We’re doing a music and football quiz at Rough Trade in Bristol on Thursday so we decided to write about our favourite football and music songs. Criteria is loose. James Bird is unsurprisingly the loosest. You can sign up for the quiz by emailing email@example.com
THE FARM—ALL TOGETHER NOW
Ypres, Belgium 1995. I’m on school history trip to the battlefields of World War 1, all my mates are in the local shops buying bangers, cigarettes, and mucky playing cards. I’m on my own strolling around the beautiful rebuilt town soaking all in. I’ve got the Walkman on, the guitar kicks in, and then the lyrics “Remember boy that your forefather’s died. Lost in millions for a country’s pride…” I’d purposely put ‘All Together Now’ by The Farm on a mixtape before the trip because I was 14, loved football and had what was an unhealthy interest in one of the most brutal conflicts the world has ever seen. A song about a football match in no man’s land in World War One, to a sound that was typically 1990, was very much up my street. While my mates were letting off bangers at unsuspecting locals, smoking Gauloises out of sight of the teachers and playing rummy whilst getting a very different type of sexual education, I was, on reflection, being a bit too reflective for a 14-year-old, but hey, we all had our moments as a sulky teenager, I blame the inherent geekiness and all the hormones. There’ve been loads of daft football songs, and of course, they have their place, but none are more important or still as relevant today. “Nothing learned and nothing gained…” Seb White.
THE HARRY J ALL STARS—THE LIQUIDATOR
No contest. I was dancing to this at my Youth Club, aged 14, way before it became me babbies anthem. Every time I hear it at The Mol, everything goes wavey and I travel back in time. Dave Blackhurst.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS—C’MON WALES (TOGETHER STRONGER)
CHRISSY COLEMAN / GUNTER, CHESTER / HENNESSEY, ALLEN, KING, AND COLLINS / DAVIES, LEDLEY, TAYLOR, RICHARDS / HAL ROBSON KANUUUUUUUUUUU.
SO COME ON RAMSEY, LET’S SET THE WORLD ALIGHT / WHEN GARETH BALE PLAYS, WE CAN BEAT ANY SIDE / SO COME ON WALES / SO COME ON WAAAAAAALES / TOGETHER STRONGER, WE’LL WIN IF WE UNITE
Doesn’t really work as a song, did we care? Not a jot. It was the best summer of our lives. This and Men of Harlech bouncing around our heads and all around France. Bendigedig. Josh Millar.
RIGHEIRA—L’ESTATE STA FINENDO
You’ll have heard Liverpool’s version, and perhaps Napoli’s, you might have heard Celtic’s and, if you watched Match of the Day at the weekend, you might have heard Cardiff giving it a go as they got absolutely fucking panned by Manchester City.
However, listen to the original. It’s better. Watch the video, look at the mullets; there isn’t a football stadium in sight. It’s fantastic. It’s a song about the last days of summer, the fleeting glimmer that is youth. Sing along, if you can. Lorius Karius can’t ruin this one. Not this time. Dan Sandison.
MARY HOPKINS—THOSE WERE THE DAYS
It’s 1925 and the Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli has recorded a song composed by Boris Fomin and Konstantin Podrevskii called Дорогой длинною. It’s a very nice song, and a singer called Mary Hopkins would go on to release an English version in 1968 that did very well indeed. It’s a nice song. It did well.
It’s Boxing Day 2012 and we’re freezing the Banks’ mild to our tongues on the North Bank at the Molineux and for some reason Ståle Solbakken is our manager and we’ve got Roger Johnson at centre back and we are getting absolutely blubbered by a Peterborough side who are bottom of the table and we are absolutely futile. We are getting hyper-relegated for the second season in a row—Dean Saunders will come in and make sure of that in January. “THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND, WE THOUGHT THEY’D NEVER END WE’LL SING AND DANCE FOREVER AND A DAY, WE LIVE THE LIFE WE CHOOSE, WE FIGHT AND NEVER LOSE, WE ARE THE WOLVES, OH YES WE ARE THE WOLVES” flops out of people’s mouths around the stadium like a limp, wet sock on a radiator that hasn’t been turned on.
It is a nice song, but fuck me, we are not doing well. We are not doing well at all. James Bird.
LIVERPOOL FC—THE ANFIELD RAP
Didn’t know much about Hip Hop in 1988 as I was nine years old and mostly listened to Michael Jackson at home and Bruce Springsteen in my dad’s car. We used to stand out of the sunroof singing it whenever he drove us anywhere. I did know a lot about Liverpool FC, though. I read everything about them in SHOOT & MATCH and knew that Steve Nicol’s nickname was CHOPS because of the way he said chips and that they were the best team in the world. I also knew a lot about lairy tracksuits and baseball caps, so when the Anfield Rap was released, it seemed the most natural thing in the world and I never batted an eyelid as it rocketed to number three in the charts ahead of the FA Cup final against Wimbledon.
It’s probably not my favourite football song. I love singing Fields of Anfield Road and Poetry in Motion and they’re tired and they wanna go to bed (for a wank), but fucking hell I’ve just watched the video to the Anfield Rap for the first time in a while and there is a lot going on.
Johnny Barnes screaming the intro looking like the coolest man on the planet in his sunglasses. The nicked intro from LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells. Aldo & Macca’s little duet. Bruce and his massive bloody gloves. Aldo and Macca telling people how to talk proper. Shanks’ words filtering through the noise. Johnny Barnes dancing. Aldo and Macca leathering Johnny Barnes for being from south of Watford Gap. Craig Johnson using his verse to have a moan at Kenny for not picking him very often. The Scottish lads. The Scottish lads singing “OCH AYE THE NOO, THERE’S FOUR OF US, AND ONLY TWO OF YOU, SO IF YOU WANT NO TROUBLE, AND DON’T WANT A SLAP, THEN YOU BETTER TEACH US THE ANFIELD RAP. The bit where David Burrows runs across the screen and says something about London. BRIAN FUCKING MORE DOING A VERSE WHERE HE RHYMES DALLAS WITH BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND CALLS OUT BOBBY ROBSON FOR NOT PICKING STEVE MCMAHON. The bloody refrain of Twist & Shout at the beginning. All of it is wonderful. Owen Blackhurst
THE KILLERS—WEMBLEY SONG
My mate’s mum bought us tickets to The Killers at Wembley. That’s right. And I couldn’t work out if ‘Wembley Song’ was the best or worst thing I’d ever seen. Not a song entirely about football, though it does include the belting line “66, the winning team, Freddie Mercury and Queen…I can still hear Freddie sing”. It goes on to pay homage to those that have played there before “The Boss, The Stones, The Man In Black…The Bitch is Back and Fleetwood Mac” and their own journey “From Dave’s apartment to Wembley.” I’m still not sure if it’s socially acceptable to love it, but I do, it’s just someone who’s fucking ecstatic to be playing Wembley, which we all want to do, so fair play. If it didn’t remind me why I love football, it definitely reminded me why I love Wembley. And if it allows me to sing “dayyyy-o with 80,000 people on the pitch where Gazza flicked that ball over Colin Hendry, then I’m alright with it. Mike Backler.
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