Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

There'll Always Be An England

474 of 1170 nominations


There'll Always Be An England

Is this an icon?


There'll Always Be An England

It might feel as though this song dates from the 19th century, when the British empire was at its zenith. In fact, it was written as recently as 1940 by Ross Parker, Harry Par-Davies and Hugh Charles, as a musical V-sign to the Nazis who, by that time, controlled a large chunk of Europe. It was popularised by the nation’s wartime musical figurehead, Dame Vera Lynn.

The lyrics also called upon Britain’s dominions, including Canada and India, to help defend the "old country" – "The empire too/ We can depend on you" – indicating that the sentiments expressed were by no means in the interests of any narrow nationalism, but of a common cause.

Though Vera Lynn’s version remains the definitive one, a rendition given by Tiny Tim – complete with ukulele accompaniment and outlandish falsetto – at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival has won its own place in musical history.

Photo: Clive Aldenhoven


Your comments

When all seemed lost, this was one of the songs that was a great morale-booster, and helped the nation in standing fast in adversity.


An appallingly syrupy anthem to petty nationalism and 'little Englanders'. Haven't two world wars shown us that nationalism is a scourge, a hangover from the tribal groupings of the Dark Ages? I'm a citizen of a united Europe, and proud to be so.

The EU is hell bent on destroying England as a country, by replacing England by the Regions. "There will not always be an England" unless the English people wake up.
Margaret Stringfellow

View All Comments (2)



I nominate the English weather.