one-off at the wrist

Fanfare for the common man

I guess a few images coalesced in my head from yesterday’s post and were joined by others, given the Presidential election in the US of A [with all its drum beating and flag waving].

Giacometti’s stick-thin Walking Man sculpture.

Rebel Harry Tuttle being ‘consumed’ and suffocated out of existence by wind-blown newspapers near the end of Terry Gillaim’s movie Brazil.

Artist Anthony Gormley’s Another Place sculptural figures staring out to sea from Crosby Beach, Liverpool, England.

The 1977 video of Emerson, Lake & Palmer playing Fanfare For the Common Man to an empty Olympic Stadium, Montreal.

The question in my brain today: How can the UK have one of the most iconic flags but one of the worst National Anthems? It has long been my opinion that if/when the UK gets a new King, that it would be great/fitting for the 21st Century if the current National Anthem was scrapped and another took its place [especially as its official status derives from custom and use, not from any Royal Proclamation or Act of Parliament]. Out with the old funeral dirge [I remember as a kid, hugely resenting having to stand at the Cinema before the movie started, for the playing of the National Anthem; nearly falling asleep at it’s depressing tones, wanting to shout, in the words of a certain Monty Python sketch “Get on with it!”] It is not for no reason that the British musical institution The Proms climaxes with Land of Hope and Glory. Interestingly there is some backing for this to happen for the National Anthem for England [currently there is none] so perhaps that might happen, especially if Scotland in the near future gains independence? [The Sex Pistol’s version of God Save the Queen for the UK National Anthem would be fantastic]

The biggest problem of course is at sporting [think Olympics] occasions when one has to listen to endless dreary flag raising ceremonies. Bring out the guitars! Surely not surprising that many Television programmes, from sporting to drama, use guitar breaks from popular music [think The Chain, Fleetwood Mac or Won’t get fooled again, The Who or indeed Fanfare For the Common Man,  Emerson, Lake & Palmer]. Anything can be spruced up with some electric guitar – The Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix (Live at Woodstock 1969).

There are also plenty of great movie theme tunes Discombobulate, the theme from 2009 Sherlock Holmes; the theme from A Few Dollars More [that great doing doing  Jew’s harp]; the theme from James Bond! Rocky’s theme! The list is endless. Comedian Billy Connolly even once suggested the theme from the radio show The Archers.

Perhaps fittingly for the 21st Century it is time for a ‘fanfare for the common man in the street’? Finding a successor tune could form the basis for a whole run of the TV show Britain’s got X Factor Talent? You never know we might end up with an up-dated version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler, 1932.

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