Swedish National Anthem Butchered By Zlatan? You bet!

Posted: October 15, 2015

Updated: October 15, 2015

I’ve often thought international football matches could be made more entertaining by forcing players to wear small microphones throughout, it would certainly make the singing of the national anthems amusing given most footballers sing like bricks swim, something Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone out of his way to prove with a recording of the Swedish national anthem.

Zlatan Gets Gold Disc
• Sings national anthem
• Swedes in Euro 2016 play-offs

Being English it is awfully easy to be jealous of other nation’s national anthems. One only need hear “God Save The Queen” once to know that it’s a slow soul-sapping dirge that sounds like the creation of a manic depressive royalist with a serious desire to force his tongue into their majesties where only customs officers dare to push a rubber-gloved hand at border checkpoints. Only slightly more jolly than the Hungarian national anthem (officially the most depressing in the world) the British national anthem’s lyrics are insulting and it’s tune is dire.

It was once suggested by Billy Connolly, a Scot of all people, that it should probably be replaced by the theme tune from the long running BBC radio 4 soap “The Archers”. Listen to the two, tell me he’s wrong. Of course Mr. Connolly is probably (he’s a comedian) just poking fun, lets remember the English only relatively recently removed the verse about needing to “crush” those “rebellious Scots”, but at least the Archer’s theme tune would be more jolly than the present British national anthem which makes the Swedish national anthem sound like a floor-filling rave classic.

People have, over the years, tried to jolly it up a bit, even if the best attempt was by the Sex Pistols and only managed to retain the first four words of the original, but with the tempo and structure of the original there’s very little even the most talented arranger of music can achieve, regardless of who is singing. Those who like to bet on sports in Sweden on sites like ComeOn! Sportsbook, however might already be aware that the Swedish national anthem has recently won gold for none other that Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan Sings The Swedish National Anthem 3,000,000 Times

For those of you who are unaware of this vocal legend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays football, he plays it exceedingly well, and only suffers from the two draw backs of being a) a little hot headed and b) having some intelligence and a sense of humor. The sporting press and media dislike talented sports stars with intelligence and a sense of humor, they too often fail to produce the correct quotes on cue, and perhaps their badgering of him has driven Zlatan to develop a thick skin, a biting wit and an ego the size of a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier.

His rendition of the Swedish national anthem got 3 million downloads and thus won him a gold disc to hang on his wall, and allowed him to tweet amusingly ego-tastic statements as he is all too well known for doing. To actually listen to the song one probably needs to speak Swedish, but the general impression is of a modernistic approach to an old tune and the result isn’t all that ghastly, even if Zlatan sings as all footballers do…….badly (for the most horrific evidence of this, see John Barnes rapping in England’s 1990 World Cup song “World In Motion”).

Now I’m sure no one was gambling news of Zlatan getting three million of anything would be met by anything but derision from his detractors (those who say he’s too flamboyant, too much of a character and his performances aren’t consistent enough) however given all national anthems, including the Swedish national anthem, are by and large awful to begin with the criticism all sounds like sour grapes, unlike Zlatan’s singing which sounds like they’d had to dose him with scopolamine before he’d get in front of the mic.

Cut The Throats Of Your Sons

Perhaps fortunately for the big Z and the Swedish national anthem there are few national anthems that stand up to close scrutiny. Many have lyrics that seem a tad gauche, or have the musical balance of a terminally ill dung beetle attempting to play the cornet, or, indeed, are so ridiculously up their own arse in either one of these regards that they’re equally ghastly. The US national anthem for instance is almost impossible to sing correctly, and even when done right (Yes, Whitney Houston, I’m look at you) you still have all those rockets and bombs bursting away.

Not that the US is alone in feeling the need to be a tad threatening, Vietnam’s has that whole “the path to glory is built by the bodies of our foes” bit, the French included “savage soldiers” that will come to “cut the throats of your sons” and the Algerians get straight to the point with “When we spoke, none listened to us, so we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm, and the sound of machine guns as our melody.” Which is pretty hardcore compared to the British plea to a supernatural being to save some German tart in a palace.

I wouldn’t necessarily take advantage of Swedish gambling laws to bet that I will hear the Zlatan version of the Swedish national anthem played at the Olympics any time soon, although if Sweden manage to slip from their current malaise, make it through the play-offs and beat the odds to win Euro 2016, some wag will probably have it cued up and ready, especially if Ibrahimovic has been instrumental in their winning, and, given his singing, he should probably stick to being instrumental regardless.

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