Amol Rajan: How about a reggae anthem to inspire the nation?

FreeView from the editors at i

Share
Related Topics

Almost the only aspect of being paid to write columns that is not highly pleasurable is being scooped. In journalistic parlance, to be scooped in news is to be beaten to a story – and to be scooped in views is to be beaten to an argument.

That my esteemed colleague Dominic Lawson is cleverer than me has long been a source of anguish. But when he wrote in this newspaper on Tuesday that our national anthem should be replaced on musical grounds and that Gustav Holst's "I Vow to Thee My Country" is a fine candidate for the vacancy, the pain became intolerable. I have wanted to write the same thing for weeks.

"God Save the Queen" is a musically immature nonsense and that our national anthem should enshrine a subservience, to the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas and a dictator in the sky who doesn't even exist, is of course a source of national shame. But Dominic covered all that.

So today, let me make some alternative recommendations. Where he specialises in classical, I'm a reggae man. Here are five reggae anthems that could inspire a nation.

1. Vybz Kartel – Clarks

With his seminal lyric "Toothbrush get out di dust fast / Everybody haffi ask weh mi get mi Clarks", Vybz articulates the passions of our rioting youth and the aspirationalism of New Labour.

2. The Wailers – Small Axe

Bob Marley sang: "So if you are the big tree, we are the small axe, ready to cut you down". This is really a metaphor for how the Coalition wishes to chip away at our staggering national debt.

3. Dillinger – Loving Pauper

One of my desert island discs. The lyrics: "Financially I'm a pauper, but when it comes to loving I'm alright" might as well be the slogan of the Big Society.

4. Sizzla – Solid As A Rock

What is this song's constant riff: "I'm so solid as a rock, they just can't stop me now", if not the perfect reminder of George Osborne's claim that the UK, with its low interest rates, is a "rock of stability"?

5. Horace Andy – Skylarking

Andy mellifluously sang: "So if you all keep on doing what you all are doing / You will end up, up, up in jail… skylarking." Fraudulent bankers, expense-fiddling politicians and even former News of the World journalists will all feel a sense of connection with these fine lyrics.

Quite which is my preferred choice I couldn't tell you. If you have better ideas, do get in touch on Twitter.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Jack Warner  

Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Tom Peck
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)