Monday, May 12, 2008

The greatness of soccer songs

Some of the finest things about soccer are the inventive anthems each team's fans come up with. They can reference a past triumph, immortalize a particular player, or mock rival players, teams, fans and even the referees. They're also one of the prime reasons why soccer is so much more interesting and interactive than other sports: most North American pro sporting experiences involve blasting canned music (occasionally all right), doing "The Wave" (see Drunk Jays Fans for a great takedown of that one), running stupid animations on the scoreboards (Ben Knight had a nice rebuke of those), or trying to pump people up via the stupid NoiseMeter (no outside destruction of this is needed).

Songs have always been a hallmark of the European soccer experience, but they've caught on in North America as well: the Whitecaps have long used "White is the Colour" (a takeoff on the popular Chelsea song "Blue is the Colour"), and TFC supporters have come up with some fantastic new variants. My favorite TFC one is below, traditionally used after a call goes against the Reds (note: language warning. To the tune of "My Darling Clementine"):

Who's your father, who's your father, who's your father, referee?
You don't have one, you're a bastard, you're a bastard, referee
Who's your girlfriend, who's your girlfriend, who's your girlfriend, referee?
You don't have one, you're a wanker, you're a wanker, referee.

The other great thing about songs is everyone can get involved in creating them. With this in mind, I figured that Sunday's Premier League title was a deserving occasion to add a couple of new verses to the old standard, "Glory, Glory, Man United" (to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic: note, these are in the style of the original song's verses, not the modified verses often used in the Man United version). Here they are:

The pie-eaters are crying at the rugby pitch in vain
The Blues are jumping off the Bridge, much to their mothers’ shame
The Gunners fired blanks all year, the Scousers did the same
As we go marching on!

Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
The Reds are marching on!

Ronaldo boldly stepped up to convert the penalty
Ryan Giggs drilled home a strike, passed good old Sir Bobby
Rio, Vidic and Van der Sar kept our own net ball-free
And we’ll keep marching on!

Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
The Reds are marching on!

Now we’re marching off to Moscow seeking European glory
Where France and Germany have failed, we can complete our story
We’ll beat Roman on his home turf; tell Uncle Avram sorry
For we’re still marching on!

Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
Glory, glory Man United
The Reds are marching on!

2 comments:

  1. Oh no. No no no. No you didn't.

    How could you possibly glorify your club's nicking of Spurs' song? Shame!

    Quoth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glory_Glory_Man_United

    "Manchester United fans claim that this song was adapted in the 60s but with the lines 'In Seventy-Seven it was Docherty, Atkinson will make it Eighty-Three' prove that this song was adapted much later than claimed. It is in fact Tottenham Hotspur that used the song in the Glory Days during the 60s."

    Wanker. Here's a song for ya; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glory_Glory_Tottenham_Hotspur

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  2. Oh yes, I did. I'm quite aware that we nicked it, but "Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur" sounds ridiculous: it has far too many syllables. Besides, you nicked it from Julia Ward Howe in the first place. Besides, at least we've had glory days since the 60's!

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