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Crowd Songs at Football Matches Continue to Drive Incredible Atmosphere

 Crowd Songs at Football Matches Continue to Drive Incredible Atmosphere
  • Fans of football, but not shirts

As spoiled as we are in America with multiple platforms to view Premier League matches, I get the distinct feeling that HD television viewing, as glorious as it can be, doesn’t come close to attending a match in person. Sure it’s nice to sit back, relax and watch football from the comfort of your own home, but the living and breathing action of the world’s game right in front of your eyes, live and in person is an event not to forget, regardless of how many matches you’ve attended in your life.

My opinions on the benefits attending live as opposed to watching on TV are simple assumptions based on my personal experiences attending live sporting events in the States. I’ve in fact never stepped foot in England and hope to one day change that, but until the Yankee dollar shapes up, I’ll have to make due with satellite television and the Internet.

We could spend all day weighing the positives and negatives of going to a match v watching from home, but the one irreplaceable and distinguishing factor between the two is without a doubt the atmosphere and more specifically the crowd songs that take place at a match. A proper football atmosphere would surely beat the couch, even if it’s the gloomy English weather accompanying you on match day instead of your significant other on the couch.

We’ve recently asked for a lot of feedback from EPL Talk readers concerning their match day rituals, football viewing company, and how may matches watched on TV per week, but in a way we almost neglect the punters, the actual paying customers who scratch and fight their way through traffic and trains to attend a match. Hopefully this post will give you a chance to have your say.

There are a variety of ways Americans are drawn to football. One of them that continually gets mentioned when I talk to new soccer fans is their fascination with the crowd songs. It could be the simplistic flipping of the channels only to end up on a match aired at an odd time on an odd channel. If the potential future footie fan stays for longer than a few seconds, it’s likely they grew up playing the sport as a youth. They know the rules, they know the purpose, but it’s possible they’ll stay a few additional seconds as their interests are peaked if and when they hear the crowd singing.

Close your eyes and imagine multiple thousands of supporters grouped together, standing and singing as one in full voice. It’s a powerful mental image and compelling moment when captured on TV and leaves a lasting impression on a potential newbie American soccer fan. Call it lost in translation or call it poor audio transfer, but the fantastically entertaining songs sung at football grounds are rarely discernible on TV. The combined efforts of the faithful singing few usually comes across as a melodic roar in unison. Audible, but often unclear.

I’ve always hoped either an FSC or Setanta (RIP) would run a ticker across the bottom of the screen as a sort of football subtitle of crowd songs so I can read, understand and even learn a few songs of my own. One can find a good deal of song lyrics and the melodies those songs are based on with a bit of research and just a few moments using Google, but it’s not the same as being able to understand the songs while watching the match.

The fan run websites are rarely updated and are sometimes of poor quality. The apps available in the official App Store that contain football chants and fan songs are mostly worthless and rarely even worth the pound or dollar spent.

So we turn to you, the football punter. You’ve spent half a weeks wages on a ticket, pre match meal or pint and transportation to the grounds only to sing so loud and so long you’re likely to lose your voice. What then are the songs you sing to your heroes? Which ones are the best, most creative, or worst?

As a Manchester United supporter, one of may favorites is the song sung about central defender Nemanja Vidic. It goes a little something like this:

Nemanja ohhhhh

Nemanja ohhhhh

He comes from Serbia

He’ll ****** murder Ya!

And although I don’t condone the threat of violence, every time I hear United fans sing it, I can’t help but to sing along and will often have the tune stuck in my head for the rest of the day. If one really pays attention, they can often form together bits and pieces of a song and come up with enough to sing along.

From what I’ve witnessed across the pond on a 42′ LCD HD TV, the songs at English grounds continue to drive the atmosphere and make the sport a thing of wonder. Songs have been sung well before my time and will continue on well after I’ve left the Earth as sacred traditions to supporters of English football. These cherished rituals will continue to be passed down from generation to generation as the football going public continue to show up and support their club with pride and full voice.

Use the comment section below to share your favorite, least favorite or most humorous song heard or sung at a match.

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23 Responses to Crowd Songs at Football Matches Continue to Drive Incredible Atmosphere

  1. phil says:

    how can you not love:
    he’s five foot fouurrrr
    he’s five foot fouuurrr
    we’ve got arshavin
    fuck ad-e-bay-or

  2. Lee says:

    English football chants are unique. Tongue-in-cheek, humourous, often satirical, sometimes offensive and always relevant, these make the English atmosphere what it is. It’s hard to put it into words, but the feeling of singing en-masse with thousands of others about something you’re all passionate about is unbelievable.

    Example – Man Utd chant for Park Ji-Sung:

    Park, Park, wherever you may be
    You eat dogs in your own country
    Could be worse
    Could be Scouse
    Eating rats in a council house

    I imagine most Americans who find the British humour hard to grasp may find the above chant offensive and racist. It’s a tongue in cheek chant that celebrates Park and simultaneously slags off Scousers – bonus!

  3. IanCransonsKnees says:

    They’re what football’s about in this country. Some can be particularly vicious.

    Some of my favourite Stoke ones are:

    After Robinho was accused of sexual assult, “Robiniho she said no, Robiniho she said no!” accompnaied by the obligatory “Touch like a rapist.”

    To Wayne Bridge after the John Terry scandal broke, ” Cock on your curtains, he wiped his cock on your curtains.”

    To Adebayor after the Togo tragedy, “Adebayor, Adebayor, used to like coach trips, but not anymore!”

    I could go on forever.

    My favourite recent one was Monday night at Liverpool Portsmouth when all you could hear was the pocket of Pompey fans chanting “3-0 and you still don’t sing.” Anfield is vastly overrated as an atmospheric stadium.

  4. Jesse says:

    One of the things that always interests me about the songs is how quick supporters can come up with new and relevant material. If a footballer makes the news either good or bad, a song is sure to spread in the stands at the very next match.

    For anyone from England who regularly attends matches, How do the songs spread so quickly among the supporters? Is it as simple as one person coming up with the song, sharing it with his mates and hoping it will catch?

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      Some just spontaneously occur. Others just germinate on a messageboard before the match. Everybody sees the news so the Robiniho one I mentioned occured the day after. It’s just natural over here.

      Another good one was whilst Gerrard was on his assault trial. ” He hitss like a girl, hits like a gi-irl, Steven Gerrard hits like a girl!”

      In terms of how they spread around a ground they’ll start off in a pocket of support and it’s just if they catch on.

      It’s why I keep saying on here that if any of you ever come over try to catch an away match, the atmosphere is far superior being in the minority rather than the majority. The

  5. Leeboy says:

    @Jesse

    Pretty much. Basically a few witty and vocal fans are all that is required, and if others like it they’ll quickly pick up and join in. Not all chant starting is succesful!

    Most chants use the tune and arrangements of old songs, although more modern songs are now used, such as Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes which I think originated at the most recent European Championships.

  6. CTBlues says:

    Can you hear the Arsenal sing?
    Noo noo
    Can you hear the Arsenal sing?
    Noo noo
    Can you hear the Arsenal sing?
    I can’t hear a FUCKING THING!

    Where ever they go we’ll follow our team,
    For we are the Chelsea and we are supreme,
    We’ll never be mastered by no northern bastards,
    And we’ll keep the blue flag flying high,
    Flying high, up in the sky,
    We’ll keep the blue flag flying high
    From Stamford Bridge to Wembley
    We’ll keep the blue flag flying high

    Carefree, wherever we may be
    We are the famous CFC
    And we don’t give a fuck
    Whoever you may be
    ‘Cos we are the famous CFC

    • Jo Marsh says:

      And at West Ham, we reply:

      “up yer arse, up yer arse
      From Stamford Bridge to Upton Park,
      Stick yer blue flag up yer arse”

      I rather like:

      Chim chiminy chim chiminy
      Chim chim cheroo
      We are those bastards in claret and blue

      Many fabulous songs around footie grounds every week. Youtube often captures some fairly decent clear songs, but in many cases it is indeed a blessing that they are NOT easy to understand! Have a look at this: West Ham fans singing Bubbles at the Wembley play offs, and THAT gives you a great idea of the atmospere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLf7D80COMQ

  7. barry says:

    Cadiz supporters who sing about alcohol and getting drunk.

  8. DaddyBoy says:

    I would think that these little chant songs come from these Fanboys after work when they’re out on the side fields in their home towns while playing their own little pickup games. Just like we do when the Father comes home from work and finds his youngsters in the driveway with the ball a bouncing and he just throws off his work clothes and starts talking trash and makes up little songs like while driving to the hoop…like…

    Get otta my way fool
    cause I takin ya ta school…
    Get otta my lane
    or yall feel the pain…..
    Listen to my lore
    as I move and score………..
    Just stand there and watch as I hit the hoop
    Now I gotta go in and take a poop…….
    Cause Dad just worked a hard day long
    came home and school ya and made up this song…..

    I imagine most of those little songs started just like that? With some Fathers quick and smart wit?
    Love ya Boy!

  9. Jesse says:

    DaddyBoy,

    Not exactly what I was looking for but interesting feedback none the less. It must be nice to know and important to share with the rest of the world that if your current employment were to ever fall through, you’d still have a lucrative career as a Rapper waiting for you.

  10. Marc says:

    This badge is your badge
    This badge is my badgse
    3 stripes & 3 sails
    Oh what a fine badge
    You tried to take it
    But we replaced it
    On the shirt of United FC
    LUHG

  11. Dools says:

    I’ve found http://fanchants.com/ to be a good resource for learning the lyrics to the songs. Many even have soundbites so you can get a feel for the rhythm too. I often would find that I’ve been singing the wrong words (by myself in front of the tv in the States) after looking them up.

  12. I am excited by the creativity we’ve got on the ground floor here in Philadelphia for the MLS’ newest franchise, the Union.

    Of the Brazilian midfielder Fred, formerly of D.C. United, now of the Union, to the tune of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend”:

    Oh D – C – U!!!
    You had what we need-ed
    And now we’ve got your Fred
    And now we’ve got your Fred

  13. Grant says:

    “Call it lost in translation or call it poor audio transfer, but the fantastically entertaining songs sung at football grounds are rarely discernible on TV.”
    I suspect that this is actually a deliberate move, since about half of the chants listed so far are full of swearing. While it wouldn’t bother me, the tv networks broadcasting the games might not want to air the whole home support telling the away fans to fuck off. Cable/satellite networks like FSC or ESPN aren’t required not to air dirty words, but they generally try not to, as they don’t want to take a chance of offending fans. (Or worse, offending advertisers!)
    On the other hand, this would be a perfect role for a Widget, like the Gaffer was talking about earlier. I would love to have the lyrics to fan chants scroll across the bottom of the screen during a match. Of course, I don’t know how you’d get the lyrics from the stands to the widget, short of having someone sit in the stands and text everything anyone sings to the widget programmer. Actually, if that is a job opening, I would like to apply.

  14. Charles says:

    I’m not sure you can call the atmosphere at most Premiership grounds incredible. If you really want an amazing experience you should go to a Bundesliga match. From my own experience, German crowds are what I wish EPL matches will someday become.

  15. Leeboy says:

    Fair point Charles but I disagree. The Premier League is part of my culture [English} so I understand all the chants and cultural references etc. I’m never gonna get the same experience from Bundesliga

  16. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Lee and Charles both make valid comments.

    Supporting a team that has been in the wilderness until recently I got pretty excited at having a raft of new away grounds that were pretty much unknown territory. Having visited all but three of the current EPL stadia I can honestly say I’m disappointed. The away support that 50% of teams bring to the Britannia is generally pretty good. I’d rate Villa, Spurs and Manchester United as the loudest away followings. At home Spurs were good and the rest have been unforgettable.

    The biggest shocks for me have been Anfield and Goodison, poor support (in terms of noise) and completely outdated stadia. They need to move fast.

    Arsenal have always been lame, hence tag ‘Highbury Library’ and nothing has changed.

    I appreciate that we’re not the most attractive opposition but we generally take a good following and are usually very vocal, which is what you need to get the atmosphere going on both sides.

    The atmosphere at Liverpool v Portsmouth on Monday was shocking and I suspect it will be the same again against Lille.

    We reckon that the TV companies raise the volume at some matches to make it seem more atmospheric.

    • josh says:

      up untill a few seasons ago we where the bestfans in the league now all you get is day trippers turning up at anfield who dont even know the words to ynwa and messing up the atmosphere

  17. The funniest one. says:

    the funniest one ever….
    SIT DOWN MOURINHO!
    SIT DOWN MOURINHO!
    Sit d-o-w-n M-o-u-r-i-n-h-o!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ITQdCh852A

  18. ovalball says:

    Now is probably as good a time as any to express my appreciation for the comments from you guys across the pond. You obviously have a much closer and more personal view of things than we Yanks. I also enjoy the occasional vocabulary clarification. How the hell would we know without you?

    Don’t get too puffed up, though. It doesn’t mean you’re always right. ;-)

  19. Endi says:

    Nothing beats actually being at the football match, especially in the lower leagues, my home team is in npower league one and the passion for our team is great standing up on the terraces the hot smell of the cornish pastie, outside walking in feeling the buzz of adrenaline, hearing the people having chats in the club bar, programme sellers shouting to buy programmes, and then after the game the amazing feeling for a club like exeter to beat a massive team like leeds united in the league is just a fantastic feeling, during the match you get your rutine songs and then you get the funny ones likewe payed for your hats,anyway i advise any americans visiting england, dont just watch the epl explore a lower league team theres many of them in london, from millwall to dagenham, to barnet even, just explore as many teams as possible to see there different personalitys

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