This year is the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and to mark the occasion one of the biggest British recording companies is bringing out a CD in which the principal song is entitled “God Save the Queen.” It is going to be heavily promoted, with the express aim of reaching the No. 1 spot on the charts. But this “God Save the Queen” is not quite what it seems. It is a mock-anthem by the long defunct punk group the Sex Pistols, first issued back in 1977, and featuring such snappy lines as “God Save the Queen/She ain’t no human being.”

We have been here before. The song was originally timed to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and reissuing it seems as much as anything an exercise in middle-aged nostalgia for the pop-anarchism of the Seventies. It didn’t do much damage at the time, and it’s unlikely to do much now....


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