The sublime and the ridiculous. I got the spoof version from the sport.rec.rugby.union Usenet group. The original poem at top is set to a melody based on a theme in Gustav Holst's famous "Planets Suite" ("Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity"). Always sounded Irish to me. I have this sung by what sounds like a Welsh choir on a Rugby CD a friend bought for me some time back. Perhaps you're familiar with a more modern treatment of the melody, called "World in Union" used with the 1985 Rugby World Cup. - Wes
I Vow to Thee My Country
Words by Cecil Spring-Rice, set to music originally written by Gustav Holst
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
the love that asks no questions, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar, the dearest and the best;
the love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
the love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there's another country, I've heard of long ago
Most dear to them that loves her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King:
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering:
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
I Vow to Thee My Country (Spoof)
Lift St George's flag fluttering, above proud Twickenham's stands,
Sweet lord, the foe in host come gather, a haka to perform,
This new white jersey's lovely, I hope it won't get torn.
My lord, Tuigamala's thighs are hefty, and his chest is very broad,
You mean he's on the left wing side? Oh shit, oh my bloody lord.
Dear England, I place my body - firmly upon the line,
And hope like hell I don't get rucked by Richard Loe this time,
Geoff, my liege, I prithee sir, please say a prayer for us,
as we ride for Twickenham, upon that big white bus.
I vow to thee my country, I'll take the sprigs with pride,
as the Black Blanket washes over us, I'll feel strong inside,
I'll stand up and be counted, take Olo and take Sean,
I vow to thee my country, oh shit, my jumpers torn!"