Something for the weekend. Rule Britannia. I grew up with a bit of a love-hate relationship with Great Britain and her now vanished Empire. On my father’s side the family had been in America since before the Revolution, except for the Cherokees who had been here I assume for 30,000 years, and the family could have cared less about Great Britain one way or the other. On my mother’s side however things were different and more complex. My mother, an immigrant who became a naturalized citizen, was proud Newfoundlander Irish. Her Great-Grandfather, who regarded pews and kneelers as perfidious Protestant innovations and would kneel on bare stone floors into his eighties in the back of the church he attended during Mass, had come to Newfoundland from Ireland and kept alive in my Mom a memory of Ireland. She played in our home as I was growing up all the old Irish rebel songs, and part of the heritage I imbibed did not stint on remembering the grievances of the Irish against the English. On the other hand, my Mom loved Queen Elizabeth II and from my Mom I developed a life long interest in British history and politics. My Great-Uncle Bill on my mother’s side served in the infantry in the Royal Army from 1939-1945 joining up, he said, “Because someone has to teach the Limies how to fight!’
Therefore on this blog I happily play both the Irish rebel songs and an occasional salute to the land of the Queen my sainted mother loved. In regard to the vanished Empire, I am fully cognizant of the wrongs that were committed by it, but I believe perhaps this section from The Life of Brian might be applied to the British, as well as the Roman, Empire, in some ways.