Philip Jordan has the curious idea of asking for a republican anthem for Britain, assuming the monarchy has been tossed out, and also assuming that the republic has nationalist tendencies that the new government has no wish to disguise when commissioning the usual mediocrity to write it. This means entrants have to be cunningly mediocre – always hard to do on purpose, but easy to do without thinking.
‘I asked for mediocrity and I got it,’ he admits. He eliminates all the tunes based on ‘God Save The King’ (a reasonable idea, for, as he argues, if the words went, so would the tune). I don’t really understand his logic at this point. He decides who is going to come second – someone with the sobriquet Joshaway – and then works his way through four candidates for the top spot – Allan M. Laing, William Bliss, Olwen Lawton (note that she’s entered just after winning for the first time, and is presumably enthused), and Trevor Lloyd. He cuts these four down to Laing and Bliss (wouldn’t this mean that one of them ought to come second? Eh? Never mind …).
William Bliss nabs the two guineas (probably because he has sent in a note that says his words ‘are not quite such drivel as Land of Hope and Glory, but as near as I could get’).