Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National Pride

Ethnologically speaking, I am a mutt. My great-grandparents were German, German, German, German, Welsh, Scottish, English, and German (there are rumors of an Irish person in the woodpile immediately preceding, but we discount them). I've found stereotypical things to like about all of my varied ancestries. Scotch whiskey, for instance, and a pathological need to make trains run on time, sometimes by herding them together and shouting at them, if need be. Likewise, my penchant for popping off cap-and-ball firepower at wogs hardly makes me proud.

To the extent I've any nationalist sentiment, I try to direct it toward the country my forebears adopted in stages over the course of the 19th Century, to the extent that doesn't conflict with fundamental human and pacifist impulses. While I've no sympathy for love it or leave it, I'd rather be here, all told, than elsewhere, particularly if elsewhere is a place of crushing poverty or periodic wars against the Rus, the Tatars, or the (shudder) Gauls.

But I'm fond of the places from which my people came (England excepted--our favorite family toast on the paternal side is "Up the Queen"), and Wales is no exception. Given my dualism about nationalism, imagine my delight when I encountered this little number about the Wales national football team, which apparently doesn't know its own national anthem.

"We have been given the Welsh version and the phonetic version. The lady who is singing the national anthem this Saturday gave us a lesson. We all had to get up and sing it on Sunday night."

An English-born Welsh team player whose name probably doesn't matter
Funny bits abound. For instance, "the lady" in question is Miss Wales. Who's singing the national anthem at Wales' upcoming match against England.

I can tell you that the English anthem is easy--we stole it and called it My Country 'Tis of Thee, and good on us. Germany's anthem is officially called Song of the Germans, but any fool knows it is, as it has always been, Deutschland Uber Alles. I've no idea what Scotland's national anthem is, but I'm pretty sure it tracks closely with my present masthead (yeah, I know, you didn't notice).

So I've some empathy for these English-born gits who don't know the anthem of the country they've flocked to, by birthright, for soccer succor because they couldn't make the English team. Welsh is, after all, a funny language, the most dominant letters being "l" and "y", each of them often doubled. I've got family who are sorta into the Welsh thing, and I've no clue how to pronounce "Gwegllyyllanfairgyygwychll," although from the available clues it appears that it might sound something like "Up the Queen."

Yes, I've decided to post more often, even when I don't really have something to say. Love it or...well, don't.


Sasha said...

Three days in a row? Are you in a hospital bed?


I don't care what the masthead says as long as you piss excellence.

Maybe I should use Deutschland Uber Alles as my ring tone. What do you think?

Gothmog said...

I actually learned some Welsh while in gradual school; it's a fun language. (Fun, as in root canal is fun, or watching Rex Grossman QB your team is fun.) First letters of words will mutate, which makes using a dictionary an enforced lesson in patience.

It's also one of those languages that requires you to spit while speaking it. It shares that with German.

Oh, and to make the "ll" sound? Put your tongue at the roof of your mouth and blow out the sides. I think that's considered foreplay in certain circumstances.

Purplestate said...

I seen yer banner wavin there, ya scuggin!