British national anthem

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History on 28th September


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British national anthem 'God Save The King' sung for the first time

Covent Garden, London The 28th of September 1745 AD

Like so much of our heritage, the provenance of God Save the King/Queen (delete as appropriate) is open to debate, and surrounded by myth and legend.
On September 28 1745, following a performance of The Alchemist at Drury Lane Theatre , a setting of the song by Thomas Arne was sung for the first time in public, giving us the version we hear today. In fact the original tune was probably written by Dr John Bull in the previous century, and others have spotted similarities between it and various hymns and other church music.
The version we know now doesn't include the line from verse six of the original, Rebellious Scots to Crush, perhaps understandably.
Although there is no doubt that God Save the Queen is our national anthem (and strangely enough Liechtenstein's, albeit with different words), it is by custom rather than through official recognition. And after nearly three hundred years as our anthem, there are still regular calls for something else to be adopted, especially in the light of the stirring unofficial anthem of Scottish teams, Flower of Scotland, that seems to give them a head start in every game.

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Battle of Towton - 1461, Battle of Alresford - 1644, Albert Hall Opens - 1871, Captain Scott dies - 1912, First London Marathon - 1981
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