Monthly Archives: April 2010

By George!

16thC Greek Orthodox icon

Happy St George’s Day everyone!  I was hoping to put a blog post up today about how well our folk event went last night.  You know, the ” St George’s Eve celebration of English folk culture.  Cocking a snook at those who would appropriate “English folk culture” to spread xenophobia and fascist hatred.” – that one.  Except it didn’t.  Somebody from the BNP sent phone threats to the landlord, so the gig was cancelled (at six hour’s notice).  I was pretty angry about this (still am, really), but I’m really a ‘glass half full’ kind of person so what I will take with me from this experience is that a) our publicity was shit hot, and b) someone in the BNP feels threatened by us!  Apologies, but that does actually give me a kind of warm and happy satisfaction deep inside 🙂

A patriotic squirrel steals flag for his own celebrations, in Forest Hill, London. (Photo: Ghislaine Couvillat)

We (organisers and artists) celebrated anyway, so ner, we just decamped to a different pub.  So sorry to all the people looking forward to a great night of music and story.  We’ll be back next year, with a bolder venue, and I’ll leave you with a celebratory poem, and possibly one of my favourite songs of England. Show of Hands, with their video of ‘Roots’

By George!

Once more unto the breach, dear Morris Dancers
once more
Jingle your bells, thwack sticks, raise flagons
Cry “God for Harry and Saint George!”
Gallant knight and slayer of dragons
Patron saint of merry England –
And Georgia, and Catalonia, and Portugal, Beirut, Moscow
Istanbul, Germany, Greece
Archers, farmers, boy scouts, butchers and sufferers of
syphilis
Multicultural icon with sword and codpiece
On, on you bullet-headed saxon sons
Fly flags from white van and cab
But remember stout yeomen, your champion was Turkish
So – get drunk and have a kebab

by elvis mcgonagall
for the “today programme” 23/4/2008