- It is believed the song may date back to 1865
- The earliest known recording of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot was in 1909
- It wasn’t until around 1988 that the anthem became famous with England
England anthem Swing Low, Sweet Chariot has been blasted by US academics who branded it “cultural appropriation” of a slavery song.
The anthem was adopted by the national rugby team to be sung before games but is traditionally an African American song created by slaves.
Professor Josephine Wright, from Ohio’s College of Wooster, insisted fans who sang the song showed they did not understand the historical significance.
She said: “Such cross-cultural appropriations of US slave songs betray a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which those songs were created by the American slave.”
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Professor Arthur Jones of the University of Denver added: “I feel kind of sad. I feel like the story of American chattel slavery and this incredible cultural tradition, built up within a community of people who were victims and often seen as incapable of standing up for themselves, is such a powerful story that I want the whole world to know about it. But apparently not everyone does.”
The song was written sometime in the late 1800s and surged to popularity again during the Civil Rights Marches in America during the 1960s.
Players, such as Mako Vunipola were baffled by the suggestion, saying: “I’ve always taken it as just the English song really, I’ve never thought of it as any more or any less than that.
“Watching games when I was younger, when you hear it come on it’s obviously something special and when you’re on the field and hear it, it gives you a bit of a lift, so never really thought about the meaning or if it’s from slavery.
“I had no idea about that, and now that you’ve told me it’s kind of… I don’t know if it’s relevant. If the fans want to sing it then let them sing it, but obviously if people find it offensive, then sorry.”
LIST | Six times Mako Vunipola just didn’t give a FU*K
We run down England and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola’s funniest moments.
1. Attempted front flip
While on pre-season with Saracens in Bermuda, Mako attempted a front flip of the 10m diving board. The result was amazing.
2. He gave Furlong a spanking
Mako gives Tadhg Furlong a spanking when he doesnt release the ball which results in a penalty.
3. Dancing to Mysterious Girl
Mako dancing to Peter Andre’s song Mysterious Girl is brilliant.