Billy Connolly made a very good joke in one of his shows. Growing up in Glasgow he was very aware of the rabid fury that ensues at a Celtic versus Glasgow Rangers old firm game. He observed the animal nature of the chanting and how people coming into the game, even if they’d never been before got the nature of the chant and the celebration when one of the team’s scored. If only you could hear chanting on the Football Training drill Videos that teams use to help enhance their skills and performance. As soon as the goal went in the entire terrace would erupt into a scripted celebration that everyone got. He mused, amusingly, that there was no one going “um hang on, it’s this followed by that followed by that hand gesture. Right got it! Oh, its half time…”
The chant at the football match is a clever wisecrack, a taunt and a direct very loud insult all rolled into one. This is not even necessarily directed at the opposition it could be your own players. It is deeply tribal; many psychologists have likened it to the abuse that opposing warbands used to shout at each other to rile up feeling. The equivalent of the Anglo Saxons banging their shield and shouting “Urt!” at the invading Norman army. Players are supposed to blot this out but it’s hard to see how they can. For example, to the tune of That’s Amore;
“When you’re sat in row Z and the ball hits your head that’s Zamora”. A claim by Fulham fans during Bobby Zamora’s inability to score when he played for them.
“You should have stayed on the Telly!” This to Alan Shearer as he failed to save Newcastle United from relegation. He actually took their advice on that.
“Your teeth are offside, your teeth are offside Luiz Suarez, your teeth are offside”. A good-natured attempt to unsettle the then Liverpool player by the friendly Manchester United Fans. This is very mild compared to some others. Proving that they can laugh at themselves the Liverpool fans provided this total gem to the tune of Blame it on the boogie by Michael Jackson.
“Don’t blame it on the Biscan, don’t blame it on the Hamann, don’t blame it on the Finnan, blame it on Traore. He just can’t, he just can’t, he just can’t control his feet.”
There are lots of others that are just as effective. Saying oooooh before the goalkeeper takes a goal kick, ending with him being excrement is still popular in the lower leagues and there is the euphoric “and it’s (insert team name and repeat) FC! They’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.” Even when this is plainly untrue.
Turn the radio on and you’ll hear a selection of the following sounds, the newest releases, the current number one and those just bubbling under plus probably a golden oldie or two. Ever wondered what the most played record of all time on the radio is? There has to be one and this is, based on the available evidence of the top songs played. This might be a mark of quality greater than the chart itself as it shows the longevity of the tune’s popularity. Will the current batch of today’s artists get the same amount? It’s a different time what with online streaming now and YouTube but radio itself remains quite popular. They’ll have a lot of catching up when you see the leader’s totals. You’d certainly expect to find them being used in, In store Music. Click here if you are looking for the answer to What is in store music?
- Every breath you take – The Police. 11 Million Plays. Released on the 20th May 1983 it was taken from the bands “Synchronicity” album. It reached number one and has been voted the best UK number one ever. Whilst it’s made them millions the band are a bit disparaging about it. Stewart Copeland sees the tune as “generic, not Stings best” and Sting himself thinks people have misinterpreted it as a love song rather than about a creepy possessive lover of undetermined gender. A fact born out in rehearsals as Sting would sing “Oh can’t you see; my Dog has fleas…”
- You’ve lost that loving feelin – The Righteous Brothers. 10 Million Plays. Overtaking by Every breath the song was first released by the Righteous brother in November 1964. It was the fifth bestselling single that year but progressive covers by artist such as Cilla Black, Dionne Warwick and Hall and Oates have kept it relevant. It’s a deeply sad song about the end of a relationship and again can be gender neutral. The first line “You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips” is reckoned to be the best opening lyric ever written.
- Yesterday – The Beatles. 9 million plays. The Fab four were bound to be along at some point and this one of their greatest. It was a huge departure from their sound at the time, only Paul is heard singing and an orchestra is included, that it wasn’t released as single in the UK (until 1976) but was in the USA in 1965.
It was an indication of the promise they had and would more than fulfil. The tune came to Paul in a dream and they all worried he had accidently copied a previous work he had heard sub consciously. It was almost released as a song just under Paul’s name. It is the most covered song in recording history.