(to the tune of The British Grenadiers)


When foreigners sing boastfully, attempting to impress,
We smile a kindly smile and sotto voce  murmur: ‘Bless!’
For we are Middle England, and bragging’s not our thing.
We know that we’re superior, so hardly need to sing.

For we’ve got Oxford marmalade, and pubs and shepherd’s pie,
And we have got John Lewis, and the Queen and Stephen Fry,
For all of these are English, and English we shall be,
Like Sainsbury’s, and sanity, and the dear old  C. of E.

We’ve ginger nuts and  Yorkshire Tea and steak and kidney pud -
We’ve got the Antiques Roadshow, and we know that it is good,
Let lesser nations jostle; that is what we’ll never do
While there’s an Englishman to head a proper English queue.

We’ve a famous sense of humour and a charming modesty,
Plus cheerful xenophobia and murmured snobbery:
These are the English values which we never shall forsake
While our garden centre’s café still serves lovely walnut cake.

George Simmers

If you have any comments on this poem, George Simmers would be pleased to hear from you.