I've had a tune stuck in my head for a wee while now. What is it I hear you ask?
Is it some cultured piece of classical music?
Is it a piece of 70s prog rock because that's what I tend to listen to by choice?
Is an earworm that was played on the radio recently?
Some cheesy piece of pop that the kids were playing?
It is actually a piece of music that I shall prefer to refer to as "To Anacreon in Heaven". Are you familiar with it? I bet you are. It is actually an ancient British drinking song (so if anyone I know is familiar with it, then it's my brother) but we all probably know the tune better as the Star-Spangled Banner. I always knew that the tune was British but imagine my unfounded joy when I discovered the origins of the tune. There's all our American cousins singing along to a tune that would have been familiar in a London drinking club.
This set me thinking though. What are the origins of our National anthem? Unfortunately I couldn't find any reference to the origins, although (and I hate to say this as a true patriot) it is a proper dull tune to the point where the Welsh, Irish and Scottish have almost entirely eschewed it and even the English often substitute more rousing tunes such as Jerusalem or the jolly excellent Land of Hope and Glory, I am a big fan of Last Night of The Proms.
If I were to be a football supporter, I think I would have to support Gloucester FC but even they aren't proper local now, playing as they do 25 miles away in Cirencester. In fact Cheltenham FC are more local now and we are right down to macro patriotism, if such a thing exists. If you were to visit the website for our local press and look at the comments for stories with a good list of comments and you will see the local unhealthy competition between Gloucester and Cheltenham so, of course, being a Gloucester boy, how could I ever support Cheltenham? Maybe we need a Gloucester National anthem (other than:
We can't read and we can't write
But that don't really matter
Cos we comes from Glos'ershire
And we can drive a tractor (pronounced tratter)
But Cheltenham even hijack that to Cheltenhamshire.
Making it up as you go along
5 weeks ago