Michael Flanders: A Song of Patriotic Prejudice

From Michael Flanders & Donald Swann, At the Drop of Another Hat (1965)

The English, the English, the English are best:
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest!
The rottenest bits of these islands of ours,
We've left in the hands of three unfriendly powers,
Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot,
you'll find he's a stinker or not.

The Scotsman is mean, as we 're all well aware,
And bony and blotchy and covered with hair,
He eats salted porridge, he works all the day,
And he hasn't got bishops to show him the way.

The English; the English, the English are best:
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest!

The Irishman, now, our contempt is beneath,
He sleeps in his boots and he lies in his teeth,
He blows up policemen (or so I have heard),
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third.

The English are noble, the English are nice,
And worth any other at double the price!

The Welshman's dishonest, he cheats when he can,
And little and dark, more like monkey than man,
He works underground with a lamp in his hat,
And he sings far too loud, far too often, and
And crossing the Channel, one cannot say much,
For the French or the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch;
The Germans are German, the Russians are Red,
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed.

The English are moral, the English are good,
And clever and modest and misunderstood!

And all the world over, each nation's the same,
They've simply no notion of Playing the Game:
They argue with umpires; they cheer when they've won;
And they practise beforehand, which ruins the fun!

The English, the English, the English are best:
So up with the English, and down with the rest!

It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad ...
It's knowing they're FOREIGN that makes them so mad!
For the English are all that a nation should be,
And the flower of the English are Donald
(Michael!) and me!!


At the drop of a hat (idiom): beim geringsten Anlass
Tuppence = two pence
Blotchy: here: covered with white and red patches
Contempt: feeling that sb./sth. cannot be respected
Lie in one's teeth: tell shameless lies
Cromwell (1599-1658), ruled Great Britain as Lord Protector, defeated the Irish brutally in 1649
William the Third /1650-1702), Protestant king, won the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland
Garlic: Knoblauch
Notion: idea
Umpire: Schiedsrichter
Wicked: morally bad, evil