Olympic anthem of the day #12: Italy!

Elia Viviani winning the men's omnium, prompting mass culling of Justin Bieber on Italian radio!

Elia Viviani wins the men’s omnium, prompting a mass culling of Justin Bieber on Italian radio

Each time Italy’s won a medal at this Olympics, every radio station in the country has apparently cut what they were playing – some Justin Bieber probably – and banged on the country’s national anthem.

Which is both the most insane and patriotic thing I’ve heard happening during these Games. Italy has so far won 23 medals. That’s a lot of interruptions.

Is the Song of the Italians (Il Canto degli Italiani) worth cutting a Bieber track for? If the track in question’s What Do You Mean? the answer’s a clear no. But if it’s any of his other hits, the answer’s a clear yes.

Il Canto degli Italiani has got one of the most brilliantly rambunctious tunes of all anthems – one that struts through its melody as if demanding you gawp at it. And as for its lyrics, it’s got a chorus that gets right to the point of what all anthems are meant to be about: “We are ready to die / We are ready to die / Italy has called.”

Maybe a few other countries should follow Italy’s example. Except Britain, obviously. Oi, BBC, don’t get any ideas!

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