Saturday, November 12, 2005


National anthems are touchy things, and it's a brave man or woman who takes on the duty of singing one before an international sporting event. It's almsot certain to blow up in your face, as you'll be accused of not being serious enough, or too beligerant, or simply not up to the job.

But you'd have thought that Donnie Munro, who during his time with Runrig was so nationalistic their singles sold south of Berwick were stamped as "Import" would have been on safe ground. But now, Member of the Scottish Parliament for West of Scotland Campbell Martin is calling for him to banned from ever doing the duties again after he apparently sang the "wrong" verses.

Apparently, Munro sings verse one and two, rather than the more traditional one and three (we don't know what sort of anthem it is where you pick and choose bits anyway - "we'll not send her victorious, but we will call for her to reign over us."):

Martin said last night: “I could not believe it when the scoreboard at Hampden displayed the words of verse two rather than verse three. Verse three, with the inspirational line referring to Scotland rising again, is the verse everyone sings, everyone except Munro.

“Verse two, which he sang, reflects on defeat and Scottish loss — hardly what the team or the fans want to hear immediately before a game.”

But there's more to this than just a bit of silliness over a sing-song before a kickabout. It's the still bleeding issue of the Act of Union we're talking about here:

the MSP said he had raised the matter with the SFA because he suspected Munro’s “British unionist prejudices” were being exerted on that body. “I understand Munro refuses to sing the verse that includes the line that Scotland can rise and be a nation again.

“If that really is the case, he is not the man to lead the Tartan Army in the singing of Flower of Scotland. The SFA should tell Donnie Munro his services are no longer required and, if I were him, I would be too ashamed to show my face at Hampden.”

Munro counterclaims he merely took an artistic decision, and the SFA say that funnily enough, Munro wasn't going to be singing again anyway. Carolyn Dobbin will be doing the duties at the Scotland team's next match.


ian said...

SFA? I thought the super furry animals were Welsh.


Anonymous said...

So are the Manic Street Preachers come to think of it.

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