A Song for England?

by Alex Massie | June 9, 2010

In 2006, David Cameron said: “This coyness, this reserve, is, I always think, an intrinsic part of being British. We are understated. We don't do flags on the front lawn.”

That was then, however, and now that he's Prime Minister and there's a World Cup on, Mr. Cameron has decreed that the Cross of St. George will fly above Downing Street.

As a friend commented, it seems “We don’t do flags on the front lawn—unless the football’s on.”

For some reason this reminded me of Merle Haggard's classic Okie from Muskogee. And so, with apologies to Mr. Haggard, here's a rewritten version that, in a better world, would be England's 2010 World Cup anthem...

We don't believe in destiny or Heskey
We don't travel well at all
We don't do flags on the lawn, unless the football's on
We like fightin' right and boozin' free

I'm proud to be an England man
A place where even chavs can have a ball
We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory
And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of losin'
We like makin' a quarter-final
Two World Wars and one World Cup
We don't do penalties at all

I'm proud to be an England man
A place where even chavs can have a ball
We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory
And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear
Jocks and Paddies won't be seen
Football's the coolest thing you'll feel this year
And the kids still believe in Capello's team

I'm proud to be an England man
A place where even chavs can have a ball
We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory
And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/world-cup/75419/song-england