Opinion Comment

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Echoes of an anthem from 33 years ago bring comfort

The memory of the first time performing Britain's national song inspires thoughts of how life has changed since

MOVING ON: Margaret Thatcher is dead, the IRA is theoretically no more, and a generation of people born in Northern Ireland have known nothing but peace
MOVING ON: Margaret Thatcher is dead, the IRA is theoretically no more, and a generation of people born in Northern Ireland have known nothing but peace

Miriam O'Callaghan

The first time I sang God Save the Queen was in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall. It was 1984 - the autumn of the IRA bombing of the Conservative Party Conference at Brighton - and I had just moved to London to do a post-grad in music.

At rehearsal, there was warm, breezy conversation with the conductor, and glorious human, Sir David Willcocks about my comfort or otherwise with singing it.

I thought about this last week, when, along with representatives of other previously-subjugated territories, I sang the anthem again.

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