The best letter to the newspaper that I’ve read recently was in regard to the recent suggestion that England should have a national anthem for sporting occasions – that is, for when the different countries of the United Kingdom have their own individual teams. I don’t really see why to be frank, and I have my doubts about most of the suggestions. Jerusalem has already been adopted by the WI and starts with two questions to which the answer is, simply, “NO.” And it’s out of date in regard to dark satanic mills, too. For one thing, there are precious few mills and for another, any remaining aren’t. “I vow to thee my country” is frankly tricky to sing. And it does go on a bit. And Prince Charles and Lady Di chose it for their wedding, which isn’t the best recommendation. “Land of hope and glory”, I’m fond of, I have to say, but I don’t think there’s any chance (and little recommendation for) widening England’s bounds, and Mother of the Free gives rise to a hollow laugh, nowadays. Still, it’s aspirational, I suppose.
But better than any of those was the suggestion of the Hokey Cokey. Think about it, darlings. It’d be marvellous at any sports event. Consider the All Blacks’ haka, followed by ‘in, out, in, out, shake it all about.’ And the roar of the chorus. Here’s what I mean. There are lots of examples on YouTube and this one is slightly slow but the children are delightful and I loved them. Anyway, just hold in your mind the thought of the big occasion. It’ll work, won’t it? It has everything going for it.