Anthem for St George’s Day

The English, the English, the English are best:
I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest!

The rottenest bits of these islands of ours,
We’ve left in the hands of three unfriendly powers,
Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot,
You’ll find he’s a stinker as likely as not.

The Scotsman is mean, as we ‘re all well aware,
And bony and blotchy and covered with hair,
He eats salted porridge, he works all the day,
And he hasn’t got bishops to show him the way.

The English; the English, the English are best:
I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest!

The Irishman, now, our contempt is beneath,
He sleeps in his boots and he lies in his teeth,
He blows up policemen (or so I have heard),
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third.

The English are noble, the English are nice,
And worth any other at double the price!

The Welshman’s dishonest, he cheats when he can,
And little and dark, more like monkey than man,
He works underground with a lamp in his hat,
And he sings far too loud, far too often, and
FLA-A-A-T.

And crossing the Channel, one cannot say much,
For the French or the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch;
The Germans are German, the Russians are Red,
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed.

The English are moral, the English are good,
And clever and modest and misunderstood!

And all the world over, each nation’s the same,
They’ve simply no notion of Playing the Game:
They argue with umpires; they cheer when they’ve won;
And they practise beforehand, which ruins the fun!

The English, the English, the English are best:
So up with the English, and down with the rest!

It’s not that they’re wicked or naturally bad …
It’s knowing they’re FOREIGN that makes them so mad!
For the English are all that a nation should be,
And the flowers of the English are Got Enough Have We!

With thanks to Michael Flanders (English) and Donald Swann (born in Wales of Russian father and Transcaspian mother) who wrote it and to John Wells (origin unknown) who saw its possibilities as a HWGE? anthem. Eventually, we hope to see it taking the place of Beethoven’s Ninth as the national anthem of the European Union. Meanwhile, God Save the Queen.