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Song for a Rich Woman

I never sing the national anthem, because it's not about my nation. It's not about Great Britain, it's not about England. Scots and Welsh sing about their homelands. England sings about the person at the top, which may well prove to be a problem when the person at the top is less than impressive. Right now, the indoctrination of reverence still infatuates many, but it's going to take a dip when Charles is crowned. I don't sing for the health of a wealthy old lady particularly - if she's happy, fair enough, why not? - but my expressions of loyalty to my homeland should not be tied in to some enforced worship of the Windsors, especially when some of them had Nazi sympathies anyway!

But let's assume those sympathies were silly butterfly moments, when popular feeling wipes out common sense, even if the monarch was truly extraordinary, no one person can embody the state, or the state becomes prone to the foibles of a single human being; we would be a very different nation now if Edward VIII had not abdicated. How grotesque then, our adoring anthem to a king who would have made us Hitler's subjects?

Eizabeth's triumph is to display no such vulnerabilities. She is no fool but a cypher upon which the population can imprint their regal fantasies, defined only by strict adherence to protocol. She has done this very well, though I would argue not well enough to earn the vast fortune she has amassed, but that is another discussion.

If it transpired that Elizabeth was a nazi, or had some kind of similar shameful secret, the shock would rock and even possibly smash the nation's sense of identity, because we have invested so much in the adoration of some rich people. We should be stronger than that. And when Charles is king, we must be, because he represents no identity other than his own.

To those who say, 'We are stronger than that, the monarchy isn't Great Britain's identity,' I ask, 'Why then, don't we have an anthem that reflects us?'

England needs its own anthem anyway, even if GB is determined to remain Windsor Worship land. Jerusalem would be perfect.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
I do. Because it's not about some rich woman, or her family. I mean, sure, the actual _words_ are, but in my head (at least) it's not, it's about being British and proud of that.

Sure, sometimes it's not something to be proud of, and frankly, I'm not sure it is something I get to be proud of - clearly I didn't choose to be born British any more than I chose to be white or male, and it's an advantage like both of those things, and an unearned one, just like them. However, it's a tribe, and there's a powerful force in tribe, and I'm proud when my fellow tribe members do something good, and ashamed when they do something bad. I may be a small influence in the tribe, but I get some say in it, and it matters to me.

Would I like an English anthem as well? Well, sometimes. I've been known to belt out Jerusalem, and not just at Twickenham (I was apparently a bit loud during our wedding service ...), but I like something that binds Britain together. I'm aware of the issues with the anthem (crush the Scots!) and I don't particularly object to republicans refusing to sing it - I'd rather there was something Mr. Corbyn and I could sign together, but the anthem means something to me.

I feel like I had a point when I started this, but like so many things, it's gone missing. I blame the alcohol and events of the day - it's been more than a little odd. Sorry about that. I'm still going to leave this here, as it might make some sense to somebody, and I might be able to better articulate it in the morning if I have a reminder ...
Sep. 17th, 2015 06:58 am (UTC)
Too hard on yourself by far!
I am sorry you had an odd day, hope it is better by the time you read this. You come across very well to a woman be-hazed by respitory devils!

Do the words of an anthem always matter? I think that one of the principal hakas performed by the All-Blacks is a song of the Hairy Man's Climb To The Sky/Sun (can't remember properly I'm afraid). I don't understand it, don't see how it relates to NZ history, but the power is clear. Maybe it's the same with our anthem. But for me, I can't get away from the literal meaning. And I do think totems are dangerous as well as powerful, like the eagles of legions. What happens if an eagle is lost?

If the anthem means something to you, I hope you enjoy singing it all your days! To love home and people must be a good thing when tempered with an understanding of the damage one's own can do. It's like knowing your family's faults and loving them anyway, while never excusing them because of that preference. Nothing bad in the balance of emotional honesty and intellectual truth.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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