For the uninitiated, watching a professional football game on TV can be confusing. The balloon is so small! The players move so fast! Announcers speak a mile a minute! Meanwhile, an incessant roar comes from the fans in the stands. Often unintelligible to the naked ear, this heckling is an integral part of the tradition of football: The song of the terrace.
According to Andrew Lawn, author of We Lose Every Week: The History of Football Chanting, the good thing for fans new to football chanting watching the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is “that there is no There’s no right or wrong way to do it as long as you’re having fun.
Football, says Lawn, is a reflection of society and nearly every chant in the game is a celebration of community. “When you bring together 5,000 people from all walks of life, you have a cross section of society. And then the singing of football is the most audible means by which this cross-section of society can be heard. So sometimes it’s a really positive thing. Sometimes it’s a really horrible thing. But it’s still a really powerful thing.
The history of football chants
The history of football chants begins in the days of Victoria, in Norwich, England. Written on the piano, the Norwich City FC chant ‘On The Ball, City’ is known as the first football chant, and its focus for the local Norwich community is emblematic of how the chants began.
In the 1960s, Cilla Black and the Beatles became big names in music, but “they were also very famous in Liverpool,” says Lawn. Their songs like Anywhere Who Had a Heart and She Loves You became another way for Liverpool fans to celebrate their home and introduced pop songs into the football canon.
The chants were influenced again when fans began to travel to matches, so there would be away fans in the crowd. “It was about celebrating your own place, but also mocking” or ridiculing “someone else’s place,” says Lawn. The lyrics would be tailored to fit the team or team area, and sung to melodies from pop songs and anthems.
Football sings now
Today, the songs draw on all kinds of inspiration, remixing pop songs and anthems. YouTube plays a big role in spreading catchy versions of songs around the world, and fans “choose the best tracks from other places”, then talk about their team, and “use it to celebrate their own place”. Lawn said.
After COVID-19 lockdowns began to lift and fans returned to stadiums to watch games in person, Sweet Caroline suddenly emerged as a football chant. Lawn says it was “very rooted in the experience of the pandemic.” He captured the feeling of the nation, moving on from being apart and overjoyed to be together again, singing “Good times never felt so good” and “Hands, hands touching. Reach out to me, touch me, touch you.
Chants can also be used as a way to have fun when the football isn’t very good, says Lawn. “You can kind of use it as a way to entertain yourself if the game is boring, which it sometimes is. »
Explainer: Everything you need to know to be a World Cup fan this year
The world cup and football chants
Football’s biggest tournament, the World Cup, has been the starting point for some of the most famous chants in football history.
Around the 1930 World Cup, Uruguayan fans showed their chants, and during the 1950 World Cup, Brazil’s “carnivalesque” way of supporting the team with music and sound was broadcast in the around the world, making them famous for their colorful and loud musical backing, says Pelouse.
The Globe and Mail sports reporter Paul Attfield said the Argentine Vamos, Vamos Argentina is particularly iconic, originating from the 70s and used in the country’s two World Cup victories.
Attfield adds that no World Cup would be complete without the memories of the vuvuzela horns from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the Icelandic thunderclap from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
At the World Cup in Qatar, Lawn predicts there will be “a lot less chanting and a lot more general murmuring, crowd noise”, due to lower international fan attendance. “I don’t think it will look that much like football,” he said. Qatar is expecting 1.2 million visitors for the World Cup, while more than five million fans were in Russia in 2018 and 3.18 million fans attended the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Someone new to football can listen to English fans – especially their band – play and sing along to the theme song from the 1963 Michael Caine film The Great Escape, which Attfield says the band like to play at every game in the World Cup and Euro. And you’ll probably hear the team singing Three Lions, a song originally composed for UEFA Euro 1996 in England, says Attfield, which became legendary with the lyrics “It’s coming home, it’s coming, football’s coming home”. Despite this song, England have not won the World Cup since 1966, and have never won the Euro.
Globe and Mail columnist and Ahead of The Game podcast co-host John Doyle says Canadian fans might hear the call-and-response chant that Toronto FC supporters use, where a person throws the question, “What are you singing? (What are you singing?) and the crowd roared back, “We sing ‘Reds go!’ (We sing ‘Let’s go Reds!’) over and over and over again.
Doyle says it may scare MLS teams from the United States and others, who don’t know why they’re suddenly singing in French in the stands in Toronto.
Do you have a favorite football chant? Share it with The Globe and Mail by emailing [email protected]
Source : BBN WORLD NEWS