To answer a Guardian question

As the Queen celebrates her diamond jubilee, part of the country will be keener to commemorate the Sex Pistols\’ \’God Save the Queen\’, released at the height of the silver jubilee. Is Elizabeth\’s wave or Johnny Rotten\’s vocals more likely to bring out the patriot in you?

Perhaps as someone who has spent the majority of their adult life as an expat I\’m not quite the one to talk. But the great joy to me of Britishness (and I\’m really not quite sure how much of this is English and how much British) is in how the two coexist, however uneasily.

For example:

There has been a recent revival of a 1980s movement to have Lydon knighted for his achievements with the Sex Pistols. Q Magazine remarked that \”somehow he\’s assumed the status of national treasure.\”

Another way of putting this, and I know that it will come as a great shock to those who haven\’t spend substantial amounts of time In Foreign, is how incredibly tolerant the British/English are. Of political, social, racial, philosophic, whatever differences.

That we did indeed have \”God Save the Queen\” by the Sex Pistols as one of the most popular (did it actually reach No1?) beat combo productions at the time of the Silver Jubilee and we didn\’t as a result have riots, constitutional crises or, if truth be told, anything more than a rather large amount of sniggering about it, is one of the glories of the place and people who inhabit it.

8 comments on “To answer a Guardian question

  1. did it actually reach No1?

    Allegedly the BBC fixed it to keep it off the top slot. At least that is the persistent rumour although I know of no evidence of it.

    It was kept out by a Rod Stewart song I dimly remember. The First Cut is the Deepest I think.

  2. Living in a country where criticism of His Greatness regularly gets journalists sacked, I too understand the value of a system where the Sex Pistols can sing such a song and later gets a gong.

  3. Would it happen nowadays though? Wouldn’t one or t’other obscure branch of the offence-taking industry demand its immediate withdrawal, and the rest of us have to comply because causing offence is a criminal offence?

  4. Yes, kept out by Rod Stewart. imho, it has stood the test of time as a piece of rock n roll too.

  5. Is her husband in the news much over there? Until the other day when I looked it up I had assumed he was dead, since you never hear anything about him over here – Charles, however, is often in the spotlight.

  6. “And what should they know of England who only England know?–“,
    as the poet said.

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