Britain Triumphs Over Germany Again, This Time in a Battle of Ukuleles

One of the great introductions to a newspaper column appeared in the Daily Mail on July 30, 1966, on the morning of the World Cup final between England and Germany. If you believe the legend, sportswriter Vincent Milchrone wrote”

If, on the morrow, the Germans beat us at our national game, we can console ourselves that we have twice beaten them at theirs.

Poetry. Unfortunately, the legend is slightly incorrect. The actual quote is “If the Germans beat us at our national game today, we can always console ourselves with the fact that we have twice beaten them at theirs.” There was, in fact, no use of the phrase “on the morrow.” Damn.

Regardless, I was reminded of the legend when I encountered this story in The Telegraph:

We may not be able to beat them at football but a British ukulele orchestra has won a High Court duel with a German rival which uses an English name.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has persuaded a judge that it has been damaged by the emergence of the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra – which is based in Germany but made up of British musicians.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain bosses claimed that the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, set up in 2009, was unfairly causing confusion amongst fans – and alleged “passing off”.

Judge Richard Hacon today ruled in favour of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, which was founded in 1985, and said its “passing off” claim had succeeded.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain founder George Hinchliffe said he was “absolutely delighted” by the ruling.

England may not have won a World Cup since that day in 1966–and never have been able to beat the Germans at much since then–so her Majesty’s subjects will revel in this victory

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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