1) The present tune for the National Anthem is on a barrel in an organ at Finchcocks Musical Museum. If the barrel is turned at a sensible speed for the dance tunes (also on the barrel) the NA comes out about twice the speed that it is normally played nowadays. So it appears that it was not played as the dirge it has now become. Should we blame those "Vile Victorians"?
2) The tune Northcourt was originally set to the words of Dr.Collyer's Hymn 787 "Glory to God on high! Let heav'n and earth reply" in Clark's 11th Set of Psalm & Hymn Tunes, pub.1820. It has the same metre as the NA but the latter's words have been set to it in recent years by a "West Gallerian".
Having said that, I agree that Northcourt is a great tune for the NA.
LGQ member Adrian West had the following letter published in The Independent on Thursday 21st January: Boyd Tonkin (article, 16 January) deplores the "depressive drone" of "God Save the Queen". No... more
Letter in The Independent Tony Singleton,Sun Jan 24 10:08am
Hello Tony, I wonder if you timed the NA on the Finchcocks organ, or noticed if there were two verses? I regularly play the NA as organist for big Remembrance Sunday services, and David has timed me... more