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Flanders and Swann

MidnightVoice
Super Contributor

Flanders and Swann

They came up in a conversation recently, so I thought I would post this  Smiley Very Happy

 

http://www.nyanko.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/fas/index.html

 

A Song of Patriotic Prejudice

You know, it's a curious thing, I don't know if you've ever thought of this, but England hasn't really got a national song, you know, just for England; there's plenty for Great Britain. That's quite different. You have to be very careful how you use these terms, too. The rule is: if we've done anything good, it's "another triumph for Great Britain" and if we haven't, it's "England loses again". Have you noticed that?


All the others, they've got songs about their countries, you know, the Scots, like "Scotland for aye" (or for "me" as it should more properly be). And the Welsh and the Irish have got songs saying how marvelous they are and making rude remarks about the English in their own languages. In the case of the Welsh I think this is the pot calling the saucepan "bach".
What English national song have we got? "Jerusalem" . . . "There'll always be an England". Well, that's not saying much, is it? I mean, there'll always be a North Pole, if some dangerous clown doesn't go and melt it.


I think that the reason for this is that in the old days - you know, the good old days when I was a boy - people didn't bother in England about nationalism. I mean, nationalism was on its way out. We'd got pretty well everything we wanted and we didn't go around saying how marvelous we were - everybody knew that - any more than we bothered to put our names on our stamps. I mean, there's only two kinds of stamps: English stamps in sets at the beginning of the album, and foreign stamps all mixed at the other end. Any gibbon could tell you that.


But nowadays nationalism is on the up and up and everybody has a national song but us. The Americans have national songs, like "My country 'tis of thee", which they sing to the tune of "God save the Queen", I may say, and which together with their long range forecasting of our weather I find hard to forgive. Yes, and the Germans - and whatever you say about the Germans (and who doesn't) - what a marvelous song that was: "German, German overalls". Now there's a song.


Well, the moment has come, and none too soon; we have a song here which, I think, fills this long-felt want and I hope that all true-born English men and women in our audience will join in the last chorus. And if you don't have the good fortune to be English true-born, or a man, or a woman, I hope you'll join in as an ordinary mark of simple decent respect. This song starts with, I think, a very typical English understatement.

 

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

The rottenest bits of these islands of ours
We've left in the hands of three unfriendly powers
Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot
You'll find he's a stinker, as likely as not.

The Scotsman is mean, as we're all well aware
And bony and blotchy and covered with hair
He eats salty porridge, he works all the day
And he hasn't got bishops to show him the way!

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

The Irishman now our contempt is beneath
He sleeps in his boots and he lies through his teeth
He blows up policemen, or so I have heard
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third!

The English are noble, the English are nice,
And worth any other at double the price

The Welshman's dishonest and cheats when he can
And little and dark, more like monkey than man
He works underground with a lamp in his hat
And he sings far too loud, far too often, and flat!

And crossing the Channel, one cannot say much
Of French and the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch
The Germans are German, the Russians are red,
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed!

The English are moral, the English are good
And clever and modest and misunderstood.

And all the world over, each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice beforehand which ruins the fun!

The English, the English, the English are best
So up with the English and down with the rest.

It's not that they're wicked or natuarally bad
It's knowing they're foreign that makes them so mad!


The slide from grace is really more like gliding
And I've found the trick is not to stop the sliding
But to find a graceful way of staying slid
Message 1 of 5
4 REPLIES 4
haulingthescoreup
Moderator Emerita

Re: Flanders and Swann

LOL, we're going to have to start a UK ex-pat board at this rate.

Be careful, or I'll retaliate with Tom Lehrer. Although since nearly everything he wrote would violate forum TOS, I wouldn't get very far. Smiley Sad
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Message 2 of 5
MidnightVoice
Super Contributor

Re: Flanders and Swann


@haulingthescoreup wrote:
LOL, we're going to have to start a UK ex-pat board at this rate.

Be careful, or I'll retaliate with Tom Lehrer. Although since nearly everything he wrote would violate forum TOS, I wouldn't get very far. Smiley Sad

 

We'll all fry together when we fry?

 

How about Phil Ochs?

The slide from grace is really more like gliding
And I've found the trick is not to stop the sliding
But to find a graceful way of staying slid
Message 3 of 5
MattH
Senior Contributor

Re: Flanders and Swann


@MidnightVoice wrote:
...

You know, it's a curious thing, I don't know if you've ever thought of this, but England hasn't really got a national song, you know, just for England; there's plenty for Great Britain. That's quite different. You have to be very careful how you use these terms, too. The rule is: if we've done anything good, it's "another triumph for Great Britain" and if we haven't, it's "England loses again". Have you noticed that?



What about

Land of Hope and Glory

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Hope_and_Glory

 

The tune is Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March, which is equally familiar in the US because it's used at most school and college graduation ceremonies. How it got popular was, in the early 20th century Elgar came to New Haven to get an honorary degree at Yale, so naturally they played some of Elgar's music including Pomp & Circumstance. Apparently it made quite an impression on the graduates, because soon it was being used for such ceremonies all over the country. So an English person who hears the tune thinks of sporting events and Royal Albert Hall, while and American who hears the tune thinks of youth and ivy covered halls and processions with caps and gowns.

 

 

TU 791 02/11/2013, EQ 800 1/29/2011 , EX Plus FAKO 812, EX Vantage Score 955 3/19/2010 wife's EQ 9/23/2009 803
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Message 4 of 5
atlastontheroad
Established Contributor

Re: Flanders and Swann

 


@haulingthescoreup wrote:
LOL, we're going to have to start a UK ex-pat board at this rate.

Be careful, or I'll retaliate with Tom Lehrer. Although since nearly everything he wrote would violate forum TOS, I wouldn't get very far. Smiley Sad

 

Darn, that masochism tango will have to wait until I return from a day of plagiarising research and poisoning pigeons in the park.....

 

atlast...humming

Message Edited by atlastontheroad on 10-15-2008 07:23 AM
Ficos 2/17/08: TU 551 EQ 534 EX 587
Ficos 2/12/09 TU 695 EQ 715 EX 715
Fico...4/15/10....drumroll.....EQ 743
Message 5 of 5
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