Jump to content
The Education Forum

Singing the National Anthem


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

France's National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen has complained that that some of the French players, primarily the World Cup-winning goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, are failing to sing La Marseillaise before world cup games.

I have noticed that some of the England players do not sing "God Save the Queen". This is especially true of the white lads who play for Liverpool and Manchester United. In fact, Gary Neville usually snarls while it is being played. The black players usually sing the loudest. I expect the same is true of the French team when they sing the La Marseillaise. It is only the white lads who are free to show their true feelings on national anthems. I am old enough to remember "God Save the Queen" being played in cinemas and theatres. I used to enjoy upsetting other members of the audience by refusing to get to my feet before the performance and walking out while it was being played at the end of the film or play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to enjoy upsetting other members of the audience by refusing to get to my feet before the performance and walking out while it was being played at the end of the film or play.

Not much changed there then :lol:

On the Isle of Man the National Anthem is still played and sung at cinemas and theatres as you describe. However in this instance in is the Manx National Anthem not the UK one. I have no problem standing up and singing in these circumstances.

Your comments about race and a willingness to sing the National Anthem amongst footballers are curious. Would you like to develop these points?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your comments about race and a willingness to sing the National Anthem amongst footballers are curious. Would you like to develop these points?

My comments might make sense if you read my posting on Racism and the World Cup:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=7254

My point is that because of the comments made by racists like Le Pen, black internationals are very keen to show they are patriotic and even "nationalistic" by singing national anthems at the top of their voices. London born white players like Terry, Beckham, Lampard and Cole also seem keen to sing "God Save the Queen". I suspect Liverpool and Manchester have been more successful in developing a resistance culture in the working-classes than London.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Northern Ireland it used to be customary for "God save the Queen" to be sung at closing time in pubs in protestant areas of the city and "The Soldier's Song" (the Irish national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann) to be sung in pubs in catholic areas of the city. In the city centre, which is mixed, no anthem was sung - the bouncers just ushered you politely to the door. I have not heard either anthem being sung at closing time in pubs in recent years.

Anyway, isn't "God save the Queen" the anthem of the UK and not the anthem of England? Scotland sings "Flower of Scotland", Wales sings "Land of my Fathers" ("Mae hen wlad fy nhadau") and Scottish and Welsh football supporters boo when "God save the Queen" is sung. Northern Ireland is schizophrenic. What is England's national anthem?

I think "God save the Queen" is a boring song. The French national anthem is an inspiring piece by comparison - remember the scene in the night club in the film "Casablanca" when the band plays "La Marsellaise" in response to the German soldiers singing "Die Wacht am Rhein"? Great stuff! "Die Wacht am Rhein", however, was not and is not the national anthem of Germany. It's an old patriotic piece. Should we not adopt "I vow to thee my country" (written by Gustav Holst, a German), which was sung at the wedding of Charles and Diana and at Diana's funeral? It's also the hymn of the rugby World Cup.

Did you know that the Irish rugby team sings two different national anthems, depending on where they are playing? Rugby, unlike football, has an all-Ireland team. The protestant members of the team from the six counties have a problem singing "The Soldier's Song", although it is sung when Ireland plays in the 26 counties. Elsewhere the team sings another anthem, "Ireland's Call", written in 1995 by Phil Coulter - which keeps the protestants happy.

My wife, a protestant from the six counties, was hesitant on one occasion when we were visiting Dublin about standing for "The Soldier's Song" in a pub at closing time. Being half-Welsh and a pragmatist, I had no such hesitation. As I said to her at the time: "Do you want to stand up and walk out or remain sitting and get thrown out?" (The bouncers were big lads.)

By the way, you may hear Welsh rugby supporters singing "God save the Queen" in Welsh. The words, repeated over and over again, are: "Twll din pob bloody Sais", which means "Arseholes to all bloody Englishmen".

Final note: The Sun attempted to translate our national anthem into German for the benefit of England supporters visiting Germany for the World Cup. Their version read "Gott speichern unsere liebenswürdige Königin". For the non-Germanists amongst you, "speichern" means "to save" in the sense of saving a file or program on hard disk, CD-ROM, etc. Babel Fish triumphs again!

See: http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006180295,00.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...