God Save the King


The Text and Tune is often credited to Henry Carey, 1740, although there is controversy with many votes, including the British monarchy's, for anonymous. On official occasions, only the first verse is usually sung, and occasionally verse 3. The tune has been used by many countries for anthems and hymns.

According to the French encyclopaedia, Quid, the music is by Giam Battista Lulli (Jean-Baptiste Lully in the French form). It was loosely based on a hymn sung when the (French) king arrived at an event, Domine Salvum Fac Regem. When Louis XIV was scheduled to open the educational institution at St-Cyr (1686), his mistress (later, queen), the Marquise de Maintenon, commissioned Lully to write the tune to be sung by the pupils as Dieu Protège le Roi. The French, apparently, did not use it again until 1745 at which time the Old Pretender, claiming to be King James III of England, was organising his rebellion from France (he lived at St-Germain-de-Laye). Madame de Maintenon presented him with the words and music as his National Anthem. (It is not clear who wrote the English words but the implication is that Mme de Maintenon either wrote them herself or commissioned them.) The song was sung for the first time in Britain when Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland. There are apparently some legal testaments to this story.

It was first publicly performed in London in 1745.

1. God save our gracious King,
Long live our noble King,
God save the King!
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign o'er us;
God save the King!

2. O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

3. Thy choicest gifts in store
On him be pleased to pour;
Long may he reign;
May he defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the King!

4. Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world o'er.

5. From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the King!
O'er his thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our father, prince, and friend,
God save the King!

6. Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the King!

Click here for a Midifile of this Anthem

God Save the Queen