Refresh your memory of the national anthem lyrics

How many times, over the years, do you suppose you’ve heard the national anthem? 

Football matches, royal events, school speech days… You might not know all the lyrics by heart – Google Trends showed a steep rise in searches for the lyrics around the time of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and then again at the sad passing of the monarch. 

With the Coronation of King Charles III planned for May 2023, now may be a good opportunity to brush up on the new lyrics, which haven’t been sung since 1952.

Of course, God Save the King isn’t the only national anthem that is relevant throughout the United Kingdom – Scotland and Wales also have their own anthems which you may not know the lyrics to and with the Six Nations Rugby Competition starting in February, you can find the lyrics to these anthems below too.

British national anthem lyrics

English national anthem lyrics

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Scottish national anthem lyrics

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Welsh national anthem lyrics

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Uplifting

During the Commonwealth Games of 2022 we took a look at all 54 independent member countries of the Commonwealth. They all boast plenty of incredible anthems. All unique, but united in that they’re all so joyous. Patriotic. In a word: uplifting.

Is there a way, though, of knowing which is the most uplifting? And if there were, where, on such an extensive list, would the UK’s treasured anthem sit? 

Sentiment Analysis

Using a sentiment analysis* tool, PPL PRS have analysed the national anthems of all 54 Commonwealth countries along with the UK’s national anthem too**, awarding each one a positivity ‘rating’ based on the positive emotions identified in the wording of the lyrics. Think you can guess where Great Britain places?

‘God Save the Queen’ hit 12th in the rankings with an incredible rating of 98.4%, however, still didn’t crack the top ten! Twelfth place certainly isn’t to be sniffed at, though. Especially with over 50 anthems to compete against.

Scotland (50.4%) proved to be the least uplifting anthem in the Commonwealth… with England’s ‘Jerusalem’ slightly higher at 56% and Wales sitting at a steady 68% positive.

The top 15 anthems are… 

  1. ‘Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free’; Zambia (99.9%)
  2. ‘Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee’; Antigua & Barbuda (99.9%)
  3. ‘Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendour’; Dominica (99.7%)
  4. ‘Qaumī Tarānāh’; Pakistan (99.5%)
  5. ‘Sri Lanka Matha’; Sri Lanka (99.5%)
  6. ‘Jamaica, Land We Love’; Jamaica (99.4%)
  7. ‘Sons and Daughters of Saint Lucia’; Saint Lucia (99.3%)
  8. ‘Allah Peliharakan Sultan’; Brunei (99%)
  9. ‘Rwanda Nziza’; Rwanda (98.9%)
  10. ‘God Bless our Homeland Ghana’; Ghana (98.8%)
  11. ‘Tuvalu mo te Atua’; Tuvalu (98.7%)
  12. ‘God Save the Queen’; Great Britain (98.4%)
  13. ‘Namibia,’ Land of the Brave’; Namibia (98.4%)
  14. ‘Mungu ibariki Afrika’; Tanzania (98.1%)
  15. ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’; Bangladesh (97.9%)

As enlightening as this list is, PPL PRS has gone a step further, in a bid to understand what makes these anthems so popular. Conducting word frequency analysis*** on each of the top 15 most uplifting and the bottom 15 anthems, PPL PRS has identified specific words that appear to make each anthem’s lyrics more or less uplifting.  

The words ‘us’, ‘land’, ‘God’ and ‘free’ appeared in both top and bottom groups.  

However, there were certain words that appeared exclusively in the top 15 anthems, for instance ‘Bless’ appeared 15 times, ‘love’ 14 times, ‘free’ 12 times’, ‘salute’ 12 times and ‘strong’ 11 times.  

Marianne Rizkallah, Music Therapist for PPL PRS, commented: 

“It’s clear that there is a collective power of hooking up to a joint rhythm. Whether it’s everyone’s arms moving in the same way in time to music, singing a national anthem collectively to support your country, or the New Zealand rugby team performing the haka – symbolising unity and strength within their team – the connection is felt on a liminal level between the group and all who witness. It’s powerful.” 

References

* Sentiment analysis conducted using www.monkeylearn.com 

** Sentiment analysis conducted during June 2022, prior to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

*** Word frequency analysis conducted using www.lexicool.com 

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