Wednesday, 11 August 2010

God Save, Err, Who?

Short and bitter is this.

Was out earlier with this guy to iron out a few things. Nothing special, carvery, tax deductible.

Arrived back home and the boy (9), who has just decided to get into football, was watching the England match. After a few minutes the crowd started singing the national anthem so I hummed along. A mad thought entered my head ...

Did he know the words? No.

Did he know what the tune was? No.

Did he know it was the anthem of our country? Well, he had heard it before matches during the World Cup but ... err, that's it.

Asking downstairs, the same responses from the girl (10).

How fucking shit is that?

These kids can pick up a Titchy Snider lyric in just one play; They are capable of memorising the Rime of the Ancient Mariner in a couple of days; These are the most receptive years of their lives, yet the National Anthem is relegated to somewhere behind Nelson Mandela, the hassles of 1940s Muslims, nail therapy, and the manifesto of the fucking Green Party.

They ARE learning it tomorrow, every word and nuance - even maybe the bit about bashing the Jocks. Silly me for trusting that they would have been taught the anthem at school. Because I foolishly believed it was a given.

A tip for new or prospective parents. Don't expect state education to teach your kids anything. Instead, assume the worst and do it yourself.


38 comments:

BenS said...

Pft, no child likes to learn hymns.

TheBigYin said...

...even maybe the bit about bashing the Jocks.

Watch it Puddlcote! :)

The bro in law came round tonight and asked if I wanted a Pizza so after I prized the money out of his sweaty English palm I went to the local for a 'halal laden' 12" Pizza. Well, I needed something to wash it down with, didn't I, don't argue, I did!

While I walked from the Pizza parlour to get my beers I espied a young lady stood outside the fish shop, lovely makeup and lipstick...and a fag dangling from her hand...she couldn't have been much more than ten years old, I just had to say something as I passed by.

Thank god I never had kids DP, you are welcome to them. Yours are that age where you must be pulling your hair out by now.

I'm just getting ready for when the make euthanasia legal in this country.

Nighty night.

Bucko said...

Do it yourself? Aint that a fact.
As to the anthem though, I never learned that at school under the Tories and education was a lot better then. We did learn California Dreaming by the Mamas and Papas.
Also Latin. I've never forgiven them for that.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Bucko: I tried to comment on your blog from my phone tonight, it didn't let me. £18k for a camera? FFS.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Watch it Puddlcote! :)"

How many words in 'Flower of Scotland' then, smartarse? ;)

liz said...

I have never liked our National Anthem and think Land of Hope and Glory a better bet but it seems it's too jingoistic....probably for those pc Brits who want us to apologise for everything in our past from slavery to winning 2 world wars...
Personally I think Billy Connelly had it right (for those who know - sing along ..)
rum ti tum ti tum ti tum
la la la la laaah la !

Angry Exile said...

It's a shithouse anthem, though, DP. It's not the only one but national anthems that don't have much to say about the nation and barely, if ever, even mention it... well, something's wrong there, isn't it? I'd teach 'em Land of Hope and Glory, quietly glossing over the point that there's not much hope, even less glory, and the mother of the free is spilling soup down her tits in the metaphorical nursing home. Still, beats that dirge about saving Mrs Windsor.

:: leaves the room singing Advance Australia Fair under his breath and getting the middle bit wrong yet again ::

Dick Puddlecote said...

Liz: I don't like it too much either, would much prefer something like Jerusalem.

However, while it IS our anthem, one would expect schoolkids to be taught it as a matter of course.

The way it seems at the moment, the anthem is being hijacked by the BNP and football chavs just as the English flag has been.

Dick Puddlecote said...

AE: Same as to Liz. Yes, it's shit, but I'm betting that other countries teach their kids their anthem the moment they are able to speak.

If we want a nation that pulls together, there has to be some kind of identity - and an anthem can do that. It's worth fuck all if no-one knows 29 bloody words.

(loved the image of spilling soup in a nursing home, BTW :) )

dunhillbabe said...

You can't have Jerusalem... !! Dark, Satanic Mills ??!! by 'eck lad.. you'll upset us Northern folk. Then there'll be a stinko as to how some weird foreign chap had eluded passport control.....

I'm sticking with Billy

Anonymous said...

My grandchildren also struggle somewhat with the National Anthem
at their private catholic schools,
but cope quite well with "Faith of our fathers"(in english) Te Deum,
O Salutaris,Tantum Ergo (in latin)
and the Kyrie Elison in Greek.
As for the state schools,who
should we blame in our "broad church" democracy?.....Who ?


"true to thee till death"

Dick Puddlecote said...

Dunhill Babe: "you'll upset us Northern folk"

And? ;)

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Kyrie Elison in Greek"

In Greek? Jeez, my Belfast Grandmother taught me that but didn't know Greece even existed!

d'babe said...

to the tune of the NA

I just don't give a shit
Just pay my benefit
Leave me alone
da da da da
Let some daft immigrant
do the jobs I don't want
I'm happy being and idle ****
Just send my cheque...

d'babe said...

watch it Puddlecote ... we have an East coast rail service you know... :-))

I am Stan said...

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land


Yeah much better than that Queen worship

Witterings From Witney said...

On a serious note DP I think your post just demonstrates the shite state that our education system has plumbed!

When you consider that from those at school now (yours excepted of course) are going to be the source of our future leaders - God help us!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Beautiful, eh Stan?

It'll never work though, too many long words ... teachers wouldn't be able to cope. ;)

d'babe said...

May I suggest..

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.

fantastic.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yep, scares me too WfW. I used to find it strange that some footballers mouthed the words or didn't bother when representing their country at the highest level - I thought they'd be brimming with pride and belting it out. Now we know.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Looks great D'babe ... can we put it to a marching beat like the South Americans?

TheBigYin said...

watch it Puddlecote ... we have an East coast rail service you know... :-))

Here, here, D'babe, these softy cricket playing southerners need to be taken in hand. :)))


How many words in 'Flower of Scotland' then, smartarse? ;)

What? They've made a song after me? Fame at last. lolololol. (God it's late, I've started loling now.)

Dick Puddlecote said...

"these softy cricket playing southerners need to be taken in hand"

You coming on to me again, TBY? ;)

voluntarist said...

Learn the anthem, salute the flag, worship the Queen, obey authority, don't ask questions, bend over for RFID suppository administered by local vicar.

Don't worry, Gove has all this stuff planned...

d'babe said...

Lord save me from Plebs... and btw - I've seen you dance - even those crazy drum rhythms can't help you! :) I guess we should at least give the Queen a mention though - so I will also throw "Tie your Mother down' into the ring and do let me know how the votes went !!

subrosa said...

What a disgrace. I can't remember when I learned the National Athem but it must have been in about primary one, because when I went to the pictures as a wee lass, I was able to sing it when it came at the end.

Bash the Jocks all you like Dick, they're big enough. Just leave the Janets alone. :)

TheBigYin said...

"these softy cricket playing southerners need to be taken in hand"

You coming on to me again, TBY? ;)


Sorry DP, was just trying to be a 'new man' and get in touch with my feminine side, it's all the rage these days, apparently. And hey, your not to bad lookin', or so Fanny tells me.

d,babe said...

@ TheBigYin... alas, I think I might be what you class as a southerner... (God forbid)... but --- should you not be out beating for Grouse(s)now? :)

TheBigYin said...

D'babe, I'm always beating my grouse (I'm a married man you know) and If I could pay for a grouse beater, male of female (I did say I was a 'new man', didn't I?) I would do...can you get one on the NHS? Is there a group hug for Grouse beaters?

I'll have to investigate. :¬)

Angry Exile said...

To be fair I don't recall being taught the NA at school either. I have a vague feeling that I knew it at a young age from my parents, particularly my dad who was ex-army. Shows how easy it is to learn ;-)

Not sure when Aussie kids are taught Advance Australia Fair but like the Yanks' NA it gets sung a lot compared to God Save Betty. They don't wait for an international sports match to sing it, domestic competitions will do just fine. I'd have thought kids here learn it just because they have greater exposure to it and most of the adults around them are proud to sing it.

I've been saying this for years, since long before I swapped countries, but Britain really needs to change its anthem to something that tone deaf talent free bozos like me are still happy to stand up and give both lungs for. The current one just doesn't cut it. Land of Hope and Glory would be a pretty good choice and Jerusalem would be good, if perhaps a bit geographically confusing to the majority of state school leavers in the last decade or so. Failing that at least let England have its own anthem so when the Scots start singing Flower of Scotland (which is fucking terrific by the way) the English crowd have something a bit more inspiring than a song about the state of Mrs Windsor's health.

Angry Exile said...

"... particularly my dad who was ex-army. Shows how easy it is to learn ;-)"

Ooops, that could be misread. I'm saying that it's simple enough that a very young Exile was able to pick it up, not that my dad or soldiers need something simple to be able to learn it.

/facepalm

Woman on a Raft said...

You'll be pleased to know that Woodlands Junior School in Kent scrolls down to a five-verse version, although it leaves out the one about crushing the Scots.

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/anthem.html

Anonymous said...

national anthem - I am surprised such nationalist ( an possibly racist) ideas are tolerated - wont the EU have something to say about it - if not the greens.
Many years ago we used to sing 'England ube alles' but we were very young.

Dark Lochnagar said...

I would remind you that it is the Anthem of Britain. You English wankers should get your own song!

Fredrik Eich said...

Seeing as the words to the national anthem will change when HM the Q kicks the bucket, I dont see the point in learning them now.

Dark Lochnagar,
Scotlandshire is a northen county of the mighty England. Altough quite a large county I'll grant you. Therefore the anthem is correct. I live in Brighton and Scotlandshire offically starts north of Lewes, anywhere south of Lewes is England. I wasn't very good at geography at school.

Fredrik Eich said...

Actually, thinking about it, if HM the Q lasts as long as her mother , I am not sure
that I will be around when the words change. Another good reason not to bother commiting the words to memory. Plus I don't play sport for my country.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday morning,I spent close on
4 hours in a well lit 9x9 Ft windowless customs cell,discussing my contribution to the collapse of the UK economy,namely my insistence on buying baccy in lands which treat me like a noble not a serf.
The strains of Greensleeves,Jerusalems or even the anthem could have eased my
isolation but (I could be wrong)
all my tired ears picked up from
many well spaced loudspeakers was
an Anglicised version of Horst Wesel.Maybe it was the off duty
UKBA male voice choir having
a rehearsal..
This is not the England left to
us by those now gone,nor shall it be an England we leave behind.

Battered but undefeated


NorthGoths

Andy said...

Good sentimet DP, but let's face it the anthem is embarrassing.Who wants to worship the head of state for fucks sake? And No wonder our football team always fucks up, its hardly an inspiring tune. Having said that the Jocks anthem should be worth a 2 goal start, so what's their excuse? It really is time we ditched GSTQ(unless we use the Sex pistols version instead) and switched to Jerusalem.