Winston Churchill said a lot of things. However, if he said everything he’s accused of sayuing he would’ve started talking in 1736 and would still be talking now. I think that the twentieth century was full of people saying ribald or semi witty things and passing it off on Churchill–a sort of Blame the Dog scenario.
One of the things he allegedly said that is now in dispute is the quote about the (paraphrasing due to iPad) history of the British Navy being 300 years of rum, sodomy and the lash. Historians now dispute that he said this, which makes me actually a bit sad. I kindof like the idea of the First Lord of the Admiralty (head of the
British Navy) slagging off on his charge a bit. But knowing him as I do, that’s precisely why I personally doubt that he said this. Churchill loved the navy.
Regardless of who started this phrase going round I am amused by the idea of a bunch of sailors getting drunk, getting all interconnected via various orifices* and then getting whipped for it. It seems like something aliens would watch on whatever their version of Animal Planet is.
Of course the general chaos that one would assume any such navy to be operating under would seem to preclude that navy from becoming one of the greatest seafaring powers in recorded history. They had to take a few rum breaks to get that It’s Always Sunny In The British Empire thing.
One of the closer nations conquered by Britain and folded into her batter was Ireland. Thus the Irish have very little love, generally speaking, for Mother England. And when an Irish band decided to name their ground-breaking album it seemed only fitting to take that legendary Churchill quote–the one that reduced Her Majesty’s Royal Navy to a bunch of randy bleeding drunks–and use it as the album’s title.
To make matters worse, said album is widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the history of rock. I know I listen to it almost daily from 1 February to about mid November.
This year I decided to do something special…for two reasons. One, I wanted to discipline myself to a unique writing exercise that stretches my creativity and two, I wanted to mark ST. Patrick’s day in some way other than wearing orange**. So Ive decided to write a daily post each day between now and 17 March using the each song title from Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash as a post title and jumping off point. No, I’m not writing about the songs themselves. I’m writing like I usually do, but using the song titles to jump start my brain. It’ll either be fun or a colossal mess. Sort of like ST. Patrick’s day.
*I hate auto-correct. It changed the word “Orifices” to Poultices three times. Three. Whole different scenario, poultices instead of orifices.
**My family is weird.