Skip to main content

God Save the Queen (King)

God Save the Queen (King). The tune of the Brit. ‘National Anthem’ must long have been the best-known tune in the world, having at one time or another been borrowed by about 20 countries as that of their official nat. song. The popularity of the words and tune in Brit. seems to date from the time of the landing of the Young Pretender, 1745, when they were introduced in London th. and widely taken up, being sung on several successive nights at Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres in Sept. of that year. The authorship of both words and tune is obscure, but it existed in some form before 18th cent.

The tune is in rhythm and style a galliard. There is a Geneva tune of this type with some phrases resembling those in God Save the Queen; it was introduced in 1603 at a banquet celebrating the first anniversary of the unsuccessful attempt of the Duke of Savoy to seize the city (the ‘Escalade’). An Eng. Christmas carol printed in 1611, Remember, O thou Man, shows similar resemblances. Much stronger resemblances are seen in a kbd. piece by John Bull (though in the minor), and his name is sometimes attached to the tune. The earliest known source is in a vol. of songs, Harmonia anglica, issued by John Simpson in London in 1744.

In the Amer. colonies and the USA the tune has at different times been sung to many different sets of words, e.g. God Save America, God Save George Washington, God Save the Thirteen States, etc. The present words My country, 'tis of Thee, date from 1831 and are the work of the Rev. Samuel Francis Smith. The name usually given to the tune is America.

Many composers, incl. Beethoven, Weber, Marschner, Paganini, Brahms, Donizetti, and Verdi have introduced the tune into their comps. or based works on it.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God Save the Queen (King)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God Save the Queen (King)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-save-queen-king

"God Save the Queen (King)." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved May 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-save-queen-king

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.