I love this country. I especially love this city. I'd not live anywhere else in the world, in fact I'd hate to live anywhere other than Mill Hill. I support the England football team and the England Cricket team, despite my Dad being an Aussie and my mum being of Irish extraction. Like Ex PM John Major, I'm partial to a nice glass of warm beer. Had the need arisen, I'd have followed my Dad's footsteps and volunteered for the armed forces, if we were faced with a threat from a Fascist aggressor. My Dad was a member of RAF Bomber command and I was disgusted that the sacrifice of his comrades, 55,000 of them, who died took so long to be recognised and that he died without receiving a campaign medal. You may not readily associate Winston Churchill with politcal correctnessm, but he never granted Bomber Command members a campaign medal, despite the huge sacrifices. He wanted to disassociate himself from the policies of his own RAF chiefs. My Dad squadron was a Commonwealth squadron and his bomber crew included a Kiwi, another Aussie and Newfoundlander (it was independent of Canada at the time).
Having said all of this, I've always hated the National Anthem. It's an awful tune and I'm far more concerned with God saving my family, friends and people I love than saving King Charles, who I don't wish ill on, but I don't give a stuff about. I quite liked his Mum, but I've no affection for him at all. I actually hate jingoistic songs full stop. I was in mass yesterday and I was thinking about how much I dislike most hymns. If, like me, you believe in God and believe God is omnipresent, does God really want us to spend our time singing about how marvellous he is? I'm sure he'd much rather we were decent and honest. I love some of the tunes, Amazing Grace, for example, is a wonderful piece of music and is about redemption, but spare me the overly sycophantic ones. They irritate me.
So what would I like to see replace it? Well I thought long and hard. I quiite like the Spanish Anthem, which has no words. I love a good instrumental. But it needs to reflect the nature of our society. I was listening to Eastern Jam by Country Joe and The Fish. Country Joe MacDonald is an American artist of Irish extraction. Joe is famed for his anti war anthem "I feel like I'm fixing to die". The band had a cross section of the artists of Jewish and other extractions. The song is based on an Indian Raja. It struck me that the band and the song exemplify the influence of England and its history, of empire, of taking music from other places and adopting and appropriating it. As America was originally a province of the the UK, what better way to move forward than to nick an American tune, especially a banging one.
Nothing would make me happier than watching the England team whistling along to this, as the Germans look on bemused. I'm sure we'd start winning penalty shoot outs then!
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