Posts Tagged Germany


I endured another rendition of Australia’s insipid national anthem, sung prior to the start of last Saturday’s Grand Final, and reflected on the fact that anthems are supposed to be stirring pieces of music, exhorting us all to stand together to defeat the common enemy, or some such jingoistic nonsense. Unfortunately Australia’s anthem encourages somnolence rather than action, a fact that is compounded by its archaic lyrics. “Our home is girt by sea.” Girt by sea? When was the last time anyone ever used the word “girt”? Since it is in the national anthem perhaps we should try and bring it back into the current vernacular? Just in case you are interested my house is girt by forest, while the neighbour’s house is girt by paddocks. I can see a massive “girt” revival on the horizon.

Unfortunately countries that have anthems with stirring tunes tend to have stirring lyrics as well, perhaps a bit too stirring. “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt“ translates as „Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world“. And we all know the trouble that caused.

The French aren’t much better:

Aux armes, citoyens,     To arms, citizens,

Formez vos bataillons,  Form your battalions,

Marchons, marchons!    Let’s march, let’s march!

Qu’un sang impur           Let impure blood

Abreuve nos sillons!       Water our furrows!

The Spanish appear to have the ideal solution. No lyrics at all. Admittedly the melody could do with a bit of work but you can stand at that soccer match enjoying the tune, while feeling proud to be Spanish, and girding your loins for the coming battle knowing that you don’t have to rhythmically open and close your mouth in order to mask the embarrassment of not knowing the words to your national anthem.

Dr. F. Bunny

“Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world

Than the pride that divides when a colourful rag is unfurled”

(Rush, Territories, from the album “Power Windows”).


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Religious Mutilation

Last year the Dutch banned religious slaughter of animals. Now Germany is to be congratulated for banning circumcision ( Predictably all the same religious groups that complained about not being allowed to cause unnecessary pain to animals are now affronted that they can no longer cause pain to small boys. They conveniently see it as another attack on their religious freedoms and ignore the real reason for the ban: infants cannot decide for themselves whether or not they want pieces of themselves cut off as part of an arcane, outmoded ritual. There are no medical reasons to cut off a foreskin. While Herodotus suggested over two thousand years ago that circumcision was done for the sake of cleanliness I believe that, in the twenty-first century, we are not only able to wash behind our ears, but behind our foreskins as well. If an adult voluntarily consents to have things snipped off that is different but to subject an infant to this practice is unacceptable. Perhaps we should bring back witch burning and human sacrifice? Female circumcision was outlawed in the US in 1996. Why should male circumcision be any different?

Dr. F. Bunny


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