To sing or not to sing - Argus Friday 18th September 2015

Posted Monday 21st September 2015   By Ericka Waller

SO THE press made a royal song and dance over Jeremy Corbyn not singing the national anthem. I can sympathise with him. When I go to church, people turn and sniff at me as if I’ve trodden in dog poo for not knowing the 4th verse of ‘Jerusalem’, or any verses for that matter. They punish me with their pious frowns and icy glares. I turn my book upside down and imagine them at the gates to heaven. “Hello God. I’ve been a judgmental, embittered misery for years, but I know all the words to ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ can I come in please?” Corbyn didn’t sing like no one was watching, he did not sing and everyone was watching, and then he went on to ask some excellent questions in PMQ’s.

He’s still in the bad books though. Maybe if he’d sung his first question “from a woman called Marie” on the "chronic lack of affordable housing” and “the extortionate rents charged by some private sector landlords” , Les Mis style, he could have curried back some favour?

England Football Captain Wayne Rooney got castigated for his singing abstinence on the pitch. The nation was furious. There we were, belting it out from our armchairs and he couldn’t even be bothered to mouth along, the lazy lummox.

It turned out, after much debate and speculation however, that he did not sing because he did not know the words.

My friend Craig is a tenor in a Barber Shop Quartet. When he forgets the words in front of a large audience, he grins broadly and sings ‘Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Hamburger, Cheeseburger’ repeatedly whilst clicking his fingers in time.

Perhaps it would have pleased Parliament if Corbyn had chosen to be a backing singer for their pointless dirge?

This technique could certainly help Rooney out if learning all the long words is too much for him.

Ireland-born Cricket Captain, Eoin Morgan, claimed his refusal to sing at the World Cup was a ‘personal thing’, prompting speculation that his radical decision was political.  

Upon further probing amongst his friends and family, it emerged that Morgan ‘isn’t very good at singing and wasn’t even in the school choir’.

At the time Piers Morgan tweeted ‘If you want to Captain England Eoin, then sing the damn national anthem too’.

Journalist Miguel Delaney tweeted back ‘Definitely, if only all sportsmen sang their national anthems. It would instantly solve all their talent problems.’ Delaney went on to say ‘What if both teams sing their anthems with passion. Who loses?’

Guardian journalist, Alex Marshall said ‘ He (Corbyn) shouldn’t have refused to sing it for his political beliefs; he should have refused to sing it because it is, without doubt, the world’s most irrelevant national anthem – the only one that says literally nothing about the country it’s meant to represent.’

In true ‘pot calling the kettle black’ style, Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames remarked "I think he (Corbyn) needs to make his mind up whether he is a grown-up or not”.

Maybe we should all decide to be grown-ups and live in democracy with the choice to sing or not to sing, as long as the level of respect shown is in accordance with the occasion?

Corbyn was hardly checking his Instagram updates and playing Candy Crush whilst whistling the theme to Dambusters at the Battle of Britain memorial.  

Do we not have better things to get upset about?

Perhaps I’m turning cynical since I turned 34, or maybe it’s a coincidence that the press decided to focus on self-declared Republican, Corbyn choosing ‘not to save the queen’ with his singing, rather than the fact that the government won the vote to cut tax credits on the very same day.

The result of these cuts mean over three million families will lose up to £1000 a year. Forget Corbyn not caroling, what about all the people who are now going to have to sing for their supper?

*****

And finally

I was horrified to see many of my facebook friends using the C word online recently. It's as if they just learned it, it's all they can talk about. I find it vulgar, offensive and hideously inappropriate. I can't understand it. The C word should only be used in very specific circumstances, not in September when Christmas is still months away.

And it's not just online either. I went into the Co Op yesterday to buy some pasta, only to find the pasta section had been moved to make room for the mince pie section. Mince pies in September, what next, Easter Eggs at Halloween? I’ve not put my flip flops away yet, let alone got the tinsel down.

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