Hit or Swiss: Our take on Switzerland's national anthem
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Thursday 15 August 2013
A prize of 10,000 Swiss francs, or £7,000 sterling, is being offered by the Swiss Public Welfare Society to whomever writes the best new lyrics to the Swiss national anthem. The one currently in use, the Schweizer Nationalhymne or Swiss Psalm, has lyrics by Leonhard Widmer (1809-67) which err on the side of religiosity and weather: "When the morning skies grow red/And o'er their radiance shed/Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light/When the Alps glow bright with splendour/Pray to God, to him surrender/For you feel and understand/That he dwelleth in this land." Critics have remarked that it's a nice hymn, but contains scant details about Swiss life.
The competition opens in January 2014 and ends in June. Non-Swiss lyricists can enter as long as they live in Switzerland. Trending has no plans to re-locate to Geneva any time soon, but we thought we'd submit an entry anyway (to the tune of The "William Tell Overture".)
Take a trip, take a trip to Switzerland,
You'll never find a nation that's so grand,
Though some find our cheese a little bland and duuuuull –
Come along and try our Alpine peaks, our Army knives and alpenstocks!
Come along and gorge on cheese fondue and view our range of cuckoo clocks!
Ignore those disobliging tales of how we laundered Nazi loot!
Ignore that stuff in the Huffington Post about Miss Winfrey in a snoot.
Take a ride, take a ride on Lake Lucerne,
All the people here have money to Berne.
And some o' them have nuclear bunkers in their homes –
That's the Zurich gnomes!
We're really shy and non-aligned, we like being neutral in a war!
We like to help out billionaires and offer them accounts offshore!
We're famed for chocolate, dark and light, like Nestle, Toblerone and Lindt –
But dark-skinned foreigners we don't like, especially if they're sick or skint!
Have a climb, have a climb up the Matterhorn!
The yodelling will make you feel re-born!
A song and a culture you can't understand –
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
MasterChef, TV review: The final climaxed in a frenzy of herbs and hyperbole
Everyday People project: Photographer Pablo Conejo placed an ad on Gumtree - and kickstarted a series of interesting encounters
Male student sues Columbia University for 'gender-based harassment' after alleged 'Mattress Performance' rape victim Emma Sulkowicz went public with claims
MasterChef 2015: Simon Wood named winner
Black Mass trailer: Johnny Depp might have started making good films again
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election