The British Song

 

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Dedicated with two fingers to UKIP

http://adamhorovitz.co.uk/blog/2014/12/the-british-song/

 

I’m Anglo-Saxon. I’m of German extraction.
I’m a Celt. My blood’s from the East.
I’m Norman, I’m Viking and I came hiking
to the British ethnicity feast.

Yes, I’m British, British, born of the skittish
aftermaths of empires gone.
I’m mixed, multiracial and no PR facial
can take away from the truth of that song.

I’m Muslim, I’m Gurkah, I’m a social worker.
I’m Jewish, I’m royal, I’m black.
I’m a desperate immigrant, an urgent applicant
escaping from torture, attack.

I’m no Nigel Farage. I won’t smugly disparage
anyone because I’m afraid.
I’ve heard Albion calling and find it appalling
when small men take fear on parade.

I’m a Brit, I’m a Brit and anyone’s fit
to take that name with pride as a tag.
I live in a world where one cannot stay curled
hermetically up in a flag.

In the Britain I live in, no one should give in
to hate or abuse or despair.
Whatever my creed, orientation or breed
all that matters is to be kind and be fair.

Yes, I’m British, British, born of the skittish
aftermaths of empires gone.
I’m mixed, multiracial and no PR facial
can take away from the truth of that song.

 

 

These verses were originally written for the Borkowski PR website (where I was poet in residence) some years back to mark the first appearance of Nick Griffin, then leader of the BNP, on the BBC’s Question Time. Alas, in the intervening years, The British Song has become ever more relevant, so I am posting it again with the new dedication and a new verse, which borrows a rhyme from the excellent Luke Wright (thanks, Luke! Hope that’s OK?).

I’m aware, of course, that the idea of Britishness has become less palatable in some quarters, thanks to the likes of UKIP and that vile outfit Britain First in large part, but also because of the desire of many Scots to seek independence. As the son of an immigrant, I did not grow up with the idea of an Empire attached to my sense of Britishness – that had long gone from my understanding of the world. All I saw was an island that embraced the many and various, the multitudes. It struggled with this at times, but it made me (and many others) welcome. I value that beyond measure and that is what I want to celebrate.

by Adam Horovitz

 


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One Response to The British Song

  1. Very nice one Adam, love M

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