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Great Britain to Little England?

When Britain Really Ruled the Waves
Brexit version

Good Queen Bess (Elizabeth I) 
When Britain really ruled the waves
(in good Queen Bess's time),
the populace made no pretence
to intellectual eminence,
or scholarship sublime.
Yet Britain set the world ablaze
in good Queen Bess's glorious days!
Yes, Britain won her proudest bays
in good Queen Bess's glorious days!


As globalism spreads its power,
the Brits exert their will.
The referendum shall be on
the question of if Albion
can be an island still.
Can Britain face the world alone
as when Queen Bess sat on the throne?
Let Britain face the world alone
as when Queen Bess sat on the throne!

So Britons vote to make a try
to step into the past.
And Donald Trump, on Scottish tour
is idiotic, to be sure,
a moron to the last.
We hope November won’t betray
such folly in the USA!
We hope, that on election day
our vote will go the other way.

By Lawrence Krakauer, with apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan

To be sung to the tune of When Britain Really Ruled the Waves, from the Savoy Operetta Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri. You can click the next link to hear a version of the original on YouTube.

Since this is a rather topical entry, I'll include some notes for people who might be reading this at some time in the future:

I wrote this song as a comment on Britain's sad vote to leave the European Union, in a referendum of June 23, 2016. This proposed departure was dubbed "Brexit", a term created by merging the words "Britain" and "exit".

The term "Little England" may have been coined by a 2013 article in The Economist with the title Little England or Great Britain. Unfortunately, it seems that Britain may have chosen the former.

It's widely thought that the result of the referendum was driven in large part by nationalism and xenophobia, and that it will in the long term be a disaster for the United Kingdom (indeed, it may result in the UK breaking up). These forces are the same ones that are driving the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump in the United States.

When the results of the vote came in, Donald Trump was in Scotland visiting a couple of his golf courses there. He proceeded to send out one of his usual ignorant and tone-deaf tweets:

Trump's tweet: Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!

Since Scotland had, in fact, voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining in the EU, the reaction on twitter was swift and furious. One of my favorite responses was from Terry McDermott, who wrote:

Tweet: You couldn't be more out of touch with reality if Nessie bit you on the arse you utter fool. Scotland voted REMAIN.

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© 2016 Lawrence J. Krakauer   Click here to send me e-mail.
Originally posted June 26, 2016
Updated July 20, 2016 to alter punctuation and capitalization

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