The hoary and the gory

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I thought I’d get in first,

before the Union flag wavers

and their ‘Why, oh whys?’ .

The end of the world is nigh.

The BBC is considering axeing

‘Rule Britannia’ from

the Last Night of the Promos.

They also have their eyes

on ‘Land of Hope and Glory’

to add insult to injury.

For years, and long before

Black Lives Matter, these

hoary and gory old anthems

made me want to retch

and reach for the remote,

embarrassed to find myself English.

I don’t like being ashamed

of my nationality but that’s

how these music hall songs

get me. What’s passed

is past. The empire is over,

or haven’t you noticed?

This isn’t us any longer.

Time to grow up. It’s been years

since we covered ourselves in glory.

◄ Liberation, 1945

Comments

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Greg Freeman

Wed 9th Sep 2020 16:46

Sorry, chaps, I should have said earlier. It IS a newspaper headline, from this morning ... not mine at all!

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Graham Sherwood

Wed 9th Sep 2020 16:04

Nearly as good as Metro's this morning "SAFE SIX"

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Brian Maryon

Wed 9th Sep 2020 14:14

That waives the rules has got to be a newspaper headline...if it isn't it should be. Greg...you might have copyright!

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 9th Sep 2020 13:53

This is certainly stimulating stuff. That's a good line GF, and raised
a smile here in London W1. I'm not au fait with the documentation
that Theresa May thought appropriate to sign in her version of
leaving the EU but wonder if that is now considered some sort of
appeasement item...apropos Chamberlain waving (!) his piece of
paper in other days . On the original discussion of Rule Britannia
and Land of Hope and Glory - I found myself watching a TV item
featuring Vanessa Feltz worrying over the empirical meaning of the
the latter's words "Wider still and wider may thy bounds be set..." etc.
This seemed to ignore the very real relevance of the words to the
beneficial aspects of law, medicine, social stability, inventions and military organisation that have served various countries well in the aftermath that is now the Commonwealth. In short, the "bounds"
can also be interpreted in this work as sought-after positive influences - and sung accordingly!

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Paul Sayer

Wed 9th Sep 2020 08:41

..."Britannia waives the rules,"... What a superb line Greg.

Is this what Boris will now do Re. Brexit, do you think

Oops! I've mentioned the B-word.


Tin hats on... "Incoming"

or perhaps that shout should be... "Outgoing"

Paul.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 9th Sep 2020 08:21

Britannia waives the rules, 'in a very specific and limited way'. Makes you even prouder. Not.

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Greg Freeman

Thu 27th Aug 2020 07:38

This whole row has been a strange affair. Maybe a bit of context? The story originally appeared in the Sunday Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is planning a TV news channel to take on the BBC in Britain next year. Its political slant would be similar to Murdoch's Fox News in the US.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 26th Aug 2020 16:47

Everyone there always seems to be having a marvellous party -
and I'll bet the worldwide audience for the usual LNOTP is a huge
extension of that enjoyment. I wonder what the last global audience
amounted to in viewing figures. 2020 can be considered a
"Casualty of Covid" for the likely limited (curiosity?) level of its appeal
this time around.
Not sure why I originally referred to VL singing "We'll Meet Again" in this reply.
A Freudian error perhaps - bearing in mind
the news that these songs are, it is now said, due to return in 2021.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 26th Aug 2020 12:50

It's become another issue in the Leave-Remain culture war, Tim. Apparently Vera Lynn singing Land of Hope and Glory is top of the iTunes chart. You couldn't make it up.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 26th Aug 2020 12:48

Thank you, Don. And you can stick your Paul Abbott where the sun don't shine. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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Don Matthews

Wed 26th Aug 2020 11:24

Wot, no Land of Hope
No Land of Glory sung?
My mother country's been forsook
I'm buggered, feeling stung....

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Tim Ellis

Wed 26th Aug 2020 10:28

I remember hating Last Night of the Proms since I was old enough to have opinions on anything, 40 years ago or more. I actually watch some of the concerts these days so I must be getting old, but my reaction to the crude jingoism of the Last Night hasn’t changed. Dropping these fascist anthems is well overdue.

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John Coopey

Wed 26th Aug 2020 09:16

I completely agree about the hijacking of symbols by Boris, Greg,but I still can’t get exercised by the singing of these songs. No-one really believes we are going to set our bounds wider still and wider.. Pretty tame stuff, don’t you think? Now “cut the throats of your sons and friends” (“La Marseillaise”) - that’s more like it.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 26th Aug 2020 06:50

Each to their own, John. I just have a gut reaction to those songs, that's all. I see now that Boris Johnson embodies the spirit of Land of Hope and Glory. Let's hope he - and the song - retires soon on grounds of ill-health.

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John Coopey

Tue 25th Aug 2020 15:59

I don’t mind the songs at all, Greg. If a nation wants to recall and celebrate its previous times that’s fine by me. I do have a rather bigoted attitude however to the Hooray Henrys singing it.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 25th Aug 2020 06:25

Thanks for your comments, Stephen, Graham, and Brian. I guess we can all stand down from the culture war on this one. The BBC has said these old battle cries will be played but not sung, owing to Covid restrictions. I see even the so-called Culture Secretary weighed in as well #brexitcantreverseimperialsunset. And thanks for the Likes, Tom and Trevor.

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Brian Maryon

Mon 24th Aug 2020 17:24

The Proms, being classical music, appeals to a niche audience. It's only the last night with its stirring jingoistic tunes that draws a wider interest. Lose these tunes, lose the audience, lose the TV slots for The Proms as a whole.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 24th Aug 2020 16:19

It's just a tribal thing, much like football crowds or the Women's Institute. I've never really been a mob person. Music, much like beauty, is in the eye/ear of the beholder. The prettiest girls don't go in for the Miss World contest. Am I making any sense here??

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 24th Aug 2020 15:47

Perhaps predictable from its source. But then the Proms have
persistently neglected to include any of the major inspirational works
from the late Cornish composer George Lloyd despite nearly thirty years of polite lobbying. Hardly indicative of any real qualification
in the Beeb's idea of what is worth playing and hearing in home-grown music.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 24th Aug 2020 14:19

Good one, Greg. I am a great supporter of the Proms but the Last Night antics have always made me feel uncomfortable. It's not that the pieces of music in question are themselves without worth; it's just the overall effect of misplaced superiority which is sometimes generated.

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