British punk legends the Sex Pistols are to reissue their anarchic song “God Save the Queen” to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 50 years on the throne, their record company said Thursday. “(The record) is to be reissued around the Golden Jubilee celebrations on May 27,” Virgin Records said in a statement. “It will feature the original artwork.”
The single’s anti-royal lyrics and cover image of the queen with a safety pin through her nose caused outrage on its first release in 1977.
The song includes the verse: “God save the Queen/She ain’t no human being/There is no future/In England’s dreaming.”
While thousands in Britain celebrated the queen’s 25 years on the throne in 1977 with street parties, the Sex Pistols courted controversy.
The band – Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Sid Vicious – was arrested in June 1977 after performing “God Save the Queen” on a boat on London’s River Thames.
Fans remember the incident as one of the key moments of the punk era. The Sex Pistols were earlier branded “grubby people” in the Daily Telegraph newspaper after swearing live on television during an interview.
The queen can expect more respectful performances from a host of singers due to perform at Buckingham Palace in June.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney and Elton John are among the stars invited to perform to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.