Posts Tagged Spain


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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Kicking The Bucket

Michael Leunig, one of Australia’s best known cartoonists, has an interesting take on the whole bucket list concept.

Top of my Leunig bucket list would probably be fighting a bushfire, but here is a list of items also worthy of honourable mention:

• Necropsy an elephant that had been dead for two days in 33oC heat, while surrounded by a million flies.

• Perform a foetotomy in similar environmental conditions. A foetotomy involves cutting up a dead, usually decomposed, calf while it is still inside the mother. Very tricky and the stink doesn’t leave you for days and days and days. Not so good if you have a dinner party invitation.

• Euthanase anybody’s much loved pet.

• Go back to primary school and experience all the bullying from kids and beatings from teachers that involved.

• Fly. This one is particularly difficult considering many of the things I love to do involve overseas travel.

• Go to a funeral, particularly my own.

• Be a teenager again.

• Eat asparagus and Vegemite.

• Visit Spain.

• Worry about tipping: how much, should I, shouldn’t I?

• Watch a reality TV show.

• Go to the opera.

• Be asked what I am thinking (because it is too embarrassing to admit that I am not really thinking anything at all).

Dr. F. Bunny



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