A new anthem?


Sir, – In these days of recycling, I think it is unnecessary to have a competition for a new anthem, as suggested by Andy Pollak (“Let’s have a competition for a new national anthem”, Rite & Reason, March 10th).

Already on the shelf (as Boris Johnson might say) is the most inspiring tune which is not already a national anthem, namely Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1. Anyone arguing that it is too English to serve as an Irish anthem should remember that the US second anthem My Country ’Tis of Thee is sung to the tune of God Save the Queen. As regards the words, only a slight tinkering would be required to turn the lyrics Land of Hope and Glory into an Irish version. After all, who is to deny Ireland’s right to be a land of hope and glory? Elgar’s Catholic faith and British background make him an appealing cross-community composer. If you need a clincher, imagine the irony of the crowds at the Last Night of the Proms singing the tune of the Irish national anthem with gusto. – Yours, etc,


Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Sir, – Please tell Andy Pollak to get over it. – Yours, etc,



Massachusetts, US.