The Daily Telegraph

Jenkins was asked to change God Save the King to make it rhyme


‘I ran it through in my head before I sang it so that I would think it, because naturally you sing “her”’

KATHERINE JENKINS, who made the first recording of the national anthem after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, has revealed that the words to the song were changed to ensure that they rhymed.

The Welsh mezzo-soprano was recording a specially rewritten hymn for last night’s Songs of Praise on Friday morning when she was contacted by the BBC and asked if she would like to be the first person to sing God Save the King on the radio.

It was to be broadcast on Radio 4’s The World at One around two hours later.

The national anthem was very familiar to the 42-year-old but she admitted it would take particular concentrat­ion to switch the words Queen to King and sing “him” instead of “her”.

“I ran it through in my head before I went to sing it so that I would think it, because naturally you would sing ‘her’,” Jenkins told The Daily Telegraph.

“You know, this is a song I have sung hundreds and hundreds of times so it did require concentrat­ion.”

But there was another change in the lyrics.

The penultimat­e line of the second verse was changed from “To sing with heart and voice” to “With heart and voice to sing” so that it rhymed with the last line, “God Save the King”.

It seems unlikely, however, that the change will stick.

Aside from the fact that people rarely sing the second verse, the official Royal family website has been updated in recent days to include the words to the new version of the anthem.

The end of the second verse reads: “May he defend our laws, And ever give us cause, To sing with heart and voice, God save the King.”

The website does acknowledg­e that there is no authorised version of the song, which in its present form dates back to the 18th century, as the words are a matter of tradition.

God Save the King has been enthusiast­ically sung repeatedly since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, with members of the public looking to show their support for the King.

The song was first performed in public in London in 1745 and came to be known as the national anthem at the beginning of the 19th century.

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