You’ll never sing alone: the origins and meanings of our terrace chants
David Simpson (Speaker)
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Oral presentation
We all remember our first football match, and the unique mix of sights and sounds that make up any communal sporting event. It’s not true that crowds on “sing when they’re winning”: chants and terrace songs accompany and soundtrack the highs and lows, whether “30 years of hurt” or “1-0 to the Arsenal”. But do we know where such chants originate? This paper will examine the various sources of football chants, from music hall to classical music to alternative pop. It will look historical and more recent examples, and how artists as diverse as Handel, Wham! and Joy Division have found their work being adapted into unlikely but winning terrace chants. It will address the issue of “what makes a winning football chant?” and address the question of whether communal terrace chanting is the modern folk.