One of the bits I always enjoy about the World Cup is the short ceremony at the start when both teams sing their respective national anthems.
Unfortunately, though, it just brings home what an uninspired thing our 'God Save the Queen' is, compared to the vast majority of the others. I know the French and Italians are already back home, but certainly their national anthems are inspiring - even the German one manages to repeat the last few bars, to give it added effect - something we could easily do, with a change of harmony - but ours is still really a drab affair.
Watching Brazil and Chile last night night, theirs were really stirring in the true Italianate patriotic mode, certainly not easy to sing, and quite fast, but every man sang his heart out, even if, from the sound, most of them are clearly better footballers than singers! And I like the gesture so many countries adopt, of the right hand crossed over the heart. What's wrong with this overt show of patriotism?
Here again, whilst most of the England team did at least sing heartily, Rooney didn't - nor did Milner - and neither of these players really looked as if they could be bothered later, on the pitch!
Apparently Rooney really doesn't know the words, and had been offered help to acquire them. In one respect I can't blame him - when I was young, the national anthem was played at shows, school speech days, and everyone sang it - school music teachers even knew how to play it by heart, as it was something expected of them! Of course, Wayne's primary and secondary schools probably had a higher ethnic content than English, and perhaps the national anthem was frowned upon, in the same way as Xmas is, so he never did get to sing it.
But, he should have been told to - and Milner, too - presentation is as important in football as it is in music - opposing teams can so easily read his body language before he even kicks a ball. Terry, on the other hand, at least comes over as 100% patriotic and gives his all - even if it is not enough on the day any more.