The camaraderie was infectious and I was inebriated. Americans were outmatched on the pitch and at the pub. Even the non-Brits favored the Triple Lions over the Yanks, but that didn’t keep me in hiding. When the bar erupted singing God Save the Queen I fancied myself Victor Laszlo in Casablanca and stood and sang My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. I wish I could write that I inspired the dozen or so American fans to join me in drowning out the enemy, but all I accomplished was a collective scooching of chairs a little further away from me.
When UK scored "the fastest goal in the World Cup," I lost a bit of my pluck and quietly sat sipping my pint. To me, the game was like watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie: suspenseful. As long as the clock was running, so were the players. Anyone could score at any time. The announcers were good. They didn’t constantly talk over the action; rather they voiced their observations then sat a spell to allow viewers to watch. Behind all the dialogue was the soundtrack of 50,000+ stadium fans humming like a swarm of bees. It was the rhythm section of the pub singers. It’s what had me singing, once again, when America scored its goal.
On my feet with the other cheering Americans, I belted out the chorus from George M. Cohan’s Over There. It just hit me that we are Yanks and we are off to war. I became flooded with national pride thinking about Yankee Doodle Dandy, the millions of Americans watching the goal on a Saturday afternoon while I was watching it on a Sunday morning, and our brothers in arms watching it in their time zone (probably with a bunch of Brits, too).
I’ve got the fever and the only prescription is patriotic song. Have pride, America, and ditch the monotonous and uninspiring U*S*A chant for the following:
Over There, Over There
Send the word, send the word,
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum tumming everywhere
Say a Prayer
Send the word,
Send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over.
And we won't be back till it's over over there!