Friday, 8 June 2012

The 4th Verse

With the British national anthem having been heard more often than usual in the last few days due to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the throne of the United Kingdom, it's timely to be reminded of the fourth verse of "God Save the Queen" as composed in the 1740s:-

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.

Rebellious Scots being crushed

Marshall Wade was the Commander in Chief of the British Army during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46. He'd been relieved of his command by the time the rebellion was finally crushed at the Battle of Culloden (pictured above - last pitched battle to be fought on British soil in April 1746) and is better remembered (as General Wade) for the military roads he built in Scotland in the 1720s.

One of General Wade's military roads from the 1720s
Often misunderstood as rebellions by Scotland against England, the Jacobite Rebellions (there were five in all between 1689 and 1746) were simply armed attempts against the government of the day back in the days when it was still not uncommon to articulate political grievances by taking up arms rather than demanding judicial enquiries. The misunderstanding is due to the fact there were proportionately more "Jacobites" in Scotland than England (though a tiny minority in both) and the main theatres of war happened to take place in Scotland.

Whatever. The message of the forgotten fourth verse of the National Anthem is as relevant today as it was in the 1740s.

Rebellious Scot needing crushed


Suze said...

Brilliant. You need to get back here to lead the "NO" campaign.

Kathie said...

Oh, guys, the UK holds no monopoly on now-embarrassing anthem lyrics.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

2. The 4th stanza of the unofficial US anthem, "America" (or, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee") -- which we sang at elementary school assemblies (in part, I suspect, because of the easier melody, to the same tune as GSTQ) -- surely breaches the US Constitution's First Amendment wall separating church and state:
Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

3. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," penned in the early years of the American Civil War, implies that those supporting the Confederacy will go to hell:
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

4. The chorus of France's "La Marseillaise" is downright genocidal:
Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!
[To arms, citizens, form your battalions, let's march, let's march! Let an impure blood water our furrows!]

5. See where the rivers named in the German national anthem flow, in order to realize that 5th and 6th the lines are a veritable paean to the concept of "Lebensraum":
Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält.
Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
|: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt! :|

Germany, Germany above everything, Above everything in the world, when, for protection and defence, it always takes a brotherly stand together. From the Meuse to the Memel, From the Adige to the Belt |: Germany, Germany above everything, above everything in the world! :|

6. The Portuguese national anthem was originally an 1890 screed against Britain's depriving Portugal of its desire for all of Southern Africa, instead making Portugal cede territory between Angola and Mozambique to Britain (for its own colony):