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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What Is The Evolution Of A Soccer Chant? Part One

Posting Is Inspired by FIFA World Cup Brazil, 2014. 

Effortless Singing During Matches:

Have you watched an English Premier Soccer League on television and listened to the very loud, and sometimes, irritating drone in the background throughout a match (play video, Poetry in Motion)? An American wanted to know how these chants were sung by supporters effortlessly throughout the season, in each and every game, without reference to a document or song sheet as these compositions seemed to be quite lengthy.  
       Liverpool FC Chants - Poetry In Motion - Video by showmetheFOOTBALL

From his observation, although the tunes were different, the lyrics were familiar with everyone and sung with great confidence during the match.  He questioned if they were the same words with different tunes and if the songs were made up along the way.

The Anatomy of a Chant:

According to an ardent fan the chants were not written on song sheets or previously rehearsed because some articulate leader in the crowd would have started the chant and the rest would automatically follow.  Herd (heard) instinct? A reader gave an example, "If meat pies are available for sale before and during a game and if a player on the field looks overweight, it's, 'Who ate all the pies?' as soon as the ball arrives at his feet." 

Another reader replied tongue-in-cheek that fans went to soccer song school to learn the art and it was usually a Friday night in the back room of the local pub.  

Fans had their own set of songs they picked up from the crowd when they went to watch their group playing. They also had different chants and insults that they would sing to jeer the other team. Both sides would sing their own songs all the way throughout the match to encourage their team and to disgrace the opposition.

These songs were most times spontaneous and humorous so if someone said something amusing another fan might create a song from it and the idea would spread like the Mexican Wave.  These chants consisted of only four to five lines and were repeated over and over again throughout a match. 

At the end of the day, the same tunes were used by all clubs and the words subtly changed.  Sad to say, over the years the songs had tended to become more abusive and irritated many fans.
A Caxirola

A Culture Developed:

During international soccer matches, these football or soccer chants became much rowdier and noisier as flags, blowing instruments, drums, maracas, cymbals and in the last World Cup, vuvuzelas (special trumpets - image above) were used to encourage a carnival atmosphere. This year's 2014 world cup in Brazil would feature the caxirola (wazzat?) Ah, but that's another posting...

Chants have become part of the culture that is football today as they keep the players energized, determined and goal hungry; pumping adrenalin and bursting to win. Just like our Kallang Roar in Singapore a long time ago. BTW, with our new stadium opening soon, can we ever get back the Roar?

Enjoy the games on TV during FIFA World Cup Brazil, 2014.  We Are One, Ole Ola!

               The Routers - Let's Go (Pony) - 1962 45rpm. Video by nebroskomusic

The Routers
Hand Clapping Chants:
Remember the song?  One of the most recognizable hand clapping chants in UK football in the 1960s were composed by an American group from  Illinois.  Two brothers wrote, Let's Go, for the guitar pop group The Routers. It was an international hit and very successful in Singapore, played by our bands during stage performances then.
 _________________________________ 

Latest News: 
14th June, 2014:
Singaporeans are watching World Cup Brasil 2014, not from their home but from the comforts of the Community Clubs all around the island. And it's free and on large screens too.

"We can enjoy the games together with our neighbors and cheer as spectators, rather than watching alone at home," remarked a soccer enthusiast.
Probably most UK football fans would be surprised to learn that one of the most instantly recognisable hand-clapping chants heard in England’s soccer grounds during the 1960s and 1970s was created fifty years ago by two brothers born in rural Illinois, Lanny and Robert Duncan.
The brothers wro
- See more at: http://louderthanwar.com/ace-records-releases-roundup-reviewed-ian-johnston/#sthash.Ha5oNugY.dpuf
Probably most UK football fans would be surprised to learn that one of the most instantly recognisable hand-clapping chants heard in England’s soccer grounds during the 1960s and 1970s was created fifty years ago by two brothers born in rural Illinois, Lanny and Robert Duncan.
The brothers wro
- See more at: http://louderthanwar.com/ace-records-releases-roundup-reviewed-ian-johnston/#sthash.Ha5oNugY.dpuf
Probably most UK football fans would be surprised to learn that one of the most instantly recognisable hand-clapping chants heard in England’s soccer grounds during the 1960s and 1970s was created fifty years ago by two brothers born in rural Illinois, Lanny and Robert Duncan.
The brothers wro
- See more at: http://louderthanwar.com/ace-records-releases-roundup-reviewed-ian-johnston/#sthash.Ha5oNugY.dpuf

11 comments:

ALLANCTHOMPSON said...

Dear Andy,
Soccer? Football? The Beautiful game? Bah! Humbug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A bunch of overpaid prima donnas with the pain threshold of an exposed nerve. They trip on a blade of grass and lie there, writhing and groaning like spoilt brats. Compare them with most other sportsmen who dust themselves down and play on. Especially jump jockeys who sometimes have horrific falls and suffer very painful injuries but are back in the saddle for the next race.

Andy Young* said...

I only put up this posting because I thought it would prove useful to soccer fans. I am not an enthusiast myself and am never a sports person. I share Allan's sentiments (unless he's saying it in jest) and agree with his comment.

And they are paid a lot for their antics on the field right Allan?

Thank you for your frank remark. Hope others will join in this rather interesting start-up of soccer days ahead.

BARRY HUNTER said...

Hi Andy,
Hope you`re well!
Can`t help I`m afraid I don`t follow football, the wife likes it but doesn't go to matches.

Best wishes.

Andy Young* said...

I am surprised that there are people in the UK who don't take to soccer. Maybe there are more fans here in Singapore than there are in the the British Isles.

Thank you Barry for the frank reply and constant support for my project. I am well. Hope you and the Mrs are in good shape too.

talk talk only said...

Fan Chants: Football Songs & Soccer Chants is a website where you can download more than 25,000 chants from 500 teams with new chants shared daily.

There's also a built-in record feature where you need to submit new chants for everyone else to hear. Alerts include registering your team and getting notified of new chants as they go live. Done also by iTunes.

BARRY HUNTER said...

Don`t get me wrong, there are a lot who absolutely LOVE football but I`m not one of them!

Best Wishes.

DICK YIP said...

Go! Go! Go!

TALK TALK ONLY 2 said...

NOISE INSTRUMENTS FOR WORLD CUP 2014

VUVUZELA:
is a long horn blown by fans at soccer matches in South Africa.

CAXIROLA:
is a Brazilian percussion instrument created by Carlinhos Brown and consisting of a closed plastic basket with a flat-bottom filled with small synthetic particles.

LIONSATW.COM said...

Singapore has 27 soccer chants supporting their teams and 6 chants supporting individual players. Below are examples:

SINGAPORE LIONS ROAR / WE LOVE YOU MEDLEY

Lyric:
Singapore Singapore
We Are Here With You Singapore
Singapore Singapore
Come On Let's Hear The Lions Roar
Singapore Singapore
We Are Here With You Singapore
Singapore Singapore
Come On Let's Hear The Lions Roar

OOOooooOOOooooOOOooooOOOooo

Come On Let's Hear The Lions Roar!

We Love You
We Love You
We Love You
And Everywhere
We Follow
We Follow
We Follow
Cause We Support
The Lions
The Lions
The Lions
And That's The Way
We Like It
We Like It
We Like It

OOOooooOOOooooOOOooooOOOoooo

LIONS!
___________________________

JONATHAN-TAN

Lyrics:
Jonathan Tan Jonathan Tan (Ole Ole Ole)
Jonathan Tan Jonathan Tan (Ole Ole Ole)
Jonathan Tan Jonathan Tan (Ole Ole Ole)

HERRY JUSUF said...

Yes, I know them. Chants are normally followed by an official musical instrument. They are upbeat but I do not like Vuvuzela.

Andy Young* said...

Thanks Herry for information.