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Thursday, 9 April 2015

God Save The Queen

"God Save the Queen" is the national anthem of the United Kingdom. When there is a king instead of a queen it becomes "God Save the King".

The UK's National Anthem's lyrics can be traced back to the reign of Henry VII of England when sailors said “God save the king” as their night watchword; the response was “Long to reign over us.”

On hearing of King Louis XIV's recovery from an operation for oral fistulas, a group of French nuns at the cloister of Saint Cyr celebrated by writing a song, "Dieu Savvez le Roi". A travelling Englishman heard the tune, copied it down and when he got home translated it into "God Save the King."

It was first sung in its present form in 1745 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London  where it was performed after the first production of the Ben Jonson play The Alchemist. Thomas Arne, who composed the music for "Rule, Britannia" came up with the arrangement.

"God Save The Queen" rather than "God Save The King" was first used as the National Anthem of the United Kingdom when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837.

God Save The King/Queen" was the first song to successfully be used as a national anthem. Its success prompted a number of imitations, notably in Germany. The first German national anthem used the melody of "God Save The King" with the words changed to "Heil dir im Siegerkranz," and sung to the same tune as the UK version.

The music for "God Save The King" also became the first American National Anthem in 1831 as "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee.”

Other countries continued to use  the English National Anthem's tune for a long time. Switzerland changed to a different tune in 1961. Liechtenstein still uses it.

Source Songfacts.com

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