As well as including the most sung rugby songs from each of the six nations, there are also popular rugby songs from the tri-nations of the southern hemisphere.
Many of you who read this review will be unfamiliar with the game of rugby and the songs that accompany the fray. However, I would still recommend this book to you so that you may learn something of rugby and its associations.
There are more songs from Wales than any of the other nations, but this is to be expected as the book is compiled and published in that country.
The charming illutrations, including the front cover, are by Siôn Jones.
What was most interesting for me were the translations from national languages into English. Those songs which are sung with most fervour and passion, and even aggression, are sometimes about the most mundane, or even sweet, cuddly subjects. I already knew the translation of the famous New Zealand haka, but who would have believed that the translation of the Welsh song, Sosban Fach
, would open with Mary-Ann having a hurt finger, David the servant feeling unwell and the baby crying in the cradle? Johnny has been scratched by the cat, and there are a couple of saucepans boiling away!
This book is a small package of huge fun.Footnote: It has been brought to my attention that the only two nations, based on the evidence of the song lyrics, who wish death on the other nations are the French and the New Zealanders. I wonder if we should attach any significance to this message.