A football chant or terrace chant is a song or chant usually sung at association football matches by fans. The chants can be simple, consisting of a few loud shouts or spoken words, but more often they are short song verses and sometimes longer songs. They are typically performed repetitively, sometimes accompanied by handclapping, but occasionally they may be more elaborate involving musical instruments, props or choreographed routines. They are often adaptations of popular songs, using their tunes as the basis of the chants, but may also be original.
Everton - Z-Cars
If you've ever owned any of the Jock Jams albums, you know that there are some songs that sporting events just can't help but play. For whatever reason, these songs get fans fired up and on their feet during a game, hoping to inspire performances from the players. Sure, this might be every drunk sorority girl's go-to karaoke song, but while you plug your ears at every singing bar Thursday through Saturday, you get up and dance each time it plays at a sporting event. We all know the words, so go ahead and get out of your seat to try and get on that Jumbotron man! Though it's from the early 90s, this crowd-pleaser still gets the youngest of fans ready for whatever sport they're watching. It gains extra points for the over decade-long tradition that Wisconsin football fans have going, since it's one of the best in college football. If we were putting together a list of top sports bands, Queen might just find itself at the top. With numerous songs that blast at sporting events everywhere, "We Will Rock You" is the first one we recognize here. At some point in baseball's history, some Director of Gameday Events thought it'd be clever to play this Osbourne song each time the bases were loaded.
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Liverpool / Celtic - You’ll Never Walk Alone
However, not all football records are awful singalongs by players in blazers. Football records tend to be ephemeral and usually associated with a particular event, such as the FA Cup Final or the World Cup. His background in football was limited to having once trained with Peterborough United, but he was seen as a popular singer with wide appeal across Britain. His song was about the groundbreaking merchandising mascot, Willie. His vocals were set against a brass background orchestrated by Tony Hatch. The commentary for that final win over West Germany was by Kenneth Wolstenholme. It spent 46 weeks in the charts and even reached No. Inexplicably, that song has never been covered by a major pop star.
The extent to which different supporters approach football matches in different ways is genuinely quite fascinating. Where English fans will almost certainly give the players they love an extra boost in their legs because of the noise, European players must get slightly bored of the noise. How, then, might clubs encourage their supporters to get behind the team in a more structured and organised manner? What method could they use to give the players a genuine boost before a ball is kicked? The obvious answer to that question is by introducing an anthem, a specific song that the crowd sings or cheers to in order to generate an atmosphere, even if it is something of a false one. Scottish football fans might well cough and point to Celtic, but it was the Merseyside club that first began to sing the song before matches.