Recently Sir Paul McCartney, you accepted the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for Popular Song at the White House. As you accepted the honor you mumbled:
“It’s a fantastic honor (for) the Gershwin family to give me this incredible award and for me to be awarded it by the Library of Congress. And in fact, after the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is,”
While we will forgive the Yoda-like ending of the sentence with a verb, the context must be addressed. Sir Paul, you must try not to sing out of tune or you will need a little help from your friends. You see, Sir Paul, the President to whom you are referring in your pithy jibe possesses a Master Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He was also the President of the United States. In comparison, Sir Paul, you are a Knight Bachelor with an education that would not qualify you in the USA to enter into the Harvard Business School. In fact, Five General Certificate of Secondary Education Ordinary Level subjects and an Advanced level subject are about the equivalent of a US High School Diploma and six semester hours of College work for a Baccalaureate Degree.
Now, Sir Paul, during your most creative years with the Beatles your contribution to modern culture is without parallel. No one can argue the fantastic string of musical hits that caught America’s imagination. It was during this time that the man you made fun of recently was serving on duty in the Texas National Guard. He stood ready, when called, to defend his country in time of war. In this country we call that honor and dedication. They are traits we admire and hold in high regard, kinda how England used to be back in World War II.
Sir Paul, I understand that you are enthralled with the new American administration. So enthralled, in fact, that you sung one of your famous songs “Michelle” to the First Lady with much passion and poetry. This was admirable of you considering the venue. But what song would you sing to President Bush if you wished to apologize for your statement quoted above? I have a few suggestions:
“Nowhere Man” – to indicate your lack of knowledge regarding President Bush’s educational achievements?
“Day Tripper” – because it might give you a reason to take the easy way out?
“Fixing a Hole” – to stop your mind from wondering where it will go?
“From me to You” – to keep things satisfied?
“Getting Better” – so that you won’t continue to hide your head in the sand?
“Girl” – so you won’t feel a fool?
“Golden Slumbers” – so you have a way to get back homeward?
I suppose the list could go on and on but I think Sir Paul gets the idea. So at this point I would like to remind Sir Paul of what it means to hold the title of Knight. Perhaps this is best explained through the words of Chaucer in his Prologue to his Knight’s Tale.
“And ever more he had a sovereign price,
And though that he was worthy, he was wise
And of his port as meek as was a maid.
He never yet no villainy he said
In all his life unto no manner wight
He was a very perfect, gentle knight.”
Clearly in Chaucer’s day a Knight was not expected to make snide, unfounded comments at Heads of State. Even today, the Crown expects certain standards of behavior and conduct from those who have been Knighted. For Her Majesty has been known, when circumstances warrant, to annul honors. An example of this was Lester Piggott, who had his Order of the British Empire (OBE) removed after being convicted for tax evasion. Of course, Sir Paul, you were aware of this royal tendency in a song you wrote many years ago:
“Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl but she doesn’t have a lot to say,