God save our ears!

At the end of August, you might have seen the below clip of a Libyan military band butchering God Save the Queen when playing it for British foreign secretary/buffoon Boris Johnson:

It is very funny.

But I did feel slightly sorry for the Libyans when that clip emerged as few people pointed out that they’re far from alone in butchering anthems, even in the Middle East. So, please, let me jog your memories of the wonders of the Egyptian military band – and especially the time they played Russia’s national anthem to Vladimir Putin:

A-hahahahahahahaha!

There’s already been an anthem cock-up at the Olympics

Nigerian football team at Rio celebrating

The Olympics doesn’t officially start until tonight’s opening ceremony, but things are already going wrong – in anthem terms at least.

Last night, Nigeria beat Japan 5-4 in their opening match of the men’s football tournament (that’s them celebrating above). But beforehand they had the humiliation of being played Venezuela’s anthem rather than their own by mistake.

I’d love to show you a clip, but the IOC seems to have eliminated all traces of it from the internet so instead here are the two anthems. Decide for yourselves which is better.

The quick way to annoy a country – UAE edition!

UAE fans

I wish I could show you the advert that’s offended the UAE, but it’s gone. So here are some of the country’s football fans instead

You sometimes have to worry about the stupidity of advertisers.

Yesterday, BMW unveiled an ad for the United Arab Emirates. Today, it is no more. Why? Here’s a quick run through of said ad:

1-6 seconds: UAE footballers sing national anthem; look bored

7 seconds: BMW revs in distance

8-50 seconds: UAE footballers leg it from stadium and go and drive BMWs!

It seems to have survived one viewing before being withdrawn. The UAE’s main newspaper even found a lawyer to say it likely breached the country’s constitution banning commercial use of national symbols. “The penalty could vary between jail and or a fine,” he said. Poor advertisers!

In their defence, the UAE’s anthem – Ishy Bilady, Long Live My Country – is awful. It was composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab, one of Egypt’s greatest musicians, but he was also a man who had a habit of knocking out anthems for any country who’d pay, ending up with Libya’s and Tunisia’s as well.

He seemed to benefit from the lack of internet in the 1950s since no one appeared to notice they all sounded the same. Enjoy them below. Or maybe not!

How Turkey’s anthem decided its election

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu's anthem grave gaffe action shot

Things not to do in an election campaign:

1) Visit the grave of the composer of your country’s national anthem, a song displayed in every classroom
2) Announce to dozens of cameramen that your father and him were best mates
3) Wistfully read aloud the words to that anthem
4) Get its name wrong

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a 70-year-old politician running in Turkey’s presidential election, somehow managed to do exactly that last week, mistaking a poem called Martyrs of Galipoli for the country’s anthem, the Independence March (that’s him getting ready to make the gaffe in the photo).

He admittedly only had a slim chance of beating Tayyip Erdogan in the 10 August vote before saying it. But now… Yes, he’s screwed, isn’t he?

It’s a big shame, as the election’s important, especially if you’re a fan of women laughing in public. Ihsanoglu was Erdogan’s only serious opposition. But, if you can’t recognise the words to your country’s anthem, should you be allowed to be in charge of it? (“Yes!” I hear you shout, but that’s not what a 50-year-old builder in Istanbul’s going to think now is it?)

Ihsanoglu’s been trying to defend himself ever since, saying things like, “I learnt the anthem while sucking my mother’s milk.” It hasn’t helped – no one needs that image in their heads!

The BBC’s got a great primer on the election here. Go and have a read like and see an awful photo of Erdogan shamelessly clambering for votes by playing football.