England legend Brian Moore has called for fans to dump controversial ‘inappropriate’ anthem Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
He wrote in his column for The Telegraph: “As I started talking about unnecessary off the field matters, how about England fans not singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot?”
“It is now inappropriate and, most of all, tedious.
“While we are at it, how about binning Sweet Caroline, a song that has little or no connection with rugby and is now hackneyed due to overuse.”
The RFU recently conducted a review of the song – originally an American slave spiritual – conceding that many supporters were unaware of its roots.
One player who has chosen to not sing the anthem anymore is Maro Itoje.
“I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do but, personally, I won’t sing this song anymore,” he said when speaking with French newspaper L’Equipe.
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“I sang it before when I was naive and didn’t know its origins but, knowing now the context in the creation of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, it’s not an anthem that I’m going to repeat anymore.”
It is believed the song was first sung at Twickenham when Martin “Chariots” Offiah featured at the 1987 Middlesex Sevens tournament. In 1988 it became popular among England supporters when Chris Oti scored a hat-trick against Ireland.
The song’s origins are rooted in US slavery, however, and it is believed to have been written by the American slave Wallace Willis around the 1860s.