Memorial to prisoners of Syrets concentration camp by Jennifer Boyer © 2012 niall. All rights reserved.

death match in kiev, ukraine – NYTimes

A Soccer Game in Ukraine During World War II Echoes Through Time – NYTimes.com.

German commentator: The crowd is going wild!
[the camera pans through the audience, showing they’re completely silent]
Escape to Victory

So Euro 2012 heads towards its climax without England. I’ve realized the problem. As long as God Save the Queen is the national anthem there is no chance of England ever winning a major tournament. How can the players get energized in the build-up to kickoff. The melody is just too boring. Not to mention the sentiments. If you’re an atheist republican you’re not very impressed.

While I’m on the subject of football here is a tragic story about the ‘death match’ in Kiev between Start and a nazi team. The story was changed a little and used as the background for Escape to Victory. That movie was memorable because world-class footballers Pelé and Bobby Moore were in it with world-class actor Michael Caine. And Sylvester Stallone.

Back to the national anthem. I didn’t know it – and I am British – but there is a peace version dating from 1919. This is it.

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen!

One realm of races four
Blest more and ever more
God save our land!
Home of the brave and free
Set in the silver sea
True nurse of chivalry
God save our land!

Of many a race and birth
From utmost ends of earth
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease
Bid hope and joy increase
Spread universal peace
God save us all!

Yep we can all do with some universal peace. But wait. Home of the brave and free?! Where have I heard that before?

the land of the free and the home of the brave
the Star-Spangled Banner 1814

Wow. If you’re going to the trouble of making a new version at least make it original.

photo: Memorial to prisoners of Syrets concentration camp by Jennifer Boyer

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/mar/11/europeanfootball.sport1

Escape to Victory on the internet movie database http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0083284/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Save_the_Queen

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