Monday, August 20, 2007

Sing it for me baby

Live sporting events are great. If you are at the right stadium, and it's a good game, you are generally guaranteed to be part of a great atmosphere that you only find at live games. Playoff baseball is amazing, as is playoff basketball, and tailgating and what not seems like fun too.

The difference between fan participation at the major US sports and same at European soccer stadiums is fascinating to me though. At a Celtics game, loud music and cheerleaders try to push the crowd to get involved. Same goes for the Patriots. The Red Sox fans are a little livelier.

They can sometimes come up with some pretty good chants too. Take for example the '99 playoffs when Roger Clemens, pitching for the Yankees, got relieved early after being shelled. Fenway was jubilant, and a large section chanted 'Where is Roger *clap clap, clap clap clap*'. After a little while, another section chanted back with 'In the shower! *clap clap, clap clap clap*'. Just good times at the Fens.

Fact of life though, US sports will never come close to the intense fan participation of European soccer, or indeed world soccer. A huge feature of, for example, any English Premiership match, is the witty, acerbic and sometimes downright silly chants the fans come up with. No cheerleaders, no loud music, just 40-50,000 people chanting/singing the same song.

Football fans. Loud, obnoxious, colourful, and just damn funny

I am not going to try and 'order' this list, they are all funny for different reasons. Just sit back, imaging 50,000 people singing each one and enjoy.

"Let's talk about Cesc baby, lets talk about Flam-in-i, let's talk
about Theo Walcott, Freddie Ljungberg and Henry, let's talk about
Arsenal fans, To the tune of Salt and Pepa's Let's Talk About Sex. Plenty of creativity and imagination on display here but sadly Henry is now gone to Barcelona, rewrite!

"You should have stayed in a burger!"
Crystal Palace fans to Colchester goalkeeper Dean Gerken.

"We've got Dave Tilbury, He'll paint your house for free,
He quotes and estimates, He paints and decorates."
Windsor & Eton FC fans to painter and decorator Dave Tilbury who was
making his 200th appearance for the club against Marlow.

"Here we go, here we go, here we go,
Youssef's better than Junin-ee-oh
Here we go-oh,
Morrocan All Over The World."
Norwich fans' chant to Youssef Safri, to the tune of the Quo's Rockin'
All Over The World.

"Niall Quinn's disco pants are the best,
They go up from his a*** to his chest,
They're better than Adam and the Ants,
Niall Quinn's disco pants!"
Sunderland fans to chairman Niall Quinn.

"Cedric Cedric show us Uras."
Falkirk fans to defender Cedric Uras

''We can see you,
We can see you,
We can see you holding hands''
West Ham fans recently chanted this to the Brighton fans

''He's fat,
He's scouse,
He'll rob your ******* house,
Liverpool fans. They love him really.

''Does your boyfriend
Does your boyfriend
Does your boyfriend know you're here?''
Chelsea to the Zaragoza goalie at the Zola tribute game, dressed in pink

"Just a fat Eddie Murphy
You're just a fat Eddie Murphy,
Fat Eddie Murphy,
You're just a fat Eddie Murphy."
Newcastle fans to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. He actually laughed at this himself.

"Sign on, Sign on,
With a pen,
In your hand,
Cos you'll nev-er get a job.
Youuuuuuu'lllllll nev-er get a job."
Chelsea fans in response to yet another refrain of 'you'll never walk alone' by Liverpool fans. Harsh.

Finally, my own personal favourite. For years European Rugby fans had to suffer doubly at the hand of England. First of all, they were damn good. Secondly, their fans insisted on singing 'Swing low sweet chariot', the irony of England being one of the leading slave owning nations for centuries and the fact that swing low is a slave song lost on the average English Rugby fans. Well, the tide turned, and England are now laughably bad. Ireland are now vastly superior and trounce them regularly, which is rather enjoyable. At a recent Irish win in England, the English fans tried a weak rendition of 'Swing low' which didn't last long as Ireland score to stretch their lead before they had even finished the verse.

A song rose, clearly audible, from the massed Irish fans amongst the crowd, to the tune of 'She'll be comin round the mountain'

''You can stick your f*cking chariots up your a*se
You can stick your f*cking chariots up your a*se
You can stick your f*cking chariots
You can stick your f*cking chariots
Stick your f*cking chariots up your a*se''



blacksoxfan said...

Meh, it's just different traditions. Although my theory for soccer fans sing and chant is to keep themselves entertained during the boring game.

Dave said...

I really wish US fans could get into this stuff. One question; how does everyone learn these chants? Some of them look like they're on the fly. Are there just a set number of tunes people use and they interchange names ?

Cormac said...

Cool, a interesting comment and a pig headed, ignorant comment. Nice. For anyone to call soccer 'boring' and be so dismissive of such a majestic sport with such a rich history behind it is just ignorant. Each to their own I guess.

Dave, great question, I don't know, and I have been to many games. I never did figure that out. At big Ireland matches its often just a few people take a chant up and everyone follows.

Great question though, something to look into!

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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