We Can Rule You Wholesale

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Mentioned in Moving Pictures, this song is Ankh-Morpork's "national" (civic) anthem. It was written by a widely travelled vampire who noticed that in every country, all patriots know only the first verse of the national anthem and then mumble along and sing the bits they do remember very loudly to give the illusion they know it all. Thus inspired he decided to cut out the middleman, as it were, and write the version that would be sung by patriots regardless of the officially sanctioned version. During the revolution of the Glorious 25th of May (documented in Night Watch), the singing of this anthem by Reg Shoe was considered evidence of rebel activity. In Unseen Academicals the anthem was sung, as is traditional, before the start of the Foot-the-Ball match at The Hippo.

Lyrics

"When dragons belch and hippos flee
My thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of thee
Let others boast of martial dash
For we have boldly fought with cash
We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes
We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose.

Morporkia! Morporkia!
Morporkia owns the day!
We can rule you wholesale
Touch us and you'll pay.

We bankrupt all invaders, we sell them souvenirs
We ner ner ner ner ner, hner ner hner by the ears
Er hner we ner ner ner ner ner
Ner ner her ner ner ner hner the ner
Er ner ner hner ner, nher hner ner ner (etc.)
Ner hner ner, your gleaming swords
We mortgaged to the hilt

Morporkia! Morporkia!
Hner ner ner ner ner ner
We can rule you wholesale
Credit where it's due."

Annotations

The song title might be a reference to the Philip K Dick We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. In Roundworld it was written for the BBC Radio 3 programme The Music Machine by Pratchett (words) and Carl Davis (music) and performed by Clare Rutter, a soprano, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

It might possibly be approximately sung to the Roundworld tunes Tannenbaum or The Red Flag

Note: Wholesale really is another name for trade, but it doesn't just mean to trade something. When you buy something in a shop 'trade' you expect to buy it at a lower price, likewise if you sell wholesale you expect to sell it for a higher price than retailers. In other words, retailers keep the customer's price high and the stock price low. This is probably why wholesale appeals to Ankh-Morpork.

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