Thursday, April 24, 2008

St. George's Day

Yesterday was St. George's Day. Like probably many other good, patriotic, Englishmen and women I totally forgot. Indeed I only realised today, a day late, when listening to the Today Programme podcast from yesterday. I think there is something very English about having no idea when your national saint's day is. Anyway Today commissioned a poet to write a poem for the occasion. As English Heritage had already asked the English poet Brian Patten to do one - and very nice it is too - Today amusingly asked a Scot. I reproduce Elvis Mcgonagall's wonderful ode to my homeland below.
"By George!" by Elvis Mcgonagall

Once more unto the breach, dear Morris Dancers
once more
Jingle your bells, thwack sticks, raise flagons
Cry “God for Harry and Saint George!”
Gallant knight and slayer of dragons
Patron saint of merry England –
And Georgia, and Catalonia, and Portugal, Beirut, Moscow
Istanbul, Germany, Greece
Archers, farmers, boy scouts, butchers and sufferers of
Multicultural icon with sword and codpiece
On, on you bullet-headed saxon sons
Fly flags from white van and cab
But remember stout yeomen, your champion was Turkish
So – get drunk and have a kebab
Some of my past thoughts on Englishness are here.

1 comment:

Iain Forrest said...

If it's any consolation, I couldn't tell you when St. Andrew's Day is without resorting to Google. And now that I know it's at the End of November, I'm glad our public holidays are mostly saved for the better weather!