Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Scotland's Shame

After a night of near-catastrophe in which the Scots brought shame upon our ancestors once more, it's time for the nation to admit to a brutal truth about international football that we've long refused to face.

I'm sorry folks, but the national anthems have got to go.

I mean, it's bad enough that the Tartan Army are reduced to booing the anthems of European minnows. Fun as it is to hear the Friendliest Fans In The Worldtm showing ultimate disrespect to a diddy team - an act that probably fires up opponents more effectively than any team-talk - that's not the real problem.

No, we really need to talk about Flower of Scotland.

That it's a dreadful, plodding dirge, squelching along like a four-mile wade through a swimming pool full of pudding, is the least of our woes. Worse, the crowd sing the thing at breakneck speed, stampeding forward and mumbling back in a lurching, blaring cacophony. It sounds like tequila-slammer night in the cranial trauma ward.

To crown the horror, we invite professional singers to lead the crowd. It's usually Ronnie Browne of the Corries that does the honours, inappropriately bellowing Come on! between lines and generally resembling a jaunty, geriatric biscuit tin lid.

The whole sorry scene is a godawful, national cringe. Every time I witness it I die a little inside. Occasionally, I start to wonder how far I could stick my finger into my eyeball before I hit a critical part of my brain.

We should bin it and adopt Donald, Whair's Yer Troosers? instead - it's a far better song, bouncier and more tuneful, and it stirs significantly more patriotic sentiment in my heart.

Either that, or just revert to Scotland the Brave. It's just as terrible as FoS, but at least nobody knows the words.

Update! Oh, and the footballing performance wasn't very good either.

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