It behoves me to act quickly and wish the boys well before the final. We have profited from England’s run in the Euro’s and must pay our due. For our part we have tried to exploit it on many levels, but the most successful has been the campaign I created for Dog’s Bowl on YouTube whereby they staged mock pundits’ discussions about the match between people who had no interest in football but acted like they did – much like the cabinet. In fact, two of our pundit teams wore Johnson and Hancock masks, the others just came as they were from the offices and the shop floor. That, it seems, has been something of mistake, since rather than enjoy being on the inside of a joke they are seeing it now as an imposition designed to humiliate them. More of that another time.
We recorded the ‘shows’ in half hour batches, to edit down to five or ten minutes, and during the recording I noticed that the participants weren’t just ignorant about football and the wider world of sport (fair enough) but they were in fact, just plain thick about everything. That is why, on the last recording session, to be aired next week, we had them discuss the issue of anthems. – it became clear that they did not know that the home nations each have their own anthem(s) whereas England is obliged to take the default option of the UK’s God Save the Queen.
Of course, the discussion of anthems is these days, a knotty issue, and one on which the sort of people who commented under our YouTube videos like to have their say. Whether or not they should have their way, is a discussion for elsewhere, but if you were to exclude any song with lyrics that can be perceived as jingoistic or celebratory of an imperialistic past, then take the hymns from what remains, you aren’t left with very much that contains the word England or English.
The best of what there is, is below. Once we have discussed them and voted, we will be petitioning the FA (difficult) and the Prime Minister (push over) in a brazenly cheap publicity shot to keep our name in the news, and get a new anthem adopted, if not for the final, then very soon thereafter. If you have a view, head to Twitter and vote to have it heard.
‘”My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
I have already got me special beer goggles on,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!“
“I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And a bit useless too, if I’m honest.”
“If you can keep your head
when all those about you
are doing their nut,
and saying it’s your fault,
You’re a better man than I am Gungadin.”
“You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb,—
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
You did not come. Or score any goals either.”
“Miss J.Hunter Dunn, Miss J.Hunter Dunn,
Golden and burnish’d by African sun,
What strenuous games we played after tea,
We lost the tournament – well it was more you than me.”
“There, like the wind through woods in riot
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then ’twas Roman, now ’tis I.
Well it’d better be.”