Quintessentially English

Doesn’t everyone have one or more pieces of music that immediately transport them back in time to that amazing party, wonderful holiday or intense love affair? Music which drags you to your feet and forces you to dance or brings a lump to your throat?

For me there are phrases in the English language with a similar impact. They engage me on a visceral level and I can’t help but react when I hear them. For example:
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”

Lump in the throat time. Get me a Union Jack to wave.

“Don’t tell him, Pike!” makes me laugh every time. You can say it to almost any Englishman or woman over the age of 40, and they’ll smile. It binds us together because it’s about the war, about the pompous Capt Mainwarings we all encounter and about our shared sense of the ridiculous.

“They think it’s all over… it is now,” does it too. Again, it’s about Englishness – The Three Lions – pride at finally, even if only for a short time, being world-beaters in the game we invented, exported and historically lose.

If anyone’s interested, send me your favourite phrases or lines which immediately prompt that emotional response. My contact page is at http://simonmichael.uk/contact-the-author/. If there are enough I’ll collate and award gold, silver and bronze prizes in my next blog.

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