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Glory, Glory Alexis Sanchez

January 22nd, 2018 · No Comments · Arsenal, English Premier League, Football, soccer

Alexis Sanchez, an attacking player recently of Arsenal FC, moved to Manchester United today, as his deal to switch Premier League teams was completed.

That meant it was time for an “unveiling”, as the Brits inevitably describe an “introduction” … typically with stiff and anxious new player behind a table, with a club executive nearby, flourishing a pen.

In this case, however, Manchester United went with something more … challenging — breaking the news of ManU’s newest acquisition through a club video starring … musician Alexis Sanchez!

In the video the Chilean is shown playing the piano, carefully picking out the tune to “Glory, Glory Man United” — better known in the United States as “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

That set off a debate among fans (and more than 6 million of them had seen the video in its first 24 hours) over whether or not Sanchez was actually playing the piano.

Which is vaguely insulting, is it not?

“Guy plays soccer; he can’t possibly do anything else of value.”

Well, 1), no one juggles a soccer ball every waking moment; it is possible to pursue other interests, between training sessions, and, 2) it wasn’t like he was playing a Beethoven concerto there.

(Plus, others searching the web found other examples of Sanchez apparently playing the piano.)

As the video continues, the music swells as Sanchez pulls on the Manchester United shirt, thereby validating his existence in the universe, then walks out to the pitch at Old Trafford, takes a deep breath and stares off into a future that pays him a Premier League-record 350,000 British pounds ($490,000) per week.


Back to the tune. Catchy, is it not?

I have heard it recently, here in France. At a Christmas show. The French have taken the tune and come up with their own lyrics for what turns out to be an old (and oft-appropriated) melody.

The history of the tune goes back to the 1700s America, and the music was used for all sorts of hymns and religious tunes.

It eventually achieved more attention attached to the words of “John Brown’s Body” — a tribute to the abolitionist John Brown.

Soon after, Julia Ward Howe came up with the lyrics with which many Americans are familiar: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord … with the “glory, glory, hallelujah” refrain.

Ward Howe probably had no idea how popular the song — with her words — would become.

So popular that it would become common in the stands at various English football teams … and the theme song to Alexis Sanchez’s move-to-ManU video.



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