A record number of people are there all set to join in a rousing chorus (the ones who know the words, anyway), and someone decided to throw a spanner in the works.
That bit in the middle, the pause where the music usually goes da-da-da-da: it’s there for a reason. It’s for a large intake of breath so that the crowds teetering at the cliff edge of ‘Send her victorious!’ know just when to launch themselves off into it and can do so at maximum volume.
For some inexplicable reason (does it breach some sponsorship deal?) that da-da-da-da has disappeared for London 2012. It’s been replaced by a rather indeterminate dee-daa. All those patriotic crowds, arms whirling as they balance themselves for the leap, are overcome with indecision, casting panicked glances at their neighbours to see who knows when to jump. What would normally be a razor-sharp blast of sound degenerates into a series of mistimed mumbles, not managing to scramble back together much before ‘ICTORIOUS!’
There are some things that people just shouldn’t mess about with, they’re there for a reason: steering wheels on cars, tails on dogs and that da-da-da-da in the middle of the National Anthem.
Off with their heads!