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Anthem for Jersey: Music, Media and Politics in an Island Setting


In 2007, Jersey’s government launched a competition in search for a further anthem to celebrate the island’s identity. Even though the island uses ‘God Save the Queen’ as its official anthem because of its allegiance to the British Crown, there are increasingly more occasions for the island to have its own anthem, such as at the Island Games or the Commonwealth Games when island athletes compete against other jurisdictions that might also use ‘God Save the Queen’. Two other songs, ‘Ma Normandie’ (‘My Normandy’) and ‘Beautiful Jersey’ (‘Man Bieau P’tit Jèrri’), have sometimes been used at times of celebration, but in recent years there has been increased discussion regarding the place of these songs because neither was originally composed as an official anthem for Jersey. Over the past few decades, Jersey has re-thought internal cultural policy towards island identity. This has been part of a process of increased reflection on the island’s heritage as well as its place in the wider world. This article helps show how Jersey is rethinking identity through several spheres: media, political and cultural. By studying the process of finding its own anthem, the politics of local identity construction are highlighted and provide examples that help explain why a unique anthem is needed in the present-day, and how the island is represented and has responded through song and discourse as a result of the competition and local cultural politics regarding the winning anthem.

Categories Politics, Social science
Keywords Culture, Identity, Media, Music, Politics
Author Henry Johnson
Date published 2015
Document type Article
Organisation University of Otago
IRR Code IRR/UOO/2015.43944
File Type pdf