A good sporting weekend - a possible renaissance for English rugby with Johnny Wilkinson's fairy-tale return and a fantastic spectacle from the Welsh and Irish.
But as always I am embarrassed when it comes to the national anthems.
• France - The Marseillaises
The marching song of the revolution, and possibly the best of all anthem tunes.
The words are pretty militaristic but at least they get in:
'Tremble tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men'
• Scotland - Flower of Scotland.
A hymn of revival from a repressed nation who have been at the shitty end of the stick from England for centuries:
'But we can still rise up
And be a nation again'.
Ireland - Amhrain na bh Flann.
As above, although the anthem of the Republic is usually also followed by 'Ireland's Call' to placate those from Ulster :
'From a land beyond the waves
Sworn to be free
No more our ancient land
Shall shelter despot or slave'.
Wales - Land Of My Fathers.
Great tune, a bit sentimental but certainly nothing offensive.
'Land of poets - land of the free'.
Italy - Can't find the words I'm afraid but it seems like a jolly tune.
England - God Save The Queen
Er - that's about it really - I seem to remember some dodgy lines buried in later verses about 'popish knaves' and 'rebellious Scots'. Nothing you would remotely want to take any kind of pride in.
Why are we still using this crap ? Even Jerusalem would be better with its daft religious connotations. And actually 'roll out the barrel' would probably be better still.
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