Now that the men’s Six Nations rugby is over for another year I thought I would settle down to watch the women’s competition, especially as the England versus Scotland match was coming from Kingston Park. If I had planned a bit better I could have gone along as the ground is only a few kilometres away from home.
It was a good game, if a little one sided at times. Without being patronising (sorry if it comes across this way) women’s sport has really come on in the last few years. The football and rugby are attracting ever growing crowds and the standard of entertainment increases with every game.
Having said all that there was one cringeworthy moment before the game got underway, with the singing of the so-called national anthems. Make that two moments. For some reason the Scottish team belted out a hearty rendition of ‘Flower of Scotland’, a tune guaranteed to stir the blood.
Next it was the turn of their opponents with the announcer saying that we were now to hear the ‘English’ national anthem – God save the King. Eh? What? Since when has England had a national anthem? It’s the same anthem for Northern Ireland, Scotalnd and Wales. It is the national anthem for the United Kingdom.
If I was Scottish I would have been delighted, as what followed was a dirge, a slow, solemn and mournful piece of music guaranteed to make you feel worse than you did before you started singing. The team and crowd gave a lacklustre performance and I am sure that the singer ended with God save the Queen! It is such an awful song which doesn’t even mention any of the countries it is supposed to represent.
In the end it made no difference as England won convincingly but if Scotland is to get its own tune then at least the English should get to sing something like Jerusalem. At least it mentions England’s green and pleasant land.
Singing the national anthems at the beginning of international games is an anachronism and needs to go.