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Football Poet Laureate

A much needed service and useful employment for poets.
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Now, I like going to the football and I like the atmosphere. I also now know many of the chants appropriate to certain events ("the referees a wanker" etc.). However, when nothing is happening which necessitates one of these chants, songs are sung. Most of the singing is done in the block where the rabid fans always stand. Now, they know *some* songs, all of which contain the name of our team, BUT, these same songs are also sung by every other team's fans with the other team's name crowbarred in.

This I do not like. There's no creativity involved, no individuality. I want our own songs. Songs which belong to us. Songs which no other team's fans sing. Songs which scan.

I propose that each team hire a poet laureate. Professional poets probably have time to spare and could probably do with the cash. They could write short, simple verses to be chanted or sung to a well-known tune (best keep it simple).

They could invent songs (other than "there's only one <insert name here>") to honour a favourite player, to commemorate a glorious victory, to insult arch rival teams. Song sheets could then be handed out every few weeks (or the words could be displayed on a giant screen if your team's posh enough for that).

squeak, Mar 11 2004

Attila the Stockbroker http://www.attilath...r.com/footpoem.html
Official poet in residence at Brighton & Hove Albion FC. There's also an official poet at Bradford City, I believe. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]

Search for Football Chant Laureate http://www.4thegame...res/feature/141567/
Led by Britain's Poet Laureate, Andrew "turgid crap and woeful rap" Motion. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep http://mujweb.cz/ww...y/Middle_Chirpy.htm
With Czech translation, for European awaydays. [calum, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       One thing that I love about going to football matches* is the way the two crowds react to one anothers chants. You get a dialogue going on between the two sides and sometimes the spontaneous invention of new chants. How does a chant get started? More amazingly, how does an entire stand know to stop singing all at once?   

       A friend was once at an Arsenal match at Highbury where the entire stand stood up and sang to the tune of "Where's your mother gone" (if that's what it's called - you know the one!) "Nigel Winterburn!" at which point the entire adjacent stand, with no prompting, replied with "Nigel Winterburn". So OK, it don't look like much on paper but you get the idea).   

       I also remember hearing of a chant sung at a match where Andy Goram was playing. Goram had recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, so the chant became "There's only two Andy Gorams".   

       * well it can't be the performance of Watford. That's not exciting at all.
hazel, Mar 11 2004
  

       Once met Andy Goram in an Edinburgh pub. The lavs were at the foot of a steep set of stairs. Andy nearly took the door off as he entered, head first, landing on his arse, completely bladdered.   

       A few weeks later, saw him playing for Rangers against Aberdeen, he let in a speculative shot from about 50 yards. He just put his hand up and nodded. Think he was probably still pissed from the night before. What a 'keeper though.   

       Oh yeah, the idea - I like, but doubt most fans would. Poets laureate, I feel, would struggle to control flowery verbosity, thus failing to capture the more earthy expressions from the terraces. But we all sit now, don't we? Still, it'd be interesting to hear what they'd come up with. +
saker, Mar 11 2004
  

       Baked. <linky>
DrBob, Mar 11 2004
  

       [Hazel] I love it when that happens too. But it happens so infrequently. And interaction between the two sides is great too. My team had a terrible trainer for a while and the chant of "Peter raus" (Peter out) was often to be heard. At one home game, we were loosing disgracefully, so much so that the opponents' fans chanted it too (Peter's gone now).   

       [tsuka] Erm.... not *quite* what I was aiming for. We need to keep it simple. Opens up a whole new vista though. Football poetry. Football haiku!   

       That was not offside
The referee's a wanker
We'll get him later
  

       Ooohhh, that must have hurt
Give him red, ref, give him red
Penalty must come
  

       [Dr.Bob] Do they do songs for the stands, though?
squeak, Mar 11 2004
  

       If YOU want the job, shit poet laureate Andrew Motion is conducting a search, sponsored by Barclaycard, for a Football Chant Laureate (see link).
kropotkin, Mar 11 2004
  

       <aside>I was always under the impression that the "There's only two Andy Gorams" chant was inspired by his ability to be crap all season against the diddy teams and then play out of his skin against Celtic. Not for nothing was he nicknamed "The Flying Pig" by jealous Celts. </aside>   

       <aside>[hazel], the song is called "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" and is by Middle of the Road. Link.</aside>
calum, Mar 11 2004
  

       one of my personal favourites.   

       [sets the scene, Watford 3, Grimbsy 0. Grimsby is a coastal fishing town in N England. Song to the tune of Go West, Pet Shop Boys]   

       Watford crowd
You're shit and you smell of fish (repeat til bored)

Grimsby crowd
We piss on the fish you eat (chuckles abound)
jonthegeologist, Mar 11 2004
  

       [saker] Terraces are only banned in the UK, as far as I know. There are still terraces here on the mainland. Thankfully. And toning down the "flowery verbosity" is part of the scheme. It must be chantable and the grunts must be able to understand it. Bonuses are probably given for any new chants that include obscenities.
squeak, Mar 11 2004
  

       // include obscenities //   

       I honestly can't imagine a football game, at any level (and I include playground kick abouts), without them.
saker, Mar 11 2004
  

       Is there such a thing as a mormon football team?
squeak, Mar 11 2004
  

       [saker] I once saw a Dad with a young son at a Watford match (Watford are reknowned for their family friendly policies) ask the guys around him if they wouldn't mind not swearing in front of the littlun. They all apologised profusely and spent the rest of the match pointing out how the referee wasn't such a nice chap after all. Of course the rest of the stand kept up the usual chants. I'd happily take my (as yet unborn) kids along, which is just as well because [jonthegeologist] is determined they will be Watford supporters, despite us living half a mile from Bristol City.
hazel, Mar 11 2004
  

       [hazel], I find that surprising and amusing. I was watching a bunch of 10 year olds at the weekend and the air was blue, from the kids on the park and from the adults on the touchline. Love it.   

       Kids'll always be exposed to swearing unless you keep them wrapped in cotton wool in the cupboard under the stairs with earmuffs on.   

       I often go watch my local Junior side. Now, Scottish Junior football - *that's* when you know you've been at the game...
saker, Mar 11 2004
  

       squeak, who else would come up with the following (from a couple of seasons ago and to the tune of 'It's Amore')...

"When the ball hits the goal
It's not Shearer or Cole...
It'ssss Zamora!"
DrBob, Mar 11 2004
  

       That's the silly thing [saker]. Get the guys in your row to stop swearing but don't worry about the rest of the stand or the opposing fans. Funny! I reckon kids can swear better than adults anyhow.
hazel, Mar 11 2004
  
      
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