Alex Massie

A World Cup Song for England

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In 2006 David Cameron said: "This coyness, this reserve, is, I always think, an intrinsic part of being British. We are understated. We don't do flags on the front lawn." Now that he's Prime Minister and there's a World Cup on, Dave has (quite reasonably) decreed that the Cross of St George will fly above Downing Street.

As a friend commented, it seems "We don't do flags on the front lawn - unless the football's on."

For some reason this reminded me of Merle Haggard's classic Okie from Muskogee. And so, with apologies to Mr Haggard, here's a rewritten version that, in a better world, would be England's 2010 World Cup anthem...

We don't believe in destiny or Heskey

We don't travel well at all

We don't do flags on the lawn unless the football's on

We like fightin' right and boozin' free

I'm proud to be an England man

A place where even chavs can have a ball

We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory

And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of losin'

We just like makin' a quarter-final

Two World Wars and one World Cup

We don't do penalties at all

I'm proud to be an England man

A place where even chavs can have a ball

We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory

And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear

Jocks and Paddies won't be seen

Football's the coolest thing you'll feel this year

And the kids still believe in Capello's team

I'm proud to be an England man

A place where even chavs can have a ball

We shall sing of 66 and wave old glory

And Wayne Rooney's still the biggest thrill of all

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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