If the world didn’t know the ‘black national anthem’, it does now


Beyonce, getting things done once again.

If you want to know how Lift Every Voice and Sing – a song originally written for schoolchildren – became the ‘black’ anthem, I wrote about it here years ago!

Five ways Jeremy Corbyn could ‘sing’ God Save the Queen this weekend and still wreck his career

Corbyn not singing the national anthem

AKA let’s go Buzzfeed!

1 Miming

Corbyn’s press team have repeatedly said he’ll “take full part” in God Save the Queen on Remembrance Sunday ensuring there’ll be no repeat of the furore caused by his silence at September’s Battle of Britain memorial.

The problem is “take full part” is such a vague wording you have to assume he’s considering miming his way through it.

Don’t, Jeremy! Even Beyonce gets caught when she mimes anthems. And you’re not Beyonce. You’re not even Milli Vanilli!

2 Trying interpretative dance

If miming’s a risk…

3 Singing the second verse

Despite countless anthems being bloodthirsty and anachronistic, a lot of people still take issue with the violence underlying God Save the Queen’s second verse. “O Lord our God arise, scatter her enemies and make them fall,” it goes. “Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks, on thee our hopes we fix, God save us all.”

It was so controversial in Victorian times people held competitions to replace it. Today the royal family pretends it doesn’t exist when handing out lyric sheets.

Jeremy, though, might decide to make a point by singing it; to show everyone just what a horrific anthem Britain has and how outdated the monarchy is too. Don’t, Jezza. No one else will join in. You’d look like an old man haranguing children at a bus stop.

4 Singing the anti-Scots verse

Yes, Jeremy, everyone knows someone once wrote a verse about crushing “rebellious Scots”. But as much as you must hate the SNP right now, don’t sing it!

5 Singing it as it was originally intended

God Save the Queen was written in the 1600s as a galliard, a style of music that requires people to do a little jump in the air once a phrase. People also originally sung it with more trills than Mariah Carey in her prime.

Jeremy, you are not Mariah Carey. And God knows how bad things would get for you if you started doing little jumps into the air. Just do what everyone else does when they have to sing it: have a few drinks, then grin and bear it. It only lasts a minute, after all!

(For more on God Save the Queen’s story without any rubbish Corbyn jokes, read my book!)

Proof that literally any song can be turned into lounge jazz

Worryingly, I think I prefer it lip-synced!

[If you’re reading on a mobile, the proof is here]

Is Beyoncé really American?

I don’t mean to start the New Year like a Fox News presenter, but I am shocked – shocked! – at the news that President Obama has chosen Beyoncé to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at his second inauguration on 21 January.

Surely that role should only go to the most patriotic of Americans, someone whose blood isn’t just red, but white and blue as well; someone whose heart could never be shared with another country?

But what’s that clip above? It couldn’t possibly be Beyoncé singing Nigeria’s national anthem, Arise O Compatriots, could it? God, it’s bad enough that Obama’s Kenyan!

(To any regular readers, I promise I’ll go back to doing serious pieces of anthem-related journalism soon [crosses fingers behind back]!)