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God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen
Sheet music of God Save the Queen
Publication of an early version in The Gentleman's Magazine, 15 October 1745. The title, on the contents page, is given as "God save our lord the king: A new song set for two voices".

National and/or royal anthem of

Also known as "God Save the King"
(when the monarch is male)
Music Unknown composer
Adopted September 1745
Music sample
"God Save the Queen"
Song by Queen from the album A Night at the Opera
Released 1975
Recorded 1975 at Sarm East Studios
Length 1:15
Label EMI, Parlophone (Europe)
Elektra, Hollywood (US)
Writer(s) Brian May
Producer(s) Queen, Roy Thomas Baker
A Night at the Opera track listing

"God Save the Queen" (alternatively "God Save the King", depending on the gender of the reigning monarch) is the national and/or royal anthem in a number of Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies. The author of the tune is unknown and it may originate in plainchant, but a 1619 attribution to John Bull is sometimes made.

It is the national anthem of the United Kingdom and one of two national anthems used by New Zealand since 1977, as well as for several of the UK's territories that have their own additional local anthem. It is also the royal anthem of all the aforementioned countries, as well as Australia (since 1984), Canada (since 1980),Barbados and Tuvalu. In countries not previously part of the British Empire, the tune of "God Save the Queen" has provided the basis for various patriotic songs, though still generally connected with royal ceremony. In the United States, the melody is used for the patriotic song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee". The melody is also used for the national anthem of Liechtenstein, "Oben am jungen Rhein".

Beyond its first verse, which is consistent, "God Save the Queen/King" has many historic and extant versions. Since its first publication, different verses have been added and taken away and, even today, different publications include various selections of verses in various orders. In general, only one verse is sung. Sometimes two verses are sung, and on rare occasions, three.

The sovereign and her or his consort are saluted with the entire anthem, while other members of the Royal Family who are entitled to royal salute (such as the Prince of Wales) receive just the first six bars. The first six bars also form all or part of the Vice Regal Salute in some Commonwealth realms outside the UK (e.g., in Canada, governors general and lieutenant governors at official events are saluted with the first six bars of "God Save the Queen" followed by the first four and last four bars of "O Canada"), as well as the salute given to governors of British overseas territories.


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