Northern Ireland’s Alternative National Anthem

There has been some debate since 2015 whether the Northern Ireland football team should change their national anthem before games.

Currently the Green and White Army sing England’s God Save the Queen which many Northern Irish nationalists are upset about.

Former-Northern Ireland international and Premier League footballer Paul McVeigh told Sky News earlier this year as saying:

“It’s not their national anthem. God Save The Queen is the England national anthem. That’s a problem for anyone coming from the nationalist community.”

Northern Ireland will be competing in this summer’s Euro 2016 championship in France where they will sing God Save the Queen pre-game as their national anthem.  England will too – meaning if either nation reaches the quarter-finals it will be the most-played national anthem during the competition (excluding the ceremonies!).

So what are the alternatives for Northern Ireland?

Danny Boy

The obvious choice would be Danny Boy that originated County Derry in Northern Ireland. It is popular and very well known throughout the world. Most notably, the tune is played as the victory anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.

A snippet from Danny Boy:

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.

The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling,

It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.

Ireland’s Call

This song was commissioned by the Irish Rugby Union team in 1995 for their international fixtures.  It has since been adopted by their Rugby League and Cricket teams – sports where both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are represented as one.

A snippet from Ireland’s Call:

Ireland, Ireland

Together standing tall

Shoulder to shoulder

We’ll answer Ireland’s call

We’re Not Brazil, We’re Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s favourite terrace chant could be another option.  It reflects their football history including their famous win over hosts Spain at World Cup 1982.

A snippet from We’re Not Brazil:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of Espana ‘82

When little Northern Ireland showed the world what we can do

Now Lawrie WAS our leader and we’re coming after you

And this is what we say….

We’re not Brazil we’re Northern Ireland

Alternative Ulster

Stiff Little Fingers, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, formed in 1977 and released the hit ‘Alternative Ulster’ was their second single the following year.

Chorus from Alternative Ulster:

Is an Alternative Ulster

Grab it and change it, it’s yours

Get an Alternative Ulster

Ignore the bores and their laws

Get an Alternative Ulster

Be an anti-security force

Alter your native Ulster

Alter your native land