Monday, 27 June 2011

12: Poor Scouser Tommy

Apologies to all bluenoses, but having put up a song with a close Everton association last week, it's time to even things out with a Liverpool F.C. song this week. Although the Rodgers and Hammerstein penned "You'll Never Walk Alone" is the song most indelibly associated with LFC, this home-grown tale of war, death, and the love of football is just as precious to fans. I'm singing it much as I learned it from attending matches and singing in The Albert pub in Anfield's shadow, but there's bound to be some debate about whether some of the words I'm using are correct (e.g. there are disputes surrounding whether the sun should be "Arabian", "Libyan", or even "Radiant"). I'm happy enough if people want to argue over what's right and what's wrong - there was massive debate and a lot of historical discussion after John Power from Liverpool band "Cast" recorded a version. Of course the main arguments today are about whether the song is being sung too fast, and some may accuse me of doing that here - although it's nothing like the light speed version some people rattle through on the Kop.

The song was put together in different stages; the earliest part of the song is the middle section, "I am a Liverpudlian, I come from the Spion Kop..." This was written and sung from the 60s onwards to the tune of 'The Sash My Father Wore' (although the crowd has definitely changed the rhythm of that tune somewhat). In the 70s the first few verses, starting with "Let me tell you the story of a poor boy...", were added to the tune of 'Red River Valley', thus creating the wartime tale we sing today. The final sections (to the tunes 'Scousers here, Scousers there, Scousers everyfuckingwhere' and 'All you need is love') commemorate a 1982 five-nil victory over Everton in which Ian Rush scored four goals.

(After a couple of punctual weeks, I'm once again very late with this week's song - sorry about that!)

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