Soccer chanting and singing has always been a source of entertainment and fascination for me. How they come to being, why fans use them, when they use them, and lyrical content are all quite varied. Part of the fascination comes from being an American observing far-off cultures enjoying something they’re passionate about. Part is also from being a musician/history nerd.
So, we’ll start as far back as possible. The Canaries of Norwich City FC have been singing “On The Ball, City” since the club’s inception in 1902. The song originated in the 1890s, and in all honesty, is amazing. For Michiganders, this is very similar to “The Victors” in heritage. The chant is obviously abbreviated from the original, but still just as enjoyable.
In Germany, the other country who’s soccering culture I follow, there are many traditional songs still used and Fangesaenger (crowd songs) like the “Beer Barrel Polka” for instance. My personal favorite is FC Schalke 04’s use of Das Steigerlied, the foreman’s song. This was a sung by miners wishing each other good luck during a hard days work. “Glueck auf,” equivalent to “good luck” in America, was an acknowledgement of the danger of their work. Schalke adopted this song to honor is coal mining heritage along with their nickname, Die Knappen. The club offical anthem, “Blau und Weiss, wie lieb ich dich” was adopted 1934 and originates from a song written in 1797!
next time, we’ll discuss pop culture favorites and chart toppers like “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Blue Moon,” and this beauty from FC United of Manchester.