Cool Britannia

Meanings of “Cool Britannia”

The phrasecool Britannia” means to signify the perfection of the British culture during the 90s when the United Kingdom was witnessing the peak of its success. It also means the contemporary good British culture.

Origin of “Cool Britannia”

The phrase “cool Britannia” is stated to have been derived from the song “Rule Britannia.” Later, it was used in a song as its opening of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah’s album Gorilla, released in 1967. Later, it was used by Cosmo Landesman in 1993 in The Sunday Times in which he published his article. It was given as: “The children of cool Britannia may not know much about trigonometry.” Since then the phrase has been famous in almost the same meanings.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Cool Britannia: For Black History Month by Stuart Butler

By all that’s calendrical,
Black History month seems somewhat tokenistic
Don’t you think?
By all that’s zodiacal,
It amounts to just one twelfth of the total,
Just 8 point 3 per cent of the annual,
Leaving 91 point seven per cent of the year
Allocated, presumably, and understandably,
To the ceremonies and rituals
That mark the passage of the seasons,
According to the traditions of, as it were,
White Anglo-Saxon Britain;
Traditions that can, myopically,
Forget the Remembrance Day Empire contributions
Made by Black and Asian troops in 2 World Wars,
And can ignore the reliance on loyal Asian seamen
Made by our Hearts of Oak merchant marine.
So let’s let every month be designated
For the remembrance of history,
And let’s let every one of these islands’ ethnic groups
Have its turn of remembrance,
And let’s learn from each other,
And let’s learn about each other,
So that a rainbow Union Jack
Will fly from every car aerial and flagpole,
In post-Imperial Wembley Britain,
And there will be Black in the Union Jack:
Cool Britannia.

This poem expresses the poet’s love for his country about whom he recounts the full history from the Anglo Saxon period to the present, going through its imperial days. The poet also mentions the Asian colonies, the feats of the Asian soldiers in both World Wars. He pays tribute to the land of Britain and those soldiers who shed their blood for it. At the end of the poem, he mentions the Union Jack and says the flag has some black spot for those people adding that now it is “Cool Britannia.” The start and end of the poem with this phrase show the poet’s patriotism. Therefore, the phrase could be termed a fair use of a metaphor.

Example #2

Americanizing Britain: The Rise of Modernism in the Age of the Entertainment By Genevieve Abravanel

Telegraph, as Larkin records in an article entitled “Cool, Britannia,” British Jazz had come into its own. Larkin notes; Not so long ago, the unlikelihood of the Briton as a jazzman would have been perfectly expressed by thinking of him in a bowler hat. Result: complete incongruity, like Mrs. Grundy dancing the can-can. Yet today the bowler hat is worn with jolly unselfconsciousness by some of this country’s most popular groups as part of their stand uniform. Nobody laughs. In fact, they cheer. British jazz has arrived, in Britain at any rate.

This passage discusses Philip Larkin’s article about the Americanization of British society, saying that now the United Kingdom is producing its own cultural mores like jazz and other such practices. That is why he has titled it “Cool Britannia” which is a literal meaning of the phrase.

Example #3

Contemporary Poetry: Poets and Poetry Since 1990 by Ian Brinton

During the early 1990s, the Labour Opposition realized that it had to server its links with a traditional past if it was to replace what was perceived as Conservative greyness’ and in a world of ‘Cool Britannia’ and pop groups such as Stone Roses, Blur and Oasis the pat was set for the promotion of Tony Blair, ‘a regular sort of guy.’

Although this passage sheds light on Britain’s political transformation, Tony Blair brought to reap the fruits of the cultural transformation. The writer, Ian Brinton has highlighted this fact to show that as cool Britannia was a cultural change, Tony Blaire found it easy to exploit the public feelings to let the public ride on it and take part in American adventures. The phrase is used in its original meaning.

Example #4

Brit Wits: A History of British Rock Humor by Iain Ellis

Such strategic irony had its macro manifestation in the whole political, cultural, and artistic hype encapsulated by the slogan “Cool Britannia.” Well educated in the “spin” of US political rhetoric, “new Labour leader Tony Blair tagged his “old” party with his favorite catchword and proceeded to court, accommodate, and celebrate everything young and “new” in the culture, including himself. His “Cool Britannia” campaign in the mid-1990s was the essence of post-irony in its post-modern referencing.

The passage occurs in Brit Wits by Iain Ellis, which shows how Britain produced great figures during the 90s among which Tony Blair, the opportunist was one of them who popularized this catchphrase very fast to win his seat in 10 Downing Street.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Cool Britannia was a wave that spread from the songs to the universities and then to the parliament in a way that it speaks the common language, simmers and slithers as well as warns and alerts about its likely impacts.”

Example #2: “Once cool Britannia was not uncommon, but these days with blended culture, Britain’s taking a new cool shape.”

Example #3: “Cool Britannia is like a new canal that flows in the hearts of the people. It doesn’t matter if you are from a different ethnicity.”

Example #4: “Cool Britannia is not such a good idea as it has been advertised. First, Britain must end the racist culture.”

Example #5: “Joseph painted Union jacks on every furniture he bought to show off good times of cool Britannia.”