Noble England

Album: Single Release Only (2010)
Charted: 7

Songfacts®:

  • Released to tie in with England's participation in the 2010 World Cup, this patriotic single features Rik Mayall recreating the famous speech from William Shakespeare's Henry V over rousing chants. His adapted speech invokes the spirit of the Battle of Agincourt. "That battle was basically very few Englishmen against the rest of the world," said Mayall. "When you hear the speech delivered in a gutsy way it makes you go, 'Yeah, right, bring 'em on, let's do it', rather than, 'How nice, what a lovely piece of poetry.'"
  • The single did not chart at the time, but became the subject of an online campaign following Rik Mayall's death on June 9 2014, just before the Brazil World Cup. Jon Morter, who got Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" to #1 in 2009, told the Evening Standard: "It would be great thing for Rik's memory. He was a comedy legend. Rage Against the Machine was more of a protest whereas this campaign seems to be a way of displaying respect. It's a cruel irony that on the eve of the World Cup we have lost him. It's now time for everyone to wake up to this fantastic song."
  • Rick Mayall's only other visit to the UK singles chart was as a member of the cast of The Young Ones, whose remake alongside Cliff Richard of his own track "Living Doll" went all the way to #1 in 1986.

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