Music and football have had a long and rich relationship full of unexpected joy… as well as some remarkable duds. But overall, it’s been very positive, and it’s hard to imagine the England national team today without the words ‘it’s coming home’ printed on your psyche. And let’s not forget about Fat Les’ ‘Vindaloo’, and New Order’s ‘World in Motion’. But what about Premier League teams? Each club has its own fascinating musical tradition, with lyrics and tunes that get the fans off their feet time and time again.
Whether it be a traditional club anthem, a common chant or simply the music played as the players take to the field, each team has its own identity forged by the music at its heart. And we know how important music can be to communities.
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Liverpool
Nowhere else in the world of football is a club more intrinsically linked to a song. The central lyric of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ appears to speak of Liverpool as more than a club (something Barcelona do less subtly in their motto of ‘mes que un club’. Goal explains how it took on new significance after the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989, when 96 fans lost their lives. Before each game at Anfield, the fans stand for a rousing rendition of the song, which leaves away fans watching (or joining in) with awe. Rather controversially, the song isn’t entirely Liverpool’s, because the fans of Celtic up in Scotland also sing it, while Borussia Dortmund in Germany and Feyenoord in Holland also got in on the action.
Blue Moon – Manchester City
This old show tune, made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, has been sung from the terraces at Manchester City for the best part of three decades. Huge ‘Citeh’ fans Oasis even got in on the action. Although the team play in blue, this is thought to be a happy coincidence in the fans’ preference for the song. According to SB Nation, it is actually a tongue-in-cheek reference to City’s poor form in the 1980s, when the team were said to win once in a blue moon. It’s a far cry from today, as the football odds on Ladbrokes suggest that Man City are among the favourites this season to lift the Premier League title… once again. Who would have thought that when the song first started at Maine Road?
Liquidator – Chelsea
This time, it’s not about lyrics. This fun and jaunty tune sounds as the players walk onto the pitch at the beginning of games. It has long been a popular tune at football grounds, having been played at Wycombe Wanderers, Northampton Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers among others. But it is best known at Chelsea, whose resurgence under Thomas Tuchel has them vying for pole position this season.
Duel of the Fates – Tottenham
Spurs play the music from Star Wars at the beginning of their games in an attempt to rouse the fans and up the tempo in their stadium. It’s a change of tack from the golden oldie McNamara’s Band, which is still played at half time. At the end of victories, they play a version of Glory, Glory Hallelujah, which Man Utd also claim as their own. Manager Nuno will be hoping to make Spurs as thrilling as their walkout tune once again this season.