View Full Version : Land of Hope and Glory - PC Gone MAD!!

12th Oct 2001, 13:16
I simply cannot believe this

From the BBC

The words of Land of Hope and Glory have been deemed "too jingoistic" for a major school music event in the current climate of international conflict.
The words of the anthem, traditionally sung at the end of the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, were changed after the National Union of Teachers (NUT) complained they were too "triumphalist".

The Times Educational Supplement reported on Friday that the offending words have been replaced by the event founder Larry Westland.

It is totally inappropriate to end on that note

Doug McAvoy
NUT general secretary
He said: "I personally think the words of Land of Hope and Glory are great, but I just don't think they are appropriate at the moment."

NUT officials told the paper that the song referred to making the empire "mightier yet" which could be seen as offensive at a time when air strikes are being launched against Afghanistan.

Arthur Jarman, an NUT representative on the Schools Prom board, said: "In the light of the conflict, where there could be casualties both civilian and British, such a triumphalist song is inappropriate."

Triumphalism charge

The altered anthem now expresses a hope that music will "bring the world together".

NUT General Secretary Doug McAvoy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the circumstances were the same that led to the Conservatives dropping the song from their conference and the actual Proms choosing not to use it.

"It's seen today as something that might be jingoistic, that might be triumphalist.

"We will have in the Albert Hall on three nights, some 3,000 young people.

"They will come from schools with mixed groups, different faiths and in the present circumstances it is totally inappropriate to end on that note."

American attitude

Mr McAvoy said it was wrong to contrast the UK's situation with that in America where spontaneous renditions of God Bless America have become a familiar sight.

"The Americans have a talent for celebrating regularly and celebrating themselves.

"The same situation doesn't arise here.

"You rarely see the national anthem sung, certainly not spontaneously. We have a public that isn't used to it."

He maintained that the schools Prom had to reflect the "tensions" being tackled by teachers in schools.

The new words are:

Music and our voices
Unite us all as one,
Let our sound be mighty,
Sung by everyone.
Deeper still and deeper
Shall our bounds be set,
Bring our world together,
Make us closer yet.

The original words are:

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee,
Who are born of thee?
Wider and still wider
Shall thy bounds be set,
God who made thee mighty,
Make thee mightier yet!


I am totally speachless. Whatever happened to building up moral??

:mad: :mad:

12th Oct 2001, 13:42
Yesss... well the NUT and school teachers similar to the one who banned her entire school from using free tickets to Romeo and Juliett because it was "too sexist" are why people will still sweat blood to send their kids to private schools.
The 'bend over backwards till our spine snaps' brigade is in charge now. The PC police are out in force, the gates to England have been flung wide and the world is pouring in.
Anything that smacks of pride in the traditions of the the past are to be eagerly rooted out derided and destroyed. Great Britain is no more, because you see, to say Great Britain is in fact to show no respect to our new citizens who were in fact treated badly by the old Great Britain, and that would offend their sensibilities which cannot be allowed.
Actualy a lot probably came here because they respected the old Great Britain. In the meantime lets break up the old union of England Ireland Scotland and Wales because self detiremination is the thing, oh and by the way we're all going to join the EEC because the only way to get on is to unify???
Yes it is a mad mad mad world, actualy it always was, but, there was a time when we all pulled together, did sing the national Anthem and Land of Hope and Glory, and felt good to be British instead of appologetic f#%%## wets.

tony draper
12th Oct 2001, 14:06
HEAR !HEAR!, Mr P, Have a mint tea on me. ;)

12th Oct 2001, 14:26
Thanks Pater, its about time we were proud to be British again.

Mr McAvoy said it was wrong to contrast the UK's situation with that in America where spontaneous renditions of God Bless America have become a familiar sight.


The thing that has struck me most (and that I have envied) about the past few weeks is the patriotism in adversity of the Americans. One of the first things to happen at ground zero was the raising of the Stars and Stripes. It provided inspiration for the workers, and hope for the people.

Had that happened with the Union flag we would have had some candy assed liberal bastard telling us to take it down as we might offend someone.

Its about time we became proud of ouselves and our nation again, we are going to need all the inspiration we can get in the next few months.

Edited because I am so mad I can't type straight

[ 12 October 2001: Message edited by: Man-on-the-fence ]

12th Oct 2001, 16:52
Actualy,MOTF, based on the theory that there is some good to be found in all of us, I have been much heartened by our PM's new resolve. He certainly has been far more inspiring of late, my heart still sinks however at the sight of the likes of Two Jags P and Hilda Von Short.
Thanks Tony, mint tea duley supped

12th Oct 2001, 17:17

We agree again, I have been very impressed with TB and W's handling of the situation. I am not one of Tony's biggest fans but credit where its due, the boy's doing alright.

"W" still to my mind looks uneasy being President but he is obviously no fool and has a good team behind him. I hope they both remain steadfast in their resolve over the coming months. They have my trust (in this matter anyway) and my total support.

But we digress....

Mr McAvoy, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are not fit to call yourself British, please leave. :mad:

[ 12 October 2001: Message edited by: Man-on-the-fence ]

Doors to Automatic
12th Oct 2001, 17:29
NUT has never been more appropriate than in this display of sheer nonsense - what more can one say!!?!!! :eek:


12th Oct 2001, 19:56
Agree with everything said above on this thread, and probably most of everything that will appear below. Can't think of anything to add.

I have a Union Flag and St Georges Cross on my desk at work. The company decided to hand out national flags to all its employees nearly two years ago - I think the idea was that the range of flags shows what a diverse company we are. Most of them are gone now, but mine still sit there proudly. And when I leave the company, I'll take them with to my new job.

Why don't we all go out and buy flags - whatever nationality we are - and display them at our place of work?


Charlie Foxtrot India
12th Oct 2001, 20:07
If some people find traditional British things offensive then why do they go and live there???? :confused:

No danger of becoming mightier still if these NUTs get their way...

What about that good old song we belted out at school "Jerusalem" (And did those feet etc) in my British youth. Perhaps Jerusalem is already being "builded here" (sic) in England's green and pleasnt land in the form of mosques etc...? Does that make it OK then? Will vegetarians be offended by "the holy lamb of God" (or should that be "allah")...

*sigh* :rolleyes:

[ 12 October 2001: Message edited by: Charlie Foxtrot India ]

Brown and Sticky
12th Oct 2001, 20:23
Did I really serve in the British Army, for Queen and Country, only to hear crap like this be spouted. As a kid I was proud to be part of a nation that could sing great songs about its history and its future. This has made my blood boil, so much so that I have called the NUT-ters in London for a clarification of the story. Prehaps some of you would like their number.

0207 388 6191 and ask for Mr McAvoy
or e-mail him on [email protected]

and the press office on

[email protected]

To think I used to laugh at brave heart.

12th Oct 2001, 21:39
My new version

Land of reasonable expectations and moderate success.
Parent of the very attractively priced.
Is it alright with you if we say good things about us ?.
Those who are residents (or have a reasonable fear of persecution in their homeland).
More laterally challenged.
Shall our borders be extended ( as long as it is Ok with you ).
Supreme beeing ( or sacred goat ) who made us slightly better than average .
Make us just a little bit above average.

There a totally PC version , I thnk I may have to work on the rhyming but there again Poetry is so elitist.

How bout PC version of God save the queen.


Mac the Knife
12th Oct 2001, 23:31
I was at the last night of the Proms when Sir Malcolm Sargent said goodbye for the final time. He was very old and frail and we sang all those wonderful songs for him and for ourselves. It was a deeply moving occasion - seems terribly sad that those words so steeped in tradition should be replaced by something so banal that it might be a primary school song.

On another note (ouch!) it does seem a pity that the stirring words and inspiring melody of "Die Stem" has given way to prose just as anodyne and a tune that makes "Three Blind Mice" seem complicated.

Brave new world indeed....

12th Oct 2001, 23:32
Widgeon, wot no spelin mishteaks ow ileetst.

I think Land of Hope and Glory or Jerusalem are far better than the current national anthem - which is thought to celebrate the return of the Catholic King Over the Water, and was sung as a rallying cry for the Jacobean cause. It was only taken up as the 'British National Anthem' at the beginning of the 19th Century.

Just what is wrong with a bit of triumphalism anyway - we are all too keen on decrying our achievements.

Little bit off topic, but not much - I see they are excusing that Jo 'what's er face' who sent the crass and callous memo to bury bad news. Apparently, she didn't realise the gravity and sheer horror of the situation - considering only two planes had just flewn straight into the WTC and one into the Pentagon - she thought it was just a minor event.

The Guvnor
12th Oct 2001, 23:51
In Scotland, Flower of Scotland is, quite rightly, being seen as a national anthem to sit (for the moment) along side that of the Union - but doubtless when we have our independence from the Sassenachs will be the official anthem. And a stirring song it is as well - sung with much gusto at fitba' and rugby matches around the globe.

I was in two minds about the change of format to this year's Last Night of the Proms when they decided to do away with Fantasia on British Sea Songs (Rule Britannia) and Pomp and Circumstance (Land of Hope and Glory) in favour of Adagio for Strings (which indeed was apposite, but should simply, in my view, have been used to mark the terrible events of the week before); and the Ode to Joy from Beethovens' Ninth.

After events such as these, you need something to pull people together again - and I am convinced that a few rousing choruses of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory would have gone a long way towards achieving that.

Mac - I agree especially re the 'all things to all people' anthem, which incorporates Nkosi Sikele'i Africa with the second Afrikaans verse of Die Stem and I think the second English verse of The Call - ends up as a hodgepodge that doesn't do justice to any of them. I remember going to the Taal Monument yonks ago when they had about a dozen choirs singing various songs (largely in Afrikaans) by torchlight - and which strangely enough included Nkosi Sikelel'i which was supposed to have been banned at the time!

tony draper
12th Oct 2001, 23:51
Yeh we are apparently gonna start dropping rubber bombs cos its ramadan, jeez when did we get so soft.

13th Oct 2001, 00:06
The NUT are well known as a bunch of nihilistic Trots. Their attitudes 20 years ago were one of the factors that reduced a once proud profession to a grubby and resentful trade. The insanity in teacher training reached its peak in about 1969, and those who qualified then are the heads and managers of today. In a few years, when they have retired, common sense might come back into fashion.
I was married to a teacher for a long time, and when her colleagues came to us socially I had to endure a continuous whinge, and and more chips than McDonalds could produce.

13th Oct 2001, 00:59
Oh well, Here goes.

I am told that Deutschland Über Alles originally meant “for Germany the Union”, rather than say for Prussia, or for Württemburg, or whatever; and that may well be true. If I am a Czech sitting in Prague, though, in 1938 that subtlety may escape me, and I may even think “Alles” includes Czechoslovakia. I would be right, at that.

I too have worn Her Majesty’s uniform, all three actually if we include cadets, and I remember with particular pleasure, for example, the Royal Marine band at HMS Victory greet the day with “Hearts of Oak”. There are many patriotic British songs that I can sing with pleasure, but wearing the uniform adds no virtue to bombastic words.

“Land of Hope and Glory” is not one that I sing with pleasure. “Pomp and Circumstance”. Well named. Out of whom is the sh*t to be kicked for the bounds to be set wider still and wider? Has to be someone. Or are the words just vapourings? Having made England (and I do not think anyone has Wales, Scotland, or Ulster in mind) mighty, as God is acknowledged to have done, at whose expense is He to make her mightier?

For my part, nothing to do with political correctness, I find L of H and G loathsome. I can’t stand Romeo and Juliet either, and that has nothing to do with political correctness either. The banal substitution words of the NUT are no improvement.

L of H and G is a great chorus, and brings much innocent pleasure to the pop-eyed
prommers drunk with beer or lust or Imperial instinct who provide the engaging spectacle on the telly. I would not ban it, but I would not sing it.

The Star Spangled Banner celebrates independence against an invader. “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” is not expansionary. Nor is "Freeman stand and freeman fa' but we shall be free". The opposition in each case were votaries of L of H and G.

13th Oct 2001, 09:26

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

(Isn't that the PC thing to do..?)

The Guvnor
13th Oct 2001, 15:30
Davaar - thought you might appreciate this, from today's Scotsman:


HOW awful. The nation’s heart leapt for joy at the news that Land of Hope and Glory, the tune that sends values soaring in sick-bucket stocks, was to be changed.

Sure, it’s a useful first step on the vital mission of burying this loathsome leitmotif for all that is brutish in Anglo-Saxon culture.

But, Hell’s bells, why replace it with some mealy-mouthed drivel about music bringing the world together? If the old version sounds like Kitchener wideboy boogie, the new one aspires to the B-side of the Belgian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The thought of forcing school children to ululate this pious karaoke is a chilling one. What on Earth possessed these namby-pambies? Surely, they could have taught our nippers to
laugh at the jingoistic ode or to come up with their own derogatory versions?

They could have dropped it altogether. There is already a strong moral case for banning it under the Musical Bilge (Prevention of) Act 1902.

This crass anthem with its proto-fascist lyrics has long had its day. It brings to mind stark images of pie-faced oafs in straw boaters, and big-boned birds in tent-sized dresses, bawling out the pitiless ditty to the ornate rafters of the Royal Albert Hall.

However, all the teachers have done is polarise the nation, placing terrible obligations on those of us opposed to evil.
Incidents are bound to occur in which purple-faced reactionaries will splutter the phrase "political correctness gone mad", upon which there will be no alternative but to poke the speaker in the snoot.

Never mind changing verses. To Hell with the whole thing. Let it fester on video tape only, a testament to the time when England mired itself in a sickly self-belief that warned lesser breeds: "We’re top dog, here in this Anthony-style Eden, this demi-paradise of dirty trains and growling motorway queues, of lame leisure facility interface amenities and dowdy buses bearing shaven-headed patriots; this island awash in its own incontinence, this land of hopeless Tories, this souped-up Ford Fiesta blaring thumpy moron rhythm, this Saturday night with your head kicked in, this international bouncer, this pension worth f*** all, this England."

14th Oct 2001, 08:39
As one who appreciates the preservation of ancient arts, it is good to see the art of rewriting history continues to flourish. Davaar is well on his way to a PhD in this field, if not already an Oxford Don. Good luck with the GCSE, Guv!

Regardless of its success or otherwise, the old British Empire cannot be compared with what is considered morally acceptable today. It is crass to do so. The geographical British Isles are made up from a mish-mash of tribes and nations from the Picts (of Scotland), Scots (curiously, of Ireland), various Ancient Britons, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, one or two Romans, Vikings, Normans (ie: more Vikings, not Gauls).

They spent a great part of 2000 years trying to beat the crap out of each other, from time to time, until, bit by bit, wise heads, intermarriage, and more bloodshed, eventually evolved a rather effective if sometimes uneasy union. Whilst the capital may have been in London, the Irish, Welsh and Scots (especially!) provided any number of leaders and entrepreneurs who built the Empire, along with equally enthusiastic soldiers and administrators who maintained it for better or worse. It would be entirely out of place today but it wasn't then.

I am fed up with hearing revisionist nonsense suggesting that somehow only the English were involved and the other 3 nations were not. Davaar goes further with, "The Star Spangled Banner celebrates independence against an invader" Not unless you happened to be a Red Indian (sorry, Native American), old chap! It was British colonials fighting for independence from a Britain ruled by a particularly awful government, hated as much at home as it was abroad. It is often forgotten that many in our Parliament stood up for the colonies and an amicable settlement. It is also worth remembering that the genocide of the American Nations took place after independence. Oh, and George Washington was born in England, lest we forget.

Since then, the USA has sacrificed thousands of their citizens to help save our bacon (sorry, non-PC), and is probably about to do so again.

We are about to enter a whole new era of atrocities, I fear. I shall continue to sing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America and God Save the Queen with equal gusto for as long as they make me and those around me feel better for it! Our morals may have arguably moved on a pace or two in the last 200 years, but we still need something to boost morale when times are bad.

Incidentally, I never cease to wonder why it is OK to proudly bear the title of Welsh, Irish or Scot, and wave appropriate flags and emblems, whilst being English is decidedly frowned upon. Those championing the prospect of the breakup of our evolutionary Union should cast an eye on the far greater, unaccountable and increasingly dictatorial Union that we are all being swallowed into over here.

Finally, there is no s in Heart of Oak. Now there's a great fighting song!

We'll still make 'em run and we'll still make 'em sweat,
In spite of the Devil and Brussells Gazette ......


Robert Cooper
14th Oct 2001, 09:11
I can't believe this. What is going on over there :D

About time to send the NUTers to Afghanistan.


14th Oct 2001, 10:38
Davaar, anybody who finds pleasure in a Booty Band can't be all bad.

Guv, Rab McNeil needs his snoot pushed in.

Dr Syn, enjoyed the post.

14th Oct 2001, 19:44
The reason politicians want deunification of the UK is so there are more jobs available for local councillors to while away their days. The reason they want unification with Europe is so there is yet more tiers of government for them to get promoted into. It justs puts more carriages on the gravy train.

14th Oct 2001, 20:01
I`m quite happy to sing "Flower of Scotland" despite not being Scottish, "Men of Harlech" despite not being Welsh, "The Red flag" though not a socialist (even "The Internationale") and many hymns though I`m not a christian. Why then would singing the original "Land of Hope and Glory" be improper? I would normally baulk at singing the USA national anthem, but had I been present in St Pauls just a few weeks ago, I would have been belting it out with the rest of them. Surely, at a time when we need raised spirits , pride and self confidence we should be hearing this and other songs more often. When will the NUT and the rest of the PC creeps give us all a rest and wind their necks in?

Sorry about the rant, I feel better now.

14th Oct 2001, 21:03
I am grateful to DrSyn for correcting me on “Hearts of Oak”. The singular is more elegant, makes better sense, and has the added virtue, I see on checking, of being correct. Wins on all three.

As to the rest, allow me to demur. The “Star Spangled Banner” does not come from the Revolutionary War, but from an incident at Baltimore in the War of 1812, by which time the unpleasantness between those colonials and the former parent government in Britain was pretty much all over.

I agree, of course, that the Scots contributed, largely in administration and war, to the British Empire. I have just run to earth, for example, the text of “Jessie’s Dream”, song that celebrates the incident at Lucknow in 1858, and its relief by Outram, Havelock, and Campbell (and more Campbells have won the VC than any other single family. Once again to borrow Tony D’s excellent line, not many people know that). In so doing, the Scots did just what they had done at the highest levels in the service of French kings, Russian Czars and Czarinas, Prussian kings, Swedish kings, and Turkish sultans. As individuals they were able mercenaries, but that did not make Scotland an imperial country. For that we must go a little South:

And here’s to our heroes, afloat and ashore
And here’s to our King and our nation!
And so long as a cannon in England shall roar,
We’ll be undenied lords of creation”.

Yeah. The English have never been unduly blate, as we say in Scotland, in recognising their own virtues and abilities; but then, few other than the perverse would deny that they are a great nation. At times they are tough, ruthless, miserable SOBs; but those unfortunately are among the qualities of greatness, and on balance the British (read English) Empire must rank high on the totem pole.

The present topic, however, is not Empire, but one particular national song. Such songs are intended to inspire emotion, and they do, and they fall, I suggest, into two classes: (a) Hey Ma! Don’t worry! Wee Sammy will look after you; and (b) Hey Guys! Lets beat up the neighbours’ kids.

Under Hey Ma! We have:

Scots Wha Ha’e
(We’ll fix that invading b*st*rd's waggon at Bannockburn).

Star Spangled Banner (And is our fort still free?).

Die Wacht am Rhein:
Lieb Vaterland sollst ruhig sein,
fest steht und treu die Wacht, die Wacht am Rhein
(Take it easy, Mutti. Not a fr*g will set foot on the East bank. Trust me).

Deutschland, Deutschland:
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält
(when .. for protection and defence brothers stand together, [let’s make it] Germany above everything else. It is a pity that verse one specifies borders that are a little out of date. Oh well! Unfinished business).

Land of Hope and Glory:
(first four lines; great beginning).

Under Hey Guys! We have:

Land of Hope and Glory
(lines five to ten)
(bellowed by pop-eyed lust seized old chaps, who are going to carry on until a lot of other chaps start to hear them, understand what they are saying, and in return sing:

Die Horst Wessel Lied:
Die Strasse frei
Dem Sturmabteilungsman
(clear the way for the stormtroopers)

and (12 years after we were all first blessed with L of H and G)
Lissauer’s Hassgesang Gegen England:
Wir lieben vereint, wir hassen vereint,
Wir haben alle nur einen Feind:
(We love as one, we hate as one, we have one foe and one alone: England),

not very elevated, perhaps, but a whole lot of young chaps on both sides got killed. Well, if that’s what you want, you know the way to go.

These reactionary songs are no more offensive than the second part of L of H and G. And yet England has such wonderful, but neglected, patriotic songs. Many knock Kipling, but who today – not many – know his “Land of our birth, we pledge to Thee”, each verse a combination of pride, humility, and dignity?

Finally, for my part, I agree with the good Dr., that you’d be as well to stay with the Union you have, amended as may be, whatever its faults, rather than join that other one across the narrow seas. But then, I don’t have a vote.

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

14th Oct 2001, 21:44
As someone said on a different topic

"I am proud to be British but I'd rather be American than European"

The Americans are a much maligned nation, but they do "Patriotic" extremely well.

A trait that we Brits seem to be losing to the evil that is Political Correctness.

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Man-on-the-fence ]

15th Oct 2001, 00:13
Davaar, I'm not sure we will have a vote either, despite what our Tone has said. We are being softened up to accept it come what may.

As for the songs, can one not just enjoy something without having to imbue it with hidden agendas. When I listen to and enjoy Greensleves, I'm not concerned that Henry VIII wrote it to his doomed queen. When I listen to Strawberry Fields I'm not celebrating drug taking and when I listen to or recite the Lord's Prayer I don't suddenly turn into a fundamentalist Christian.

What is wrong with enshrining that Britains never, never, never shall be slaves - should we stop feeling pride in our heritage because we no longer appear allowed to have one.

If, however, you wish to bury songs which stir up nationalist fervour; especially those which celebrate murderers - how about the Ballad of Kevin Barry - now there's one that could do with being laid to rest literally.

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

15th Oct 2001, 01:46
But I do not disagree, Velvet. I place “never shall be slaves” in the Hey Ma! category. It is true that “Rule the waves” implies a certain assertiveness, but there are bigger things than that to worry about, and when Britannia did rule the waves, she did a whole lot to be proud of: killing the transoceanic slave trade for one.

In my last post I referred to “Land of our Birth”. I cannot even find it in the latest Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. I amuse myself sometimes, and I hope at least a few others, with nonsense in these threads. If this present thread is nonsense, though, it is time for me to be passing on. I think these verses by Kipling among the finest and simplest pieces ever written, so I’ll copy them out:

Land of our birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven who lovest all,
Oh, help Thy children when they call;
That they may build, from age to age
An undefilèd heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth by which the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for judge and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought to hurt the weak;
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man’s strength to comfort man’s distress.

Teach us delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men ‘neath the Sun!

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
Oh, Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart and hand through the years to be.

I learned them at a village school under Midlothian County Council, when the big worry was not “wider and still and wider”, but could the Nation hang on until the next convoy arrived. A convoy was not something far removed and abstract. We actually knew when one had got in from America, because there was food in the shops. And Yes, Hugmonster, I like Americans. I remember that food. I ate some of it. Much of it was brought in American ships by American crews and many of them did not make it. About twice during the war A (I put it in upper case to emphasise that I mean one ship) ship arrived in Britain with bananas, and everyone knew, because we were allowed to buy a banana or so each, after hours of queueing.

My teacher is still alive, in her late 90s, but I’ll name her: Miss Effie Sneddon. I learned so much from her in primary 1 and 2 and from Miss Jemima McIntyre (names themselves from an age long gone) in primary 3 and 4. It was a privilege to know these simple ladies. They were of a generation or two before the 1960s disasters.

Sure, national songs. We had a youth from the village on board HMS Penelope, better known as HMS Pepperpot for the many hits she took on the convoy to Malta. Does anyone remember HMS Pepperpot? We had the raids, too. And the man in the village who came to the manse in tears (I learned this many years later when all were dead), to know if my father, the village minister, thought his air gunner son was killed over Germany as God’s punishment for the life he, the father, had led. My father, though, preached the God of Love and not the God we sometimes saw from contributors to PPRuNe. We had one lady whose husband stepped on a mine on the last day of the war. We were the nation and we had needs, but we had no need for any bombastic sh*t about wider still and wider.

It was not the Christian God who punished hubris with nemesis, but that loathsome song contains the one and invites the other. Absolutely, Velvet, let’s not be slaves, not even, not especially, in fact, to political correctness. Absolutely, let’s have some good songs and good national songs; but let us distinguish between the gold and the base metal.

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

[ 14 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

15th Oct 2001, 12:12
Davaar, glad to have been of help with Heart of Oak. Likewise, I am happy to stand corrected on the origins of The Star Spangled Banner (is this thread really on JB?). In keeping, I fear, with many of my American friends, I did not associate it with the War of 1812 which, incidentally, saw the creation of "Uncle Sam" . Same antagonists, different objectives -- 49th parallel and all that. I shall no doubt extract some mileage out of this on my forthcoming annual vacation in the USA.

I am just a little perplexed as to why you should hold such a passionate revulsion for Elgar & Benson's stirring masterpiece whilst being prepared to accept Rule Britannia in a more liberal context. I was wondering whether the experience of escaping from a, possibly, rather Calvinist environment to the relative liberation of the Senior Service might have had an influence here. Just curious!

I really do not believe that those of us who enjoy bellowing out Land of Hope and Glory, at appropriate events, do so with any ambition of rebuilding the old Empire. You venture that, "...when Britannia did rule the waves, she did a whole lot to be proud of: killing the transoceanic slave trade for one..." can justify this other great anthem. Could not Wider still and wider.... be equally applied to modern-day freedom and democratic principles which appear to be absent from certain groups with whom we are now at variance?

In the same vein, mighty could well be applied to inner strength and resolve, both of which qualities seem to be somewhat latent in certain parts of our own society right now. I fear we shall all need a massive injection of these things before the year is out.

My Danish mother who, in her late teens, endured the German occupation, has always maintained that Land of Hope and Glory should have been our National Anthem. Despite my being a staunch monarchist, as is she, I agree with Mum. Well you have to, don't you?

I promise not to hum it in Ottawa, Davaar.

The Guvnor
15th Oct 2001, 14:24
Whilst we're on the subject of patriotic music, I'd be interested to know which category you'd place one of my favourite hymns - I Vow To Thee My Country - in, Davaar?

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

This was written by Cecil Spring-Rice in 1918, at the culmination of 'the war to end all wars', and is, I feel, a reflection of the horror of war and the desire to turn one's back on that and rather follow peaceful means.

This from The Times:

Vicar bans Jerusalem from couple's wedding

AN ENGAGED couple have moved their wedding to a different church after being told that their choice of hymns was nationalistic and inappropriate to a marriage ceremony.

Victoria Williams and Stuart Turton had wanted the congregation to sing their childhood favourites, Jerusalem and I Vow To Thee My Country, when they married at Cheadle Parish Church in Stockport, Great Manchester.

The couple, both bank employees, booked their local church 18 months ago, but only when the bride-to-be’s mother made a last-minute call to confirm the order of service did they learn that their choice of music would not be permitted. They had to contact 90 guests, reprint the invitations and send out maps pointing the way to the new venue, St Alban’s Church, Offerton, Stockport, which has agreed to let them sing their hearts out.

The Rev Donald Allister, Vicar of Cheadle, said: “My organist told the couple in my absence that he would not accept either piece of music, but he has my full support. Jerusalem is not appropriate for a wedding. It is not a hymn; it is a nationalistic song that does not praise God and does not talk of love or marriage. What the words are actually saying is, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus lived in England?’” The couple’s second choice was also nationalistic, with no relevance to a marriage ceremony, although Mr Allister admitted that he “would have less trouble with I Vow To Thee My Country”.

Anyone wishing to be married at Cheadle to the strains of Jerusalem, with words by William Blake, is encouraged to choose the hymn Lord May We See Your Hands and Side, which can be sung to the same music. “What people really like is the tune,” Mr Allister said.

Mr Allister is a controversial figure in church circles. Last year he refused to baptise the children of unmarried parents, and earlier claimed that the Windsor Castle fire was a warning from God to the Royal Family to change their ways.

Beloved of the Labour Party, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Last Night of the Proms, Jerusalem is omitted from Hymns Ancient and Modern and most other hymn collections used in Anglican, Scottish and Free Churches. It was discouraged for many years at services at St Paul’s Cathedral, and was banned at St Margaret’s, Westminster, the parish church of Parliament, while Betty Boothroyd was Speaker.

But churches anxious to fill empty pews have softened their attitude. Major-General John Milne, registrar of St Paul’s, said: “Jerusalem is not, strictly speaking, a hymn as it is not dedicated to the glory of God. But it is very popular for weddings and baptisms, and is sung here frequently. We have no objection.”

The Rev Dr William Beaver, director of communications for the Church of England, said: “We are not in the business of banning
songs which mean so much to so many people and which talk about the saving grace of Our Lord.”

But Church authorities said that Mr Allister was entirely within his rights in refusing the couple permission to sing their chosen pieces. Canon Law, the Church of England’s rulebook, states: “When matrimony is to be solemnised in any church, it belongs to the minister of the parish to decide what music shall be played, which hymns or anthems shall be sung, and which furnishings or flowers shall be placed in or about the church.”

Another nationalistic song which I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned yet is British Grenadiers. (One may recall that Kenneth Graham did a parody of this in Wind in the Willows (That Wonderful Mr Toad)

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules,
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these,
But of all the world’s great heroes,
There’s none that can compare,
With a tow, row row row , row row row,
To the British Grenadiers.

None of these ancient heroes ne’er saw a cannon ball,
Nor knew the force of powder to slay their foes with all,
But our brave boys do know it and banish all their fears,
Sing tow, row row row , row row row,
For the British Grenadiers.

When e’er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fuses, and we with hand grenades;
We throw them from the glacis about the enemies’ ears,
Sing tow, row row row , row row row,
For the British Grenadiers.

And when the siege is over, we to the town repair.
The townsmen cry ‘Hurrah, boys, here comes a Grenadier’.
Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears.
Sing tow, row row row , row row row,
For the British Grenadiers.

So let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those,
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the louped clouthes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years.
Sing tow, row row row , row row row,
For the British Grenadiers.

This thread is developing into quite one of the most interesting ones we've had for a long time!

[ 15 October 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

15th Oct 2001, 14:29
You rarely see the national anthem sung, certainly not spontaneously. We have a public that isn't used to it

Does he not get out, we play it at all our concerts and it's played before most of the concerts I've heard.

(sung to the tune "America" of course!)

15th Oct 2001, 15:25

I seem to recall that the tune to I vow to thee... was composed by Holst as part of the Planets suite (Jupiter as I recall)

I laughed about the story concerning the vicar at the time, those two hymns were (along with the National Anthem) those which I had at my wedding. Our Vicar loved it as at least everyone knew the words.

The vicar is clearly a prat, people want the words not the tune. An they wonder why attendences are falling (oh, perhaps that is because it is a load of old twaddle and the church has been rumbled at last)

15th Oct 2001, 17:11
When was it decided to lose the third verse of God Save the Queen? The one with 'confuse her enemies' in it, which I suppose could upset the PC. Personally, I don't mind how confused her enemies get!

15th Oct 2001, 21:09
Beloved of the Labour Party, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Last Night of the Proms, Jerusalem is omitted from Hymns Ancient and Modern and most other hymn collections used in Anglican, Scottish and Free Churches.


Hymns Ancient and Modern No. 578.
The English Hymnal No. 656.

tony draper
15th Oct 2001, 21:27
Yeh, the luvies have also scuppered poor old Kipling, just because he wrote in celebration of our lads putting a bit of stick about among Johnny Foreigner.
Don't know what the world is coming to, our Redcoats can't even put a few of the devils to the sword without people complaining. ;)

16th Oct 2001, 03:49
Hmmm, my memory of Die Stem is the RWC final in South Africa - after the mumbling of the first verse [Nkosi...] came a tsunami [Die Stem]. No surprise that rugby was not yet "the sport of the majority", Chester Williams or no.

At least it kept songs people wanted to sing, as opposed to the execrable Ireland's Call we're stuck with - most of us Fenians would nearly rather the Sash!

16th Oct 2001, 19:34
Threads like this offer a choice between being a stuffed shirt, a Colonel Blimp, or a giggler. I suppose I am a stuffed shirt.

After Brigade command of the 2nd South African Infantry Division surrendered at Tobruk in June 1942, the 2nd Battalion the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders fought alone for twenty four hours. Eventually those unable to get away marched into captivity in column of threes, each company under its company commander, led by the pipes to “The March of the Cameron Men”. They marched down the centre of the road, all (German) traffic giving way. “Even the Jerry sentries sprang to attention as the battalion neared the gates. There, the Camerons halted. Their Colonel reported to the Brigadier, saluted, and dismissed his men”

When I was first an undergraduate, the Master of the college was Maj Gen Douglas N Wimberley, DSO, MC, etc, late the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. They used to say he was “Camerons daft”. I can see why. There are worse ailments. He told us freshers that in our new stage of life we would meet glibness and cynicism, and we must turn from them. If we were capable of a First, we must take that First; if of a Second, then that Second; and so on. We must do our duty to the full.

You are right, Dr S, there was a hint of Calvin, though more of Knox, and much more still of Christ, but also the preacherman said that whenever he found Christianity (i.e., Calvin,Knox, and the others)to interfere with common sense, he re-examined Christianity. He would also, his passions inflamed by a cup of tea, admit that the Machine Gun Section, A Company, the 9th Battalion (The Glasgow Highlanders), the Highland Light Infantry, in which he had had the honour to serve, was beyond question the finest military formation since Alexander the Great. You have come across this in your reading (Ludendorff spoke a lot about the 9th battalion).

The minister had, he believed, heard of a band of caterans from up around Dunkeld or Pitlochry somewhere, something Watch, and occasionally a good thing was said from South of the Wall about an outfit called the Brigade of Guards. Not quite the same as the 9th Battalion, naturally, but they were trying their best with what they had.

His main pals were the Rev W N, DCM, late the HLI,(It was he who took out the German machine gun nest. He was recommended for the VC, but the authorities could not quite overlook that chateau. No one, as he said, regretted more than he that it burned down, but it was a cold night, it really was, and the fire just got a little out of hand); the Rev A G, late the Royal Flying Corps (Bristol Fighters, Western Front); and the Rev O R, late staff sergeant, RCMP, when they rode horses and not Ford Crown Victorias.

Not all clergy are vicars from the light comedy stage. Still, I understand your dilemma. Go with Mum, Dr, and write me off as a troublemaking bad boy.

Your suggested interpretation of “wider still and wider” and “mighty”, though kindly, goes I think too far. L of H and G was part of the Coronation Ode for King Edward VII in 1902 and “Pomp and Circumstance” is pretty explicitly “in your face”. If we take the words as they are, and the tensions of the time as they were, the former can have done little to relieve the latter. I am not talking of who was right – careers have been built on that debate – and what was sung on the other side; I am just saying L of H and G could not have helped much.

Loki, like you I can sing the Star Spangled Banner. Readily, in fact. It surely beats Canada’s National Dirge which says entirely different things, explicitly, in English from in French, and in French ("porter la croix") could scarcely mean a whole lot to at least two non-Christian traditions. I grew up thinking Canada’s anthem was The Maple Leaf Forever, but as I learned the words I could see that the enthusiasm of our French concitoyens for Wolfe might be more controlled than mine (“Wolfe the dauntless hero,." etc. This, to digress, was the source of the delightful mondygreen reported by one teacher, her lads lustily singing tribute to “Wolfe the donkless hero”, sad memento no doubt of battle experience.

Yes, Guv, I can find time for “I vow to thee”. Although it does not like what it may have to do,it is prepared to do it. But that is a long way from ..... gggrrrrrrrrrrr (I won’t start again).

As for God Save the Queen, radeng, that was the subject of PC corrections long before PC was thought of. It was first performed in public at Covent Garden to celebrate the first free breath the Hanoverian interest had drawn after Prince Charles Edward Stuart set foot on Britain. The words about Marshal Wade and crushing those rebellious Scots were dropped long since, not, I suspect, because not every Scot was a Jacobite, but because they did little to help recruiting in the Imperial interest.

On a par, almost, with L of H and G is the plaque in the Presbyterian church in Quebec City. It is to the memory of a young officer in the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, killed at the very end of WWI:

These, in the glorious morning of their days,
For Empire’s sake, gave all but Empire’s praise.

I am quoting from memory, but that is the gist. What a sad little justification for a young man’s death. Not even true. No Imperial purpose was served by WWI, nor was it intended.

These are all no more than songs, but they are songs with a purpose, and they have an official sanction. Somewhere between the bombast and the karaoke there must surely be something worthwhile, and in fact there is: rich treasuries of it. Maybe our problem is not in the songs, but in the people we put up to admire. It is one year short of fifty since I listened to General Wimberley. Are there many of him around these days?

PS. On a different level, what do you think of a choir of sleek college epicenities (I did not use the p....... or the tail g....... words) rendering:

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

Put him in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him ---- and to compound it ---- early in the morning.

Great Heavens! The RN had something when it had keelhauling. I'll leave it at that.

[ 16 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

16th Oct 2001, 20:05
From Spike Milligan, playing a gig at a Canadian outfit during the war:- An officer rushed up saying:-
"Can you play 'The Maple Leaf Forever'?"
"No sir, after an hour I get tired"

As far as what makes a good National Anthem, there are a few good tunes out there (not many)

Nkosi Sikelele i'Africa (South Africa)
Star Spangled Banner (USA)
La Marseillaise (France)

And some good ones that aren't strictly National Anthems, either because they're just not, or the "Country" isn't a Sovereign State

Land of My Fathers (Wales)
Flower of Scotland
Waltzing Matilda (Oz)
The Maple Leaf Forever (Canada)

Many others are either dirges or just laughable Keystone Cops Marches (cf Italy).

As for words, most are appalling. (Oh Canada, Advance Australia Fair...) Something that was good 1-200 years ago is unlikely to be acceptable now. Similarly, something appropriate now will probably be cringe-making a hundred years from now.

What's the solution? Well, adopt something close (like I Vow To Thee My Country) or get something written specially, but in a Nation-wide competition - it's important that people are able to feel part of it. Failing that, let's just adopt Queen's "We Are The Champions". That should get the Aussies laughing!

16th Oct 2001, 20:48

Good idea about We are the Champions. personally I think We Will Rock You is more appropriate.

17th Oct 2001, 04:59
When Australia played NZ in the Bledisloe Cup recently, the All Blacks did their Haka..and it was followed by the entire stadium singing a very stirring rendition of 'Waltzing Matilda' - did sound very good, I thought, made all the better coz we won :) And it was certainly more 'moving' than listening to the Aussie Anthem.

I do like "I vow to Thee my Country", but I suspect it's the music I like, rather than the words per se - can't say I've taken much notice of them (yes ok, I'm a colonial heathen!) - the words may wax and wane, but the music itself is timeless.


17th Oct 2001, 07:08
Your latest reply was most enlightening, Davaar. I enjoyed reading it during a light lunch. Like me, you were privileged to have some memorable tutors throughout your formative years. Fortunately many of mine are still alive and two or three became and remain close friends.

I think it is fair to say that the sound of approaching bagpipes has had a similar effect on any number of Scotland's enemies throughout the ages. Probably one of your most devastating weapons. Prior to the invention of effective sound mufflers, the Germans, being music lovers, would have been totally unable to drive with their fingers in both ears and would therefore, quite sensibly, have pulled over to the side of the road. The sentries were, of course, fossilized to the spot, similar to Lot's wife.

Hugmonster, who often sports a kilt, includes the Marseillaise in his list of otherwise great anthems. Enough said :)

On an historical note, did the bagpipes originate from the Moors, through Spain, to the Scots who developed them to such devastating effect, or did the few survivors of the Armada take the idea back with them? If the latter, a poor copy of limited range I feel.

We shall have to accept , Davaar, that you have an incurable aversion to Land of Hope and Glory. Along with Loki and many others, I shall continue to feel uplifted by the song without reference to, or memory of, the situation pertaining to 1902. (Also, I am just reminding anyone who has reached this far down the thread of its original theme!).

I love Waltzing Matilda especially when sung in harmony by a massed choir!

Charlie Foxtrot India
17th Oct 2001, 11:14
At our Anglo-Aussie wedding, we amalgamated "I vow to thee" music with Dorothea McKellar's "My Country" words. The meter is the same, it worked really well; the result... pommie rellies having a better understanding of why we were going to live in our wide brown land instead of the green and shaded lanes, and a thumping good tune.

We had Jerusalem as well!

How beautifully un-PC!

17th Oct 2001, 11:57
Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the UnTied Kingdom. We would just like to apologise for everything. Sorry.

And sorry about this poor apology. If anyone feels offended by the way it is phrased, or you feel that you are being unfairly apologised to, please feel free to take all our money.


17th Oct 2001, 16:02
Dr Syn, the fact that I wear a kilt occsionally doesn't usually affect my ears - the kilt goes around the waist, not the head ;)

You dislike the tune of La Marseillaise? How so? What stirring stuff! Have you never seen the film "Casablanca", with the moving scene in Rick's Café? Musically it is far ahead of many National Anthems.

The words are gloriously un-PC... Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé! (bis)
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons! Marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

I have also long liked the words (and the music) of "The Red Flag" (do I hear TG's ghost stirring here? :D) The workers' flag is deepest red,
It's shrouded all our martyrs dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their red blood stained its every fold.
So raise the scarlet banner high,
Beneath its shade we'll live or die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the Red Flag flying here.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

17th Oct 2001, 17:17
Why do we need any sort of anthem anyway...??

You can't drink or eat 'em, shelter under 'em, or burn 'em to keep warm....

...so what purpose do they serve..?

17th Oct 2001, 20:01
Swashy old bean, you may wish to ask (or even axe) and American that question. They seem to have used their National Anthem and Flag as a means of drawing strength over this past month.

Which is exactly the point of this thread. At times like these we need good rousing songs, be that Anthems or others, to raise our spirits in times of trouble. And if they tell of triumphs past, so much the better.

Mac the Knife
18th Oct 2001, 00:52
Didn't Charles Wesley say 'Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music'?"
"Then it was Martin Luther."
"NO. It wasn't Martin Luther."
"Then it must have been General William Booth."
"Hummh... Then, it was John Newton."
"Oh. I know. It was Isaac Watts."
"NO. It wasn't Isaac."
"Well, who said, 'Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music'?"

The "mis-quote" was taken from a message Reverend Rowland Hill, pastor of Surrey Chapel in London, preached in 1844. Reverend Hill did NOT say, "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?" What he actually said was, "The devil should not have all the best tunes."

And as for the words, grandiose, passé, vainglorious, expansionist and unPC as they may be - does it REALLY matter? D'ye think anyone still takes them at face value Davaar? Isn't this all a bit of a storm in a teacup dreamed up by officious bores with nothing better to do? Actually I think that this business of Bowdlerising old lyrics is more historical revisionism - rather like retouching historical photos to remove the cigars or cigarettes.

"The practice of attaching both religious and scatological texts to the same well-known tune was common even before Luther's time; the practice was called contrafaction." Well, that a new word for me.

And Hug - quite right about "La Marseillaise" (and as you know, it gets worse) and "The Red Flag". We used to sing a very rude contrafaction of "The Red Flag" in the Bedford coming back from Bisley - I can only remember a few scraps - anyone?

henry crun
18th Oct 2001, 01:42
Mac: you stirred a few memories.
The only lines I can remember went.....

I'm out of work and on the dole
You can stuff the red flag up your hole
The working class can kiss my a*se
I've got the foremans job at last.

18th Oct 2001, 02:45
The usual stupid PC drivel from the teachers. Doesn't inspire confidence in what's being done to our children. Sadly those of us who can't afford to send our children to private schools just have to hope for the best and try to teach them values at home.

Two things which struck me over the past few weeks were how inspiring, and often moving, it was to see and hear Americans sing their national anthem, and fly their flag. And, how embarrassing our own national anthem is in comparison. Lots of rubbish about the Queen being 'happy and glorious' and precious little about the country - we never sing all the verses.
'Long to reign over us' :rolleyes:
What relevance does that feudal idea of ruling by some accident of birth have in the second millenium.
I'd rather see Land of Hope and Glory as our anthem.

HugMonster "And some good ones that aren't strictly National Anthems, either because they're just not, or the "Country" isn't a Sovereign State
Land of My Fathers (Wales)
etc, etc"

Strictly, national anthem is the anthem of a nation, whether or not the nation is (still) a sovereign state.

18th Oct 2001, 03:17
The cloth cap and the working class
As images are dated.
Now that Labour's gone avant-garde
Is highly educated
By tax adjustments, they have planned
To institute the promised land.
And just show that they're still sincere,
We sing the Red Flag once a year.

Firm principles and policies
Are open to objections,
And a streamlined party image is
The way to win elections.
So raise the neat umbrellas high,
The mobile phone and college tie.
We stand united, raise a cheer
And sing the Red Flag once a year.

It's one step forward, one step back,
Our dance is devilish daring
A leftward shuffle, a rightward tack,
The pause to take a bearing.
We'll change the country bit by bit
So nobody will notice it.
Then ever after never fear
We'll sing the Red Flag once a year.

We will not cease from mental fight
Till every wrong is righted,
And all men are equal, quite,
And all our leaders knighted.
For we are sure if we persist
To make the New Year's honours list
Then every loyal Labour peer
Will sing the Red Flag once a year.

So vote for us and not for then,
We're just as true to NATO.
We'll be calm and British when
We steer the ship of state - o.
We'll stand as firm as them
To show we're patriotic gentlemen,
Though man to man shall brothers be -
Deterrence is our policy.

So raise the mushroom clouds on high,
Within their shade we'll live and die.
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll sing the Red Flag once a year
sing the red flag once a year.

Words by Leon Rosselson , please excuse errors.

The people's flag is slightly pink,
It's not as red as most folks think.
We must not let the people know
What socialists thought long ago.

Don't let the scarlet banner float.
We want the middle classes vote.
Let our old-fashioned comrades sneer,
We'll stay in power for many a year.

Some years ago the flag was red;
No-one knew then what was ahead.
It witnessed many a deed and vow -
We cannot use that colour now.

It well recalled the triumphs past,
It gave the hope of peace at last
But once in government it's plain
The red flag none shall see again.

With heads uncovered once we swore
Always to bear it on before.
With power now our first concern
We have to let the red flag burn

not sure of source. http://www.liberator.org.uk/songs/_social.htm
for more stirring socialist ditties.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: widgeon ]

18th Oct 2001, 05:32
Hugs, I am grateful for the confirmation as to which region of the body the kilt is worn around. It would confirm my theory concerning the inspiration for the sound of the bagpipes, especially the bass drones. Bearing in mind that the wind-bag is traditionally made from a bladder (or is it a stomach?), and given a surfeit of oats, it is easy to see how the remaining sounds of that magnificent instrument of terror originated.

The words of La Marseillaise are fine (which Republic are we into now? I've lost count) but the melody belongs in the same category as that of Italy. It has the air of Ruritania, inspired by one of the Peter Sellers movies, and rather lacking in dignity. However, it did fit well into the Rick's Café scene (indeed, Huggy, one of the greatest movies of all time!) as a great bar-room rouser.

Being closer to the Continent than many, I can sing both the official and the Britmil versions fluently, according to the diplomacy of the occasion. Like Mac the Knife, I learned the latter version on journeys to and from Bisley.

As to the Red Flag, we must not discuss politcal matters here, or indeed religious ones. . . . . Though it's a bit rich the Commies pinching a Christian hymn like that! O Tannenbaum. At least the Internationale was original.

18th Oct 2001, 05:43
DrSyn, it is plain to see that you have heard Flypuppy torturing his octopus! :D

I suspect we will have to agree to differ on the relative merits of some National Anthems. One subject on which many people, however, appear to concur is that the British National Anthem is, musically, an uninspiring funereal dirge, and the words boring, lifeless, and incapable of inspiring any national pride, fervour or emotion of any kind whatsoever.

On the other hand, the USA seems to have more national anthems than it knows how to handle - The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, My Country 'Tis of Thee, the list goes on and on. The first two, at least, can inspire emotion and a sense of pride in what one's country stands for (Apart, that is, from attempting to make tea with the salt waters of Boston Harbour, thus making the tea sufficiently unpalatable as to be undrinkable, even by Americans! :D)

Had Canary Wharf been attacked, can you see much to be proud of in the band of the USMC playing "God Save The Queen" on the White House lawn?

18th Oct 2001, 06:08
I like Elgar. I've read that he was not very happy with LHG, being a pacifist, mostly.

The Proms are an experience.

I also like "Jerusalem" while recognizing that the name has nothing to do with the current political situation there for the last decades of years.

In fact I tend to despise conflicts generated by mindless religions, not that that will do any good.

Spirit, I like spirit in the right direction from a decent source.

No, just a normal day here.

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Rollingthunder ]

18th Oct 2001, 06:18
Davaar, as a kid I too used to think that Canada's National Anthem was The Maple Leaf Forever. In greater metropolitan Kegaska, where I was bred and buttered, the one room school house had, over the blackboard, not a picture of an ageing hippie in birch bark canoe and buckskins, but one of His - later Her - Royal Majesty. Reason was, until 1960 or so, this province didn't have a ministry of education. As a result, our books were supplied by the Anglican church, and the IODE. For the uneducated, that's the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire. The nearest hospital was a hundred miles away, accessible by open boat or bush 'plane. It was operated by the International Grenfell Association, another fine British institution. Canada didn't seem to really know we existed. Occasionally a game warden or a politician showed up, but we were pretty much on our own. We were really much closer to that British colony down at the far end of the gulf. Thus we can probably be forgiven for singing The Maple Leaf Forever.
Since there is a move afoot to change the words to O Canada yet again, by, I believe, Maude and the Barlows, I propose we start a petition to make The Maple Leaf Forever our National Anthem. You express misgivings that some confreres may think this is crass. I think if they contact the Nation Secretary of the Canadian Tough Tiddley Committee, their fears will be assuaged.
Conversely, we can reintroduce our bill to have the music of O Canada replaced by that of the anthem of the late USSR. Rousing stuff, guaranted to make young children grab a hockey stick and start swinging. There's the added plus that Capitaine Poutine is looking to add to his legacee. What better way to do it than a new and improved National Anthem. Can't lose! :D :D

18th Oct 2001, 10:37
Come back, Shane! I mean Tartan! We have a sophist!

Oh Mac! Mac! Mac! A rose is from thy chaplet fall’n. First your five men of straw, the great Divines, and then the Revelation. About tunes.

Then the twinkling arabesque, the quick non sequitur to words. From the immateriality of the Devil’s claim to the GOOD tunes, suddenly the question is not (sure, let’s overlook the basic move): “Should GOOD words be reserved to the Devil?”; but “Should BAD words [grandiose, passés, vainglorious] be forced on a GOOD purpose?”; with the implication that words, good or bad, do not matter either way.

W S Gilbert, since we are into anecdote, thought they did. Asked how his new piece, Bloodygore, was playing, he said: That’s Ruddigore. Ruddigore, Bloodygore, was the response, what does it matter? If I tell you, said Gilbert, that I like your ruddy countenance, it does not mean I like your bloody cheek.

And you put the question doubly: (a) objectively (do the words REALLY matter?); and subjectively (b) (does anyone care?). Then the imputation that will live in infamy that I am (i) an officious bore (See if I care) and (ii) a Bowdler! Me! Never have I Bowdled. You manage all that in five lines, and don’t tell me it was an accident.

Does anyone really care? Yes, at least two of us care. I care, and you care. You are the man who reads Swift.

The sequence was:
(i) conclusion by some (NUT, or Nutters) that L of H and G had bad words and must be Bowdled;
(ii) outraged reply that No, the words are not bad at all, Sir! and damn this PC, I say!;
(iii) counter, with reasons given, that Yes, L of H and G really is bad, in fact rotten, but what will Bowdling do but breed baloney, or bologna, as the taste takes you?
(iv) can we produce nothing better, sans Bowdling?
(v) Answer, Yes, lots; selection of words some thought stirring, moving, inspiring.

If the words do not matter, you have an easy test: next time you are there at the closing rhapsodic hysteria of “wider still and wider”, the eyes popping around you, the heart attacks imminent, stand up and shout: “What a crock of happy horse-sh*t!”. You’ll be right, of course, but see what happens next.

The word contrafaction is new to me too, but in Scotland the practice is as old as the hills. In the kirkyard at Forfar, 1588, Isobel Shirrie “did sing her song called Tinkletum Tankletum: and ... the divell kist (“osculum infame”; work out that one, anyone) every one of the women”. Then there was that other sweetie-pie up to no good under the influence of “ane grit scoller and doctor of medicin”. Aye, Aye. Jist so. Jist so. Mmphphm. Aye. In 1282 the priest of Inverkeithing led the “obscene” dance in his own kirkyard. They had yet to develop the terms “Proms” or “Bashes”, but it seems a good time was had by all.

I expect some loonie now to propose Lord of the Dance as National Anthem, just as a few years ago in Presbyterian circles here the theologians of the choir loft hailed it as a hymn. They too thought words did not matter. Well No, to be fair, they were too stupid to know what they thought. That is why their church is a concert hall now. Satisfaction, contrafaction, putrefaction.

dave_jones, they certainly do not today sing all the verses of God Save the Queen. If they did, we would soon see that words matter, especially the bits about kicking the daylights out of the Scots. The first verse you have today is all that remains of several of relief from the emotional and for all I know physical constipation that gripped royal circles in 1745 or so when the Jacobites turned back at Derby.

If at that time they had only had a song “Fest steht und treu, Die Wacht, Die Wacht am Tweed”, that would have been the National Anthem today. After all, they were a bunch of very recent German immigrants. God Save the King could have been paraphrased:

Thank God I’ve kept my job,
I’m very glad, by Gob,
It could be worse.
Save me from further bouts,
With kilted Scottish louts,
And back at home those rotten krauts,
It could be worse.

Pigboat, I’m with you, really, on the Maple Leaf. All we have to do is take over the USA. Quite a bit wider and wider. Maybe it could be merged with “Jerusalem”, but are we sure those “dark Satanic mills” and “Maple Leaf Mills” were not one and the same? Just asking. We’d have to be sure. This would need more thought. Vive Capitaine Poutine!

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Davaar ]

18th Oct 2001, 13:01
Thought someone would rise to the bait :D :D

Seriously though, I have to agree about our dreary National Anthem.

Didn't George Bernard Shaw say it was like the "Funeral march of a fried eel..."? :D

Like Jerusalem if I'm in the mood.

However, there aint that many "dark satanic mills" left oop north, which is why I'm now in the South East... :D :D

18th Oct 2001, 14:14
no Jerusalem won't work , ref to Dark satanic mills could be offensive to Wicca and devil worshipers.

Dave Hedgehog
18th Oct 2001, 23:53
I'm sure ive heard someone from lands overseas (im not sure exactly who, but i think it was on newsnight or something) say "When are the Brittish going to stop apologising for the fact that they are from Britain?"
As for me, im looking for a Union Jack, but i cant find one anywhere.... :(

tony draper
18th Oct 2001, 23:59
Draper votes for ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE, the crusafixion song from the Life of Brian,it is idealy suited to the Brit character, and one could always do the whistling bits if one doesn't know the words. ;)

Bright Side of Life.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps.
Just purse your lips and whistle. That's the thing.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life,

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin.
Give the audience a grin.
Enjoy it. It's your last chance, anyhow.

Always look on the bright side of death,
Just before you draw your terminal breath.

Life's a piece of **** ,
When you look at it.
Life's a laugh and death's a joke. It's true.
You'll see it's all a show.
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life.
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life!



[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

Mac the Knife
19th Oct 2001, 00:15

Alas I find the Serpent old
That, twining in his speckled breast,
About the flow'rs disguis'd does fold,

"Should BAD words....be forced on a GOOD purpose?" - a question Machiavelli would have had no difficulty in answering. Probably not, but as you well know, that opens up an entire new bulk-carrier full of worms. I recall some nice Socratic dialogues.

Love the Gilbert anecdote.

The alleged imputation I deny. Nevertheless you chose to infer. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

And as for the "osculum infame" - I refer to henry crun's earlier quotation and will graciously permit you to kiss my (non-diabolic) a*se.

"And then he saw, to his despair
She had the Red Flag flying there"

[ 19 October 2001: Message edited by: Mac the Knife ]