When in Reykjavik . . .

by Jay Nordlinger

In my “Cruise Log” yesterday, I mentioned attending a Filipino “crew show,” at which they waved their flag and sang their national anthem. I then had some remarks on being moved by other people’s anthems and other people’s patriotism — their “true patriot love” (to borrow from an anthem up north). Of course, some patriotic expressions — and a great many nationalist expressions — are disgusting.

At any rate, these comments occasioned much mail, and much interesting mail. Readers told so many fascinating stories, I wish I could publish a booklet of them. Let me publish one letter, the shortest of them all:

I tear up when hearing Smetana’s Má vlast or watching the scene in Casablanca when the “Marseillaise” drowns out “Die Wacht am Rhein.” And the Icelandic national anthem is one of the most beautiful, and most demanding, anthems anywhere.

Memo to self: Find and listen to Icelandic national anthem. The country may be dead broke, but how nice to have an outstanding anthem, in addition to outrageous female pulchritude.

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