Whenever the English (there are separate Sctottish and Welsh teams) soccer team is playing against the German team, the English fans like to sing:
There Were Ten German Bombers In The Air, There Were Ten German Bombers In The Air, There Were Ten German Bombers, Ten German Bombers, Ten German Bombers In The Air.
And The RAF From England Shot One Down. And The RAF From England Shot One Down. And The RAF From England, The RAF From England, The RAF From England Shot One Down.”
With each repetition the RAF shoots down another German bomber.
Thing is, next year the Soccer World Championship tournament will take place in Germany, and the English national coach Sven-Goran Eriksson doesn’t want the English fans to sing that song in Germany: ‘It is really important that we respect our German hosts.’
This attempt to avoid giving offence is quite worthy. Unfortunately the same spirit isn’t always prevailing here in Germany. A popular German childrens’ song with the same melody as ‘Ten German Bombers’ is called ‘‘Zehn kleine Negerlein (Ten Little Negroes), and in each stanza a ‘Little Negro’ dies is a different way – respectivily drowning, getting shot, gluttony, a spell from an evil witch, stuck in s swamp, drinking too much beer, gluttony again, sunstroke, excessive grief, and run over by a horse carriage.
The Swedish coach’s exaggerated sensitivity is quite amusing, but I think we should emulate him as far as our children’s songs are concerned. It is easy to imagine the outcry by the German media if it turned out that children in the American south were taught songs like this, for example.