In the last couple of days, one of my offspring had me explain why the British flag looks like three flags schmusched together and the other had me dancing to God Save the Queen.
After we had reviewed the whole history of the flag, offspring #1 and I agreed that, while it is a beautiful flag already, it would look so much better with a big, red, Welsh dragon in the middle of it. Offspring #2 and I disagreed, however, on whether God Save the Queen was a meaningless dirge and possibly the worst national anthem in the world (I was in favour of the motion).
By an odd cosmic coincidence, the people in charge back in the old country are considering proposals for replacing both the flag and the anthem. The main complaint about the flag is – you guessed it! – not enough dragons. Apparently the Welsh want more dragons on the flag for some reason.
According to this blog at The Guardian, God Save the Queen “seems unlikely to upset anyone bar the most ardent republican” but given that, on the most recent census 15.5% of Britons claimed ‘no religion’ and another 7.3% declined to answer, he might have to lump in the atheists with the republicans; throw in the people who can’t stand droning, inane, funereal dirges and I think we have a majority.
The suggestions in the comments of his blog though are quite fantastic.
Among my favourites:
Jerusalem would seem an apt choice with it’s talk of “Englands green unpleasant land” and “dark satanic hills”
jerusalem would be perfect… or abba’s super-trooper.
the peter sellers version pf ‘goodness gracious me’ is perhaps ther greatest multicultural song ever written.
Our national anthem *should* be the theme from “The Archers”.
Can’t we just use the French national anthem – it is so much better
On Ilkley Moor B’tat
Until the new hymn is in place, the England football team will never win anything !!!
Why don’t we just adopt the US national anthem? It would be a tribute to the “special relationship”. Maybe we could call ours the Star-spangled banner jr?
my vote – until I hear a better suggestion – goes to that cheery, deeply philosophical masterpiece “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life”.
No song says ‘England’ better than “I’m ‘enry the Eighth I am I am”. And when it’s sung at sporting events the English players whould be made to mime actions to the song. There.
I have a soft spot for Jerusalem as it was my school hymn and, reading all the comments about how Blake was using the religious imagery ironically, methinks it would not be a bad choice. That or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.