Proud Little Englanders

Dominic Sandbrook has an article in today’s DM called Proud Little Englanders (beats Cameron’s “sour Little Englanders” into a cocked hat) in which he says we have much to take pride in.  He also says he detects a resurgent patriotism/ nationalism amongst the English and, shock of shocks, he doesn’t use those words in a negative or aggressive way.  It’s quite a thoughtful article and bears reading; he looks at the issues facing us today including the anomalies in devolution. 

Towards the end, he mentions a song apparently well-liked by socialists in the early 20thC so I’ve had a quick trawl around and it’s re-printed below.  It reinforces claims that there is no Left or Right – and probably never has been, just nationalism & internationalism – since the song would be equally at home in the mouths of Conservatives.  It just goes to show that now, as in the past, the devil has all the best tunes:

England Arise

England, arise! The long, long night is over,
Faint in the East behold the dawn appear,
Out of your evil dream of toil and sorrow –
Arise, O England, for the day is here!
From your fields and hills,
Hark! The answer swells –
Arise, O England, for the day is here!

People of England! All your valleys call you,
High in the rising sun the lark sings clear,
Will you dream on, let shameful slumber thrall you?
Will you disown your native land so dear?
Shall it die unheard –
That sweet pleading word?
Arise, O England, for the day is here!

Over your face a web of lies is woven,
Laws that are falsehoods pin you to the ground,
Labor is mocked, its just reward is stolen,
On its bent back sits Idleness encrowned.
How long, while you sleep,
Your harvest shall it reap?
Arise, O England, for the day is here!

Forth, then, ye heroes, patriots and lovers!
Comrades of danger, poverty and scorn!
Mighty in faith of Freedom, thy great Mother!
Giants refreshed in Joy’s new rising morn!
Come and swell the song,
Silent now so long;
England is risen, and the day is here!

And so say all of us!


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