I understand that British people tend to construe their plural nouns as plural, even when they sound singular, so that they would say, "The Who are embarking on another farewell tour," whereas an American speaker would more likely say, "The Who is embarking on another farewell tour."
So what are we to make of the first two lines of the chorus to Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army"? To wit:
Oliver's army is here to stay
Oliver's army are on their way
Is there some subtle distinction between the two subjects that I am not grasping? Or is ol' Declan just having a bit of a larf on us?