Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A small insight into the Welsh national psychology

just in passing. The chorus of the Welsh national anthem contains the line:

"Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau"

which translates roughly as "For as long as the sea is a wall for the pure and beloved country..."

A more or less unobjectionable sentiment, as an example of the sort of guff that is found in nearly every national anthem (apart from the Spanish one[1]). However, it would probably do better as part of the national anthem of an island nation, for whom the sea did indeed stand as an impregnable wall round the pure and beloved homeland. For a country which has a long land frontier with a bigger and militarily stronger neighbour, which neighbour did in fact conquer it five hundred years ago and has ruled it ever since, it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. It's rather as if Vichy France had a national anthem with a verse in praise of the Maginot Line.

[1] The situation with the Spanish national anthem is quite hilarious, in case anyone doesn't know. "La Marcha Real" didn't have any words in the days when countries didn't really need them. Then Franco commissioned a set of lyrics for it to drag Spain into the modern age. They scrapped those lyrics after he died, and presumably anticipated writing some new ones. However, ever since 1975 Spain has steadily been on its way to becoming one of the most federal countries in Europe, and these days it is more or less impossible to write a Spanish national anthem that doesn't end up pissing off the Catalans, Basques, Galicians, etc etc. So patriotic drunk Spanish people have the choice of humming, whistling or learning an instrument. Nobody seems to care very much except the Olympic committee.

Update! According to Wikipedia, there are two more verses I hadn't heard of! And the final one basically admits that we're not actually an independent country and tries to weasel out of this rather damning revelation by changing the subject quickly to the Welsh language. And thus was the basis of Plaid Cymru politics born.
7 comments this item posted by the management 9/13/2007 07:47:00 AM

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