Where do British football's most famous terrace songs come from?

Ruben Hill
January 20, 2019

Blue is the colour, Marching on Together, You’ll Never Walk Alone, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, right there is four of the most famous songs heard on the terraces but how did they come about?

We investigate the origins of some of the most famous football songs ever heard week in and week out across the hallowed terraces of British football stadiums.

Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur – Tottenham

Currently heard echoed around Wembley Stadium (until the club finally move into their new ground), Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur is a song that has been adapted by the Lilywhites from a poem by the Anti-Slavery activist Julia Ward Howe in 1862.

However, Howe herself adapted the song from William Steffe’s ‘Glory Hallelujah’ composed in 1856.

Tottenham first adapted the song themselves in 1960 after preventing Wolves from winning the double to goad the midlands club and the tune has since become a popular among the terraces.

Marching on Together – Leeds United

Also known as Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, the song is an original composition written by Les Reed and Barry Mason and was first heard in 1972 to coincide with the club reaching the 1972 FA Cup final (Leeds beat Arsenal 1-0).

The club quickly adopted the song as its official anthem and remarkably in May 2010 the song was re-released and made it to number 10 in the charts.

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles – West Ham United

I'm forever blowing bubbles was actually a hit song in America in 1918 but is perhaps now better known in Europe as West Ham United’s club anthem.

Sung before every game, the Hammers first took to the song in the late 1920’s after former manager Charlie Paynter made the club aware of the song after hearing it from the head master of a school who had a player called Billy J. "Bubbles" Murray.

The West Ham fans soon took to the song and the rest is history.

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Liverpool/Celtic

Arguably the most famous football club anthem of all time, You’ll Never Walk Alone was originally a show tune from the musical Carousel which came out in 1945.

However, Liverpool adopted the song after Liverpudlian band Gerry and the Pacemakers covered the song in 1963 with lead singer Gerry Marsden reportedly presenting Reds boss at the time Bill Shankly with a recording of the song during a pre-season coach trip.

Shankly was supposedly so taken with the song he included it on his list of Desert Island Discs with Liverpool fans singing the song at Wembley when the club defeated Leeds during the 1965 FA Cup final.

A year after that FA Cup triumph, Celtic played Liverpool in the 1966 Cup Winners Cup semi-final (Liverpool won through to the final) with the Scots adopting the songs themselves.

Blue is the Colour – Chelsea

Chelsea’s iconic ‘Blue is the Colour’ is another of the most recognisable club songs heard on the terraces at Stamford Bridge before every game.

The song was performed and released by the 1972 Chelsea squad to mark their appearance in the League Cup Final that year.

Unfortunately, the Blues lost the tie 2-1 to Stoke City but the song stuck and has become the official club anthem.

 

 

 

 

 

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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