“God Save the King (God Save the Queen, etc.)”


Good wishes for the King of England: "God save (our Lord, or any monarch's name) the King, Long live our noble king, God save the King. Send him victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the King." Other verses equally insipid


This, obviously, has never been a true popular or traditional tune.

Given the number of songs derived from it, as well as the parodies (e.g. "The King he had a date, He stayed out very late, He was the King. The Queen she paced the floor, She paced till half past four, She met him at the door, God save the King"), it seems to me that it belongs here.

Fuld tells an interesting anecdote showing that this was once a political song. As first printed, the opening line read "God save our Lord the King." When Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in 1745, this was hastily amended to "God Save great GEORGE our King" -- with "George" printed in large type.

Prior to its adoption in Georgian times, the English used "The Roast Beef of Old England" as their anthem.

The phrase "God Save the King" is officially listed as Biblical (1 Sam. 10:24, 1 Kings 1:25, 34, 39, 2 Kings 11:12, 2 Ch. 23:11, etc.). One has to note that this is an inaccurate translation in the King James version, leading to the speculation that the acclamation actually predates the KJV. The Hebrew phrase correctly translates as "let the King live," and so is rendered "Long live the King" in almost all modern Bible translations. - RBW

Same tune

  • Heil Dir in Siegerkranz
  • O Deus Optime (cf. Chappell/Wooldridge II, p. 195)
  • America (My Country 'Tis of Thee) (File: RJ19006)
  • My Country (Greenway-AFP, pp. 88-89)
  • God Save the King (The King He Had a Date) (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 115)
  • My Country's Tired of Me (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 159)
  • Can Opener, 'Tis of Thee (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 159)
  • Our Land Is Free (celebrating the end of transportation to Van Diemen's Land) (Robert Hughes, _The Fatal Shore_, p. 572)
  • God Save the Rights of Man (1798 Irish revolutionary song) (mentioned in Thomas Pakenham, _The Year of Liberty_, p. 193)

Cross references


  1. Chappell/Wooldridge II, pp. 194-200, "God Save the King" (1 tune plus variants, 1 partial text)
  2. Fuld-WFM, pp. 249-251+, "God Save the King"
  4. BI, ChWII194


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c. 1744 ("Harmonia Anglicana")
Found in: Britain(England)