Rebellious Scots to Crush

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.

The anthem, “God Save the King” was originally published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1745 as a rallying cry for the pro-Hanoverians in England, and a large number of verses were written at the time, of which one is located above.  The song would settle down as the three verses of the modern anthem, and had done so long before it was adopted as the national anthem.  Only the first verse is usually sung, but the third verse is also sung at the Last Night of the Proms. The second verse is very rarely sung these days, given the anti-Catholic and Imperial sentiments in it.

There was no standard version of the anthem beyond the first verse in 1745, and Marshal Wade was replaced by the Duke of Cumberland in November 1745.  “God save the King” was not adopted as the National Anthem until after the American War of Independence, by which time Marshal Wade had been long-forgotten, never mind the verse of the national anthem relating to him.  It is entirely untrue to say that this verse ever was part of the national anthem.  It was part of a song titled “God save the King”, but then the following verse was part of a song titled “God Save the Queen”:

God save the queen
She ain’t no human being
There is no future
In England’s dreaming

The standardised version, which has been the National Anthem for more than two centuries (give or take the variations from King to Queen to King to Queen and the consequent changes to personal pronouns) is below.  The only variant text with any reasonable claim to be the National Anthem is “knavish tricks” rather than “Popish tricks”.  Other verses are no more part of the National Anthem than the Sex Pistols’ version.:

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 Popish 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


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