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Subject: You'll Never Walk Alone

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 05/12/14 at 2:06 am

Do English people think about how strange it sounds when the football crowd breaks into "You'll Never Walk Alone."  I mean, 99% of Americans are clueless as to what song they're trying to muster or the significance behind it.

Well, in this clip, the Liverpudlians are already breaking into it, and then the the band and the singer strike up from the field and sort of lead the anthem.

However, I caught some English football on telly this morning and the crowd was breaking into "You'll Never Walk Alone" in the middle of the game.  It sounded like some Pagan war cry from Pictish times!  My God! 

I learned about "You'll Never Walk Alone" because Tackhead (Gary Clail, et al.) used it in "The Game -- You'll Never Walk Alone."  Some mixes have more stadium singing than others, but they still gave credit due to Rodgers and Hammerstein.  I didn't understand it until a British guy filled me in on how it get started in sixties as a the theme for Liverpool's football club.

Here's Tackhead doing one of those football mixes of "The Game" (1987).

And here is the Gerry & The Pacemakers version, which I think is the one Liverpool adapted in the sixties --

So when you've got 80,000 souls spontaneously breaking into that, it makes quite a peculiar vocal rite!  I like it a lot!
Of course, if I was English, I would have grown up an English nerd hating football, and it's attendant hooliganism and jingoism, and I'd probably hate "You'll Never Walk Alone" until my dying day!

Subject: Re: You'll Never Walk Alone

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/12/14 at 4:21 am

From wiki:

In the United Kingdom, the song's most successful cover was released by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963, after the band's producer George Martin suggested that they record it as a follow up to their hit "I Like It," peaking at number one in the singles chart for four consecutive weeks.

The song quickly became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game. The words "You'll Never Walk Alone" also feature in the club crest and on the Shankly Gate entrance to Anfield, their home stadium.
The 'Shankly Gates' entrance to Liverpool's home stadium Anfield

According to former player Tommy Smith, lead vocalist Gerry Marsden presented Liverpool manager Bill Shankly with a recording of his forthcoming cover single during a pre-season coach trip in the summer of 1963. "Shanks was in awe of what he heard. ... Football writers from the local newspapers were travelling with our party and, thirsty for a story of any kind between games, filed copy back to their editors to the effect that we had adopted Gerry Marsden's forthcoming single as the club song." Shankly later picked the song as his eighth and final selection for Desert Island Discs on the eve of the 1965 FA Cup Final.

Marsden himself told BBC Radio how, in the 1960s, the disc jockey at Anfield would play the top-ten commercial records in ascending order, with the number one single transmitted last, shortly before kickoff. Spectators would sing along, but unlike with other hit singles, once "You'll Never Walk Alone" dropped out of the top-ten, instead of disregarding the song, supporters continued to sing it.

The song was later adopted by Scottish team Celtic F.C., Dutch teams Feyenoord, FC Twente and SC Cambuur, Germany's Borussia Dortmund, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Mainz 05, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Alemannia Aachen, FC St Pauli, SV Darmstadt 98 Eintracht Braunschweig, Belgium's Club Brugge, Japan's F.C. Tokyo, Spain's CD Lugo. and the Marist St. Pats MSP 80/80 Blues. In Ice Hockey, the song has been adopted by German Deutsche Eishockey Liga side Krefeld Pinguine.

A special recording of the song was made in solidarity with Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire in 1985, when 56 spectators died and many more were seriously injured. The song was performed by The Crowd, featuring Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney and Rolf Harris, among others.

Some years later, after witnessing a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" at Anfield in 2007, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, said he felt inspired to seek lyrics to his country's wordless national anthem, the Marcha Real, ahead of Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

I hope this helps in explaining, I could not describe it in my own words.

Subject: Re: You'll Never Walk Alone

Written By: Paul on 06/08/14 at 5:56 pm

Tommy Smith's recollections may well be right, for all I know, but somehow, I cannot imagine a grizzled, dour Scot like Shankley being 'in awe' of some jumped-up little Scouse band's latest single (as was)...but strange things do happen and quite how why the Liverpool faithful decided to adopt this song from a rather dark musical is just one of those things that defies all logic...

The band themselves took quite a risk releasing it, as it wasn't yer typical Merseybeat fare. It proved to be their peak - after a brief flurry of US success, their popularity soon slid away, but at one point in their career they were going toe to toe with 'the other' Merseyside band...

And yes, it's quite something to hear it being belted out by the supporters at close range!

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