The night before my citizenship ceremony, I decided to read the paper they sent me that told me what to expect on the day. Much to my horror I realized that we would sing the national anthem at the ceremony.
“You better memorize it. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being the only one who doesn’t know the national anthem at your citizenship ceremony,” my husband said. He would know since when he became an Australian citizen he only knew the first line of the Australian national anthem. In my opinion, all you need to know are the first and last lines. You can just move your lips for everything in the middle and no one ill know the difference.
I practiced the song until my vocal cords hurt. I was ready to belt it out the next day at the ceremony.
We got to the courthouse early. It was full of people wearing their nicest clothes, except for the one guy in a T-shirt and denim shorts. The woman in front of me in the registration line thought that she was going to have to sing God Save the Queen alone in front of all those people upon receiving her naturalisation certificate. She breathed a sigh of relief when she was told she didn’t.
Darn, I thought. I was hoping they’d arrange us into little quartets and we could bust out some impomptu harmonies Boyz to Men style. I’m dating myself, aren’t I?
The end of the ceremony finally came and they asked us to stand for the national anthem. The music started. I cleared my throat ready to sing and nothing happened. The music continued to play and everyone continued to stand there silently. Then the music ended and everyone sat down–everyone expect for me. I stomped my foot and said, “What the heck!!! I wasted two hours of my time memorizing all three verses of this song and we’re not even going to sing it.” Okay, I didn’t really do say that, but that’s what I was thinking.
Now I know God Saves the Queen. The
next first time I’m at an event where they sing it, I’ll be ready.
Just One More Thing:
As I was learning the words to the song I started wondering what it must be like to be the Queen and have everyone sing to you. Talk about awkward. It would like when the waiters all sing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant only with less happy and more God save.
I found this video and thought it was funny. Even her husband has to sing the song. He doesn’t look like he really knows the words though. I’ll post the lyrics below the video so you can sing along. I know you want to.
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.