God Save the Queen: The Sex Pistols take on charity track

The Queen Credit: Reuters

A royal race to the top of the chart has begun with the Sex Pistol's record company re-releasing God Save the Queen while a blind singer aims to take the National Anthem to the top of the charts for Diamond Jubilee week.

Lissa Hermans, 30, who is also autistic, is to release a charity version of the traditional God Save The Queen next month

It will be released at the same time as the Pistols' punk anthem of the same name, which is being reissued to mark the track's 35th anniversary.

Singer John Lydon - known in the 70s as Johnny Rotten - has already distanced himself from a campaign to get his song to number one for the jubilee weekend.

I would like to very strongly distance myself from the recent stories and campaign to push God Save The Queen for the number one spot over the jubilee weekend. It is certainly not my personal plan or aim. I am proud of what the Sex Pistols achieved and always will be but this campaign totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for. This is not my campaign. I am pleased that the Sex Pistols recordings are being put out there for a new generation, however I wish for no part in the circus that is being built up around it

Hermans version is though to be the first time the tune has been released as a single.

The singer is a member of the Chickenshed Theatre, a pet cause of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the single will benefit its charitable trust.

Hermans said the Queen had enjoyed her performance of the National Anthem:

It was completely nerve-racking, but after the performance, I met Her Majesty who told me that she thoroughly enjoyed my performance. I am delighted that the song will finally be released as a single.

Music fans are trying to co-ordinate an online campaign to get the Pistols' God Save The Queen to number one after record giant Universal announced the track would be re-released on May 28.

Showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit, a trustee of the Chickenshed Theatre, said he was "appalled" to hear that Universal was putting the punk track out again, describing it as a

disrespectful, anti-Queen, anarchist song which even featured a defaced image of the Queen on the original front cover. Lissa is determined to stop Universal's re-release of the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen hijacking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

When the track was originally released in 1977, it became a focus for a royal backlash.

It has long been thought to have been the biggest seller for the Silver Jubilee week, with conspiracy theorists suggesting a tweak to the rules of chart eligibility denied it a place at number one. Instead Rod Stewart was at the top with I Don't Want To Talk About It.

God Save The Queen was re-released in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee but made it to just number 15.