English football fan chants and songs

The best football chants from England

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FC Portsmouth 4

FC Portsmouth 4

FC Portsmouth Logo.

We will follow the Portsmouth

The Spurs’ anthem, more than any other, marked the beginning of the new era in football singing, heralding a torrent of new songs and chants, first at Anfield, Liverpool, then across the country as a whole. The following song is sung typically when the game is going well. The opening verse is usually sung by a small group of voices with more and more progressively joining in until the invitation, “All together, now!” when, hopefully, the full chorus joins in, with synchronous hand clapping.
“We will follow the Portsmouth

Over land and sea … And Sainsbury’s!

We will follow the Portsmouth

Where ever they may be.

All together, now … ” (repeat chorus)

There are several variations in wording. For example, instead of “and Sainsbury’s”, Chelsea and Arsenal sing “and Leicester”. Also, the words “On to v-ic-tory” are more common than “Where ever they may be”. The tune comes from Edward Elgar’s, “Land of Hope and Glory”.

You are my Portsmouth

This is another happy and optimistic song, delivered with great feeling and gusto by the fans when their team is winning comfortably, is “You are my … ” It is usually begun by a leader who sings the first line with the main body of fans quickly taking up the rest of the song. The “la, la’s” are accompanied by synchronous clapping and tend to fade away. Tune: “You are my sunshine” by J.Davis and C.Mitchell. Chelsea used to have a version in which the whole song was “la-la”ed.
“You are my Portsmouth, my only Portsmouth,

You make me hap-py, when skies are grey.

You’ll never no-tice, how much I love you,

Until you take .. my Portsmouth .. a-way.

La, la, la, la, la.

La, la, la, la, la.

La, la, la, la, la.

La, la, la, la, la …” (fading)

Oh, when the Blues

This is one of several chants in the football repertoire which is initiated by a leader. Leading is an art and the right moment has to be choosen to begin the chant. The fans need to be well aroused, but there must also be a slight lull in the crowd noise so that the leader’s voice can be readily heard. If the conditions are right then the chant will be readily taken up by the main chorus. The tune is the traditional jazz tune: “When the Saints go marching in”.
Leader: “Oh, when the Blues”

Chorus: “Oh, when the Blues”

Leader: “Go marching in”

Chorus: “Go marching in”

Chorus: “Oh, when the Blues go marching in.

I wanna be in that number,

When the Blues go marching in.”

Like most football chants this one is sung very rapidly and vigorously with the fans clapping synchronously on the beat with their hands held aloft. In the event of the chant being repeated, which may happen if the fans are very excited, then the leader is dispensed with and the intro is sung by the whole chorus. The chant is popular at most clubs where the appropriate club colour or nickname will be used instead of “Blues”. Also, Chelsea sing “steaming in” instead of “marching in”. At Southampton the original “Saints” is used.

In Portsmouth’s fair city

This is another popular classic and is a good sign of a happy and confident mood among the fans. It used to be sung as part of the celebration song medley following a goal and in anticipation of victory. The clapping sequence is executed very rapidly and may be repeated, and on the final exclamation “Portsmouth!” the fans fling both hands outwards in the air. Tune: “Cockles and Mussels” (a traditional Irish song).
“In Portsmouth’s fair city

Where the girls are so pretty

I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,

As she wheeled her wheelbarrow

Through streets broad and narrow

Singing …

X X XXX XXXX Portsmouth!”

You’ll never walk alone

This is the most well known of all football anthems. It is the ‘official’ Liverpool anthem from the hit record made by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963. The story of its adoption by the Anfield Kop apparently relates to an occasion when the Liverpool players sang it on a TV show together with Gerry and the Pacemakers. The fans quickly identified with the song and took it onto the Kop where it has remained ever since. The song is usually repeated several times with the second verse being punctuated by synchronous clapping (XX):
“Walk on .. walk on,

With hope .. in your hearts

And you’ll ne-ver walk a-lone,

You’ll ne-ver walk a-lone.

Walk on (XX) walk on (XX)

With hope (XX) in your arms (XX)

And you’ll ne-(XX)-ver walk (XX) alone,

You’ll ne-(XX)-ver walk (XX) alone”

Although the song is primarily linked with Liverpool it is now popular with fans throughout the country. When scarves went out of fashion, the fans used to wave their hands to and fro, or punch their fists into the air in time with the song. The first verse is typically sung slowly and with much feeling, with the fans holding their scarves horizontally above their heads and swaying from side to side. When engaged in by many thousands of fans at an arena such as Wembley, this creates a superb atmosphere. The second verse (not obligatory) is sung much more quickly and in a more punchy style rapid hand clapping interspersed with the words. A truncated and threatening version of the song is sometimes sung in response to the celebrations of opposition fans, “You’ll never walk again …”.

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