I have often argued here that ‘Swing Low’ is hardly an appropriate song to support the England rugby team.
It’s taken some time, but it seems that some peeps in America have come to the same conclusion and agree with me (well, there’s a first!) –
“Such cross-cultural appropriations of US slave songs betray a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which those songs were created by the American slave,” Josephine Wright, a professor of music and black studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio, told a newspaper.
I have sympathy with this view (well, I would wouldn’t I?) – ignoring the original derivation of a negro slave hymn calling for death as a release from slavery seems more than a trifle irreverent to me. Its adoption, resulting from a song whose only link to rugby is an after game drunken caterwaul accompanied by rude hand gestures, does little to endear the often, already despised England supporters, to anyone.
I know I am in the minority, but a nation with a rich musical heritage ought to be able to come up with a tune that is more inspiring, uplifting and not nicked from a downtrodden group of African Americans.
Personally I would prefer ‘Land of Hope and Glory’
Although frankly I’d settle for ‘Ernie, the fastest milkman in the West’ or even ‘The Birdie Song’ – at least they are English!
Of course I’m taking the piss – but I do feel it’s time for a new ‘Low’