Saturday, 30 August 2008

And another thing...

When the Olympic Caravan finally reaches our island shores, perhaps we could have in place a different National Anthem? I had forgotten, when posting last, that one of the principle disadvantages of winning so many races in Beijing was hearing that turgid and funereal dirge played over and over and over again. Dear God, save us from such uninspiring and insipid composing. (The tune is called 'America' for heaven's sake!) As the host nation we, of course, would be obliged to 'top' the medal table, as did the Chinese. Can you imagine the national mood on hearing this a hundred times in 2012? Suicidal; despairing; fainting. And yet all time time our sporting heroes would be winning. And each time we would serenade them on the podium with a ditty of wrist-slashing monotony.

I myself would of course consider it an honour to accept the commission for an alternative composition. (Anything as long as it doesn't go to Johnny Rutter.) But even if the honour did not fall my way, I can think of any number of more inspiring anthems: Land of Hope and Glory, for example; or 'Barwick Green' by the late, great Haydn Wood. So come on, dear reader. What would your choice be for 2012?

17 comments:

Doshea3 said...

Land of Hoep and Gloory, of course.

Working mum said...

"Land of Hope and Glory" was great in the Commonwealth Games (I sang it several times during the athletics finals), but it is the anthem for England so I fear a backlash from the Celts.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

As I commented on another blog, isn't our national anthem something to do with wishing England was actually Jerusalem?

Forgive the plebery, my parents were athiests so I got v. confused between religion and patriotism.

Though no more confused than these elements are about what they are themselves any more no doubt.

Can Bass 1 said...

I agree, Doshea (although 'The Archers' theme has much to recommend it - not least Billy Connolly).

Really, Working Mum? Well I never...

I had forgotten about Jerusalem, Laura. We could use Elgar's orchestration, too. And everyone would have to sing!

having my cake said...

Carmina Burrana... You cant say it's not rousing and so many choirs seem to know the words these days :)

Doshea3 said...

Funny you mention Jerusalem, as this evening following an ad hoc choir practice with my Presbies, a particular gent approached me afterwards and asked me to play it for him. Having never had any occasion to play it before on the organ, I clumsily sightread the beginning and then told him that I would practise it and play it as a voluntary some Sunday as a surprise.

I think this gentleman deserves a little of my indulgence as he is the only one each Sunday who stays sitting until the very end of my voluntary. I find as an organist it's nice to connect with even one person in the congregation on a musical level: if you play for no-one else, play for them.

John France said...

Jerusalem for me - it needs a bit of typology and allegory to avoid theological mistakes that Poet Laura-eate fears making!

And I am sure that Barwick Green was not by the Slaithwaite born Haydn Wood but by Arthur Wood??

Old Fogey said...

I think I'm for Rule Britannia, with LofH&G as a close second - but Jerusalem if they build the mosque they are threatening near the Olympic site.

What have you got against John Rutter?
OF

skygge said...

People will think of the movie "Chariots of Fire," which isn't bad, considering the occasion (as long as the men in track don't reduce speed for slow motion shots).

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oh come on, this is the 21th Century. What about something by Jonathan Harvey: sombre, alegorial, religious (but only -ish); and without any "tunes" as such, so nobody will have to pretend that they know how to sing it.

Can Bass 1 said...

What an excellent idea, Mr Dilo. We could have all sorts of exciting and exotic percussion and then just when everybody thought that it had finished... wham! (Mind you, I could do the same thing very much cheaper!). Goodness me, Chariots of Fire. Yes, a definite danger of slow-motion posing, I fear Skygge. I must say I hadn't thought of Rule Brittannia, OF. What an excellent idea. (And I'm sure Mr Rutter is a perfect gentleman. However...) An organist who plays what members of the congregation want to hear, Doshea? Whatever next - choirs singings things that people want to listen to, no doubt - just like Carmina Biriana. Actually Miss Cake, that wouldn't be half bad. It would certainly frighten the horses. And you are, of course, correct Mr France. How careless of me.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh--no dirges, please!! Hey theah..so pleased ya visited the Front Porch--and of course I shoulda had a chorus, or a musician, what was I thinkin'???

Brits will do well in 2012! Chariots of Fire and all, right??

Sir Monocle said...

Hmm. Yes... Jerusalem for me.

Sir Monocle said...

No, wait a minute. I'm getting a tear in my eye just thinking about it....

Londonderry Air!

Doshea3 said...

Mr Can Bass, I assure you I am not a voluntary juke box, as this is the first time I have ever done such a thing. However, I admit I am quite conservative in my voluntary-playing. Generally I improvise something concerto-like, or when I'm in the mood something very Romantic and loud. If I could be bothered I'll sight-read something interesting or even learn something in advance.

I wish I were as adventurous as a friend of mine who always played outrageous voluntaries particular to the festivity of the day (for example, an Irish football match).

frdougal said...

Why not the Dam Busters March? There's already a hymn to it (God is our strength & Refuge) and it might inspire the English football team when they play the Germans!

Can Bass 1 said...

What an excellent idea, Father! I'm so glad you've paid us a visit - I was wondering where your present incumbancy had taken you.