Who composed and wrote 'God Save The King/Queen'?

'God Save The King' was first published in 1744, during the reign of George II. It is not known who wrote the lyrics or composed the tune, but Percy Scholes, in The Oxford Companion to Music, points out similarities to a keyboard piece by John Bull (1619), and a piece by Henry Purcell, which includes the opening notes of the modern tune.

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The lyrics could have been inspired by the King James Bible, where the phrase 'God save the King, Long live the King' appears in the Book of Kings, Chapter 1.

Here is a more detailed guide to the origins of 'God Save The King/Queen'.

What are the lyrics to 'God Save The King'?

God save our gracious King/Queen,
Long live our noble King/Queen,
God save the King/Queen!
Send her/him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the King/Queen!

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world o’er.

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen/King!
O’er her/his thine arm extend,
For Britain’s sake defend,
Our mother/father, prince, and friend,
God save the King/Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she/he reign!
May she/he defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the King/Queen!

Did you know...?

...that when 'God Save The King' was first sang during the reign of George II the lyrics mentioned George in the first line 'God save great George our king'?

This was alright for George's II, III and IV, but led to problems when William (IV) and Victoria came to the throne, (try singing it with their names!) so it was changed to 'God save our gracious King/Queen'!

... that Liechtenstein's national anthem "Oben am jungen Rhein' uses the same melody?

Does the King sing 'God Save The King'?

No, the King doesn't sing the National Anthem. It would be fairly strange to ask God to save yourself!

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Find more lyrics to the different national anthems here

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