Morning all. Plenty of snippets of Arsenal information being fed through the official site at the moment. They’re not exactly mega-super-must-read awesome, but they do offer the occasional chink of light in the darkest hour of the Interlull. Arteta talking about responsibility, Eisfeld talking about how he’s improved at Arsenal, plus Arsene talking about shorter players that are technically more important because the density of their bodies. All interesting reads for five minutes or so, and I’m sure elsewhere you could get a proper analysis of how important bone structure of the whole team has been on our positional play this season, much deeper stuff than I could ever produce.
So with a dearth of news at my disposal, I think I’ll dig into the brain cells and pluck out a topic that has always been in my mind, but I’ve never really blogged about before: football fan songs. This has come back into my thinking recently after a quick Twitter discussion with Mean Lean over at Arsenal Vision. I’ll come to the discussion in a bit.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into a history of songs sung on the terrace and the significance those songs had on our society today; I’m a simple, simple, man after all. No I just want to use this subject matter to basically twist my recollection of life that paints Arsenal in a much more favourable than any other team. I hope you don’t mind? If you do, speak now, and I’ll stop right away.
I’ve felt for some time that at The Arsenal, we’re quite good at being original when it comes to fan chants. I’ve thought this for some time but never really said anything to anyone about it, the main reason being that I thought ‘every team when their at home would have original songs and so I’m just hearing what I want to hear with Arsenal, and believing what I want to believe’. That was my thought, anyway. But over the last five years, as I’ve travelled to a number of Premier League grounds I have to say, most of these smaller teams that are so boisterous at the Emirates are not as original in their chanting as you’d believe. Whilst at The Arsenal, we’ve given the likes of the Vieira song, Nasri’s KC & The Sunshine Band chant, plus that player we thought scored when he wanted. The most recent song, whether you like it or not, is Olivier Giroud sung against the backdrop of Paul McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’. This was the song which prompted my thoughts on a blog a week of so ago. Mainly because it adds further weight to my belief that if you want fresh and original songs sung, you come to the Emirates. There may be some logic behind it – we have 60,000 fans coming to our games, as opposed to 30,000 – therefore it may be that by sheer numbers we’re getting originality. You could also argue that the high churn of our best players has forced the gooner fans to come up with more songs than their other big city rivals with just as bigger fan base. But I prefer the more romantic notion – we’re just more creative and artistically better as a collective than any other collective of fans are out there.
Earlier on I mentioned about our originality. What i should have said, but am too lazy to go back and correct, is that we have originality when it comes to developing new songs. There are of course historic songs that are original and aligned to the culture of a club; in-grained in their status as fans of a club and something that links the past to the present. Liverpool is the stand out example. They have their ‘Never Walk Alone’ song and they sing it at every opportunity. And whilst I can appreciate the emotional significance of it to the fans, my personal opinion is that it actually hampers their ability to be original on any new songs. When was the last time you heard a Liverpool fan singing something witty and new? Perhaps much like the club itself, the songs are stuck looking back with reverence rather than looking forward to success. It’s always about the ‘good old days’.
And what about when a player transfers from one English club to another? I always find it amusing when fans seem to refuse to sing a cult song that has been used by another team. So the Nasri song has been consigned to history for ever more, and a certain Dutchman has to contend with hearing a shabby rendition of the White Stripes track with his name input as the base guitar noise.
Before I sign off for the day, it wouldn’t be right unless I could talk a little bit about some things about fan songs that irk me. You’ll not be surprised to note i’ll not be referencing Arsenal In this particular section of the blog.
Firstly, that damn awful song which is a take on the Tom Hark song by the Piranhas. It’s used when Wigan score, and as my good lady is well and truly aware of, in my opinion it is one of the first signs of being a small club. It sounds stupid, fans sound stupid not even singing any lyrics, and its almost as if they’ve just won the FA Cup final. Guys, you haven’t. You’ve scored one goal in the first half and you’ll probably go on to lose 3-1. Why do some clubs feel they need to mask the fan jubilation and cheering after a goal? Is it because they’re worried the fans don’t sing enough? It’s a bit pathetic really and I don’t care for it at all thank you very much.
Finally, that stupid ‘when the spurs go matching in’ song sung as if it’s in slow motion. People, it’s a song you’ve pilfered from Southampton – try for a bit of creativity and think up you’re own tunes. Actually, don’t bother, you’ll only make a CD about it.
Anyway, that’s enough incessant rambling for one day, catch ya later.