Monday, October 02, 2006

Not Singing Anymore

The Cardiff City squad apparently started singing Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" during their pre-season tour. I had heard that it had caught on with the supporters, and was looking forward to joining in with a new tune that was both catchy and original, in football terms at least.

I should have known better. In the hands of the City fans, the tune is all but lost, as the mob hurries the tune to an aggressive, slurry grave, turning it into an anthem of lazy yobbery.

It has always been thus with Cardiff City. No tune shall survive intact at the hands of the Ninian park faithful. The "singers" are much too hard to be giving time to vocal performance, preferring instead to throw the head back, raise the arms and produce a guttural belch which begins in the diaphragm and spout forth from the mouth, somehow bypassing the vocal chords.

Other teams know the value of a slow rhythm. Listen to Celtic or Liverpool singing"Fields of Athenry". What a tune. What a way to raise the spirits of your team. It could never happen at Cardiff. We even managed to rush our way through "You'll Never Walk Alone" when we used to chant it in the 80's. "Wok on" clap clap. "Wok on" Clap clap, "with ope" clap clap "in yur ah" clap clap.

Wrexham started singing "Men of Harlech" some years , back, and it travelled, via the Welsh National Team to Ninian Park. We destroy it of course. We sing it like we can't wait for it to finish. So why start ?

I went to a game between two Spanish sides recently, and the warm up to the game consisted of both sets of fans outsinging each other for a full hour before kick off. Not chanting - singing. They sang club songs, pop tunes by local stars, local folk songs, political songs. Anything and everything. And they still attacked the police with rockets and flares, thus proving that you don't have to be a wuss to enjoy a good tune.

We have one song which is unique to Cardiff, and which used to be a stirring anthem along the lines of Athenry. "I'll be there" is a Welsh folk tune which has been sung at rugby clubs for yonks. It is the closest thing we have to a club song. But in recent years, it too has been struggling to hold back the rushing Burberry chorus as they belch out their graceless version in consonant-free estuary English .

I can't understand why this hatred of a tune should be particular to football. Rugby crowds linger over the refrain from "Sospan Fach", they positively dwell on the long held notes of "Cwm Rhondda" while we can't wait to get to the end of our version of the hymn. "You're not singing anymore?" - We're not singing any more.

1 comment:

amanda huggenkiss said...

"We even managed to rush our way through "You'll Never Walk Alone" when we used to chant it in the 80's. "Wok on" clap clap. "Wok on" Clap clap, "with ope" clap clap "in yur ah" clap clap."

Surely this is the malign influence of 'The Anfield Rap'