'God Save' the national anthem, yeah?

Deborah Hobson

It is 30 years since iconic English punk rock band The Sex Pistols released their provocative, anti-establishment No. 1 single God Save The Queen.

Formed in 1975, the band originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock (later replaced by Sid Vicious).

Although their initial career lasted only three years and produced only four singles and one studio album, the Sex Pistols have been described, ironically, by the BBC as "the definitive English punk rock band." They emerged as a response to what was widely seen as the safe, stale rock and manufactured pop music of the mid-1970s.

The band's various antics, which often eclipsed their music, provoked outrage during their brief career. The Pistols' shows repeatedly faced opposition from authorities, who tried and sometimes succeeded in banning them and public appearances often ended in chaos and riot.

Their 1977 single, God Save the Queen was released by Virgin Records and was widely regarded as a stirring and heroic attack on the British monarchy and British nationalism, although Rotten later stated that the song was not specifically aimed at the Queen, but was instead intended to critique the deference given to royalty in general.

During the week of Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee, the single reached number one in the influential New Musical Express chart, but number two in the official UK chart. However, many suspected that the chart compilation had been manipulated, suggesting that the record had actually reached number one, but that the charts had been rigged to prevent further public outcry.

At least one radio station announced the song as number one, but refused to play it, as they had been warned by the authorities that it would upset the Queen's national celebrations.

Click on this link to view the video of The Sex Pistols performing God Save The Queen:




1 Response to "'God Save' the national anthem, yeah?"

contribs editor's picture

contribs editor

Sat, 05/26/2007 - 11:52
<p> Here are some of the great lyrics from <em>The Sex Pistols</em> alternative national anthem: <br /></p><p><em>God save the Queen<br />Her facist regime<br />They made you a moron<br />Potential h-bomb<br /><br />God save the Queen<br />She ain&#39;t no human being<br />There&#39;s no future<br />In England&#39;s dreaming<br /><br />Don&#39;t be told what you want<br />Don&#39;t be told what you need<br />There&#39;s no future, no future<br />No future for you</em></p><em>God save the Queen<br />We mean it man<br />We love our Queen<br />God saves</em><br /><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>