exploiting people, keeping them in sweat-shops on starvation wages, polluting the environment, deforesting huge areas and overexploiting the environment – so that they can all become superrich!
        These bastards avoid taxes and use their wealth to buy off politicians and circumvent legislation. The politicians are in cahoots with them.
        What I want is a system with the power to stop them getting away with this appalling behaviour.
        As a biologist, I know that we are really the third species of chimps (with whom we share 99% of our genes). The difference is that we are more intelligent. That does not make us superior. That makes us special. We are probably not the most intelligent species on the planet. We are so anthropomorphic in judging intelligence that we overlook many things — but tat’s another story!
        I love nature and I detest the way it is being systematically destroyed for profit. I think we should all greatly respect this unique, complex web of life that is interconnected and self-sustaining. It has taken three billion years of evolution to get to this. We are part of it and, despite all our ingenuity, cannot exist without it.
        For us to improve we have to learn to respect nature and our place in it and jettison this obsession with strong psychopathic leaders.
        The priority is to control them and stop them doing the harm they have always done.
        I travel the world and I see castles, fortresses and fortifications – because these selfish, greedy, violent scum, have always created problems for the rest of us. And we laud them – scum like the pirate Walter Raliegh.
        Without a controlling body with the authority to act these bastards will rob, steal, create wars, divide, pollute and destroy. They love power and wealth. Authority has to be in the right hands.
        Thanks for sending through the MP3. I shall enjoy listening to that and will get back to you.

  2. Agreed, we need an anthem representative of our time, one that will transcend generations and divisions between people, that dispenses with reference to the monarchy, to God, and to an imperialist past, and instead embraces the cultural diversity and fraternal unity of modern Britain, and with gusto celebrates a vision for the future (as an equal participant in a globally-cooperative future) that builds on solid foundations and British values of Decency, Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect and Tolerance, and Individual Liberty.

    Should such an anthem also exalt Nature: Blake’s poetic ‘…green and pleasant land’? Yes, I think it is imperative, for embedded in that one line (of his) is envisioned a desire for harmonious living: for virtuous Love and Compassion, Peace, Kindness, Fairness and Equality to flourish in the heart of all who walk upon British soil (indeed, all who walk upon planet Earth), and submit to its beauty.

    I think your well-considered, non-partisan poem goes some way in achieving its purpose of being an anthem. Nicely done Opher.


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