Fans Chants - Origins (2023)

Fans Chants - Origins (1)

Click to listen

Singing the Blues:
The original tunes behind some of Leicester City's chants past and present

What are the origins of the chants heard at the King Power? The Leicester Mercury's Daniel Smith finds out

It began sometime in 2012: A noise like the latter stages of a zombie orgy, echoing round the King Power stadium.
Whuuurrrr-urrrrr-urrrrr, it went.Whuuurrrr-urrrrr-urrrrr. Whuuurrrr-urrrrr-urrrrr. Whuuurrrr-urrrrr-urrrrr.
Then:Na na na na na na, Ben Marshall. Na na na na na na, Ben Marshall.
And back to thewhuuurrrr-urrrrr-urrrrrs.

Who started it? No idea. Why Ben Marshall? Ditto. With bells on.

And that's the thing with football chants,writes Jeremy Clay.Where they come from and how they catch on is a mystery as nagging but inconsequential as why all your t-shirts end up with tiny holes only at the front, like they've been precision-bombed by the moth equivalent of 617 Squadron.

​But the tunes behind them ... they're a little easier to pinpoint.

Here's our list of the songs behind some of the chants at Leicester City. You may have read something like this before, perhaps. This is just a Leicesterised take on a well-worn theme. Much like the songs at the King Power, you might say.

Come on Leicester boys, make some f***ing noise

Led by a man who looked like a cross between Santa, Worzel Gummidge and a Victorian mill-owner with a fondness for absinthe, Slade lit up the early 70s charts with their rabble-rousing brand of mirrored-top-hat-sporting, bosting-uttering, proto-punk stomp-rock. A specific genre, we think you'll agree.

Cum on Feel The Noize was the fourth number one for the sworn enemies of orthography, and was reborn as a football song when David Moyes took over as Manchester United manager*.

"Come on David Moyes," they sang, probably correcting the spelling in their own heads. "Play like Fergie's boys." They didn't, you'll recall, and that was the end of that, until it resurfaced as a Leicester anthem in the gathering din of last season's great escape as fans grew sick of mocking chants of "is this a library?" from the away end every other week.

Have a listen to the original, particularly if you're one of the many labouring under the impression that we're being implored 'to go wah, wah, wah.'

You're just a sh*t Jamie Vardy

After he'd killed off Dennis Pennis, the spoof, savage celebrity interviewer who had menaced red carpets in London and Cannes, Paul Kaye returned to TV with a sketch show called Citizen Kaye. One of the characters was a wild-haired,
bespectacled, posh composer of bespoke football chants called Labian Quest.

What's the general sentiment you'd like the piece to convey and he asked a client who was commissioned a song. General poverty? Bad housing? Lovely. And a focus on poor diet.

This chant, aimed at any opposition frontman, but chiefly Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney, could well be the work of Labian Quest.

The tune behind it is the workhorse of football, heard from you only sing when you're winning to you're getting sacked in the morning: The patriotic Cuban song, Guantanamera. Oh, the original songwriters would be so proud.

Champions of England -you made us sing that / We're top of the league/He scores when he wants, Jamie Vardy, he scores when he wants

It was the album that changed music: Innovative, inspired, bonkers, brilliant.

"Pet Sounds blew me out of the water," Paul McCartney once said. "I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life. I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album."

The Beach Boys' finest moment is littered with classic songs, but it's the one at the end of the first side of the vinyl release which is heard across the football grounds of England. Endlessly.

Sloop John B is an adaptation of an old folk song from the Bahamas, about a boat pulling into port and the general drunkenness that ensues.

The breakaway FC United of Manchester adopted it, and it spread like chlamydia up the rec.Dreary examples: "Leicester/Hull/Stoke etc is a sh*thole, I wanna go home."

A better one, sung by rock-bottom Leicester City fans at Spurs away last season: "You're nothing special, we lose every week." But of course, the one that means the most to LCFC fans, is the adaptation of what 'The Boss' achieved for this club.

When You're Smiling

Yes, we know. This is the actual song. Not a bastardised version.

But seeing it's only sung by two pockets of the ground, and at such a furious rate it sounds like it's being performed by a kidnapping victim with gaffer tape being ripped intermittently from their mouths –

wrmrmmm smiling wrmrmmm smiling wrmrmmm with you –

​we thought you might enjoy it sung properly.

Demarai GrayWe're not sure if Leicestershire's favourite Brummie winger has got his own song yet. But if he does, and it's not to this tune, everyone needs to have a good long look at themselves.

It's crazy but it's true, we only love the boys in blue

First aired 2015, but yet to be fully embraced: A adulterated version of Dusty Springfield's tower of power hit I Only Want to be With You.

We are staying up, say we are staying up

If football fans had to pay royalties, The Gap Band would be enjoying an extremely comfortable retirement indeed.

Late 70s funk anthem Oops Up Side Your Head was the oddest floor-filler of all time. Clubbers would sit down in lines, and pretend to row, while shuffling forward on their bums.

Why? Who knows. Perhaps it was started by club owners, hoping to cut down on cleaning costs.

As a chant it has honoured Man Utd's Paul McGrath and Eric Cantona. And fleetingly, in the early 1990s, Filbert Street echoed to the sound of the tongue-in-cheek 'ooh ahh Platnauer'.

This season, as Leicester City staged a footballing revolution against the game's elite, it's been the basis of the self-deprecating chants of 'we are staying up'.

Wes, Wes Morgan

Like the mother sauces of French cuisine, a surprisingly measly number of tunes lie behind the bulk of football songs.There are just 23 of them in total, according to someone who once bothered to count, but few are as prevalent as Go West.

First recorded by the multi-professioned Village People, it seems to have made the leap to the terraces in 1994, when Arsenal fans turned the Pet Shops Boys' version into '1-0 to the Arsenal' during the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Since then, you've heard it everywhere, from 'how wide do you want the goal?' to 'we're sh*t, and we're beating you'.So when City signed a player called Wes there was only ever going to be one choice of tune.

​That's right, La Bamba. 'Wes, Wes Morgan' it is. See also: 'Marc Albrighton' and, rather more pertinently, 'Sol, Sol Bamba'.

Gone but not forgotten...

He's magic, you know, Esteban Cambiasso

It's already starting to feel like a drug-induced delusion, isn't it? Esteban Cambiasso, the most decorated Argentinian player in history, with a Champions League winners' medal and five Serie A titles on his CV, playing here.

Happily, a crowd not generally noted for its invention rose to the occasion.

Here's the original, by 1970s Scottish popsters Pilot, whose singer David Paton told the Mercury: "I feel very honoured my song was chosen by Leicester City fans.

"It's excellent to hear something I wrote 40 years ago now being sung by so many people of all ages."

Ranieri, Ranieri, he came from Italy, to manage the City

If football chants came about by everyone sitting down before the game and having a good chat about possible candidates for tunes, it's unlikely anyone would have piped up with the words: "How about something from the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest?" -But there you have it.

Better known as Volare, Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu was Italy's entry that year, and the fact it only came third didn't stop it being an global hit for Domenico Modugno, who used the money to buy a Ferrari, which he then crashed and wrote off.Modugno later represented Turin in the Italian parliament.

When Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu was released, another songwriter denounced it as plagiarism, claiming he'd lost his sheet music while registering the song and that Modugno must have found it and ripped him off. (Modugno promptly sued him for defamation, and won.)

Volare has been covered by Connie Francis, Louis Armstrong, David Bowie, Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester.

Ranieri, Ranieri, Ranieri, he's taking us to Europe, to Europe, to Europe

Her name was Margaret Annemarie Battavio, but her producers weren't having that. As she was only 4ft 9in, her birthday was in March and her first single was a cover of the Broadway tune Little Me, they called her Little Peggy March.

At the start of 1963, when she still a schoolgirl, she released I Will Follow Him. It went to number one in the States, and made a small fortune, which her manager looked after, and squandered while no-one was paying any attention. When it was discovered in 1966, she only had $500 left.

The song, itself spun from an instrumental called Chariot, is a closing tune in the 1992 film Sister Act, and was used as a sample by Eminem and Dr. Dre in Guilty Conscience.

So it already had a rum old career by the time St Pauli fans in Germany started singing it then it was pinched by Crystal Palace fans before it spread through the English leagues and wound up here as well as there and everywhere.

It's had a tweak this season, to mark Changed Circumstances.

Du du du derr du du. Du du du du derr du du du, Riyad Mahrez

​​

This is neither the time nor the place to argue whether or not Riyad Mahrez is Leicester's most dazzling player of all time (although, for the record, he is). But what we can all agree on, surely, is that the already wobbly King Power should shake like Eric Pickles' waterbed to the sound of his name at each home game.

And yet, and yet ... his default chant is the chant equivalent of a half and half scarf, a tune pinched from Man City, which was leftover from the Anthony Knockaert days, and has now been patched up and repaired to be shared with N'Golo Kante.

To be fair, he's got a better one, to Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400, but it's yet to reach the whole ground.

All that invention on the pitch ... doesn't it deserve a bit to match in the stands too?

Do, do, do Shinji Okazaki

It's a mug's game, trying to predict which songs will wind up as terrace anthems.

Take Kasabian, for instance, one of the biggest bands in Britain, who specialise in the kind of soundtracks to a closing-time dust-up you'd think would be tailor-made for a football crowd. And yet the number of chants based on their songs, we estimate, currently stands at none. Even in Leicester, where you'd think someone would seize the chance to come up with something home grown.

But 'do-do-do, come on and do the conga', a tune which was hasn't been aired in public since the days of hoolies, hair metal and the Hofmeister Bear? Yeah, that'll do for Shinji.

Here's to you, Danny Drinkwater, Leicester loves you more than you will know

​Paul Simon was in a spot of bother. After wrestling with his conscience over selling out to The Man by composing for the movies, he'd signed a deal to submit three songs for a new film by Mike Nichols.

He'd been paid $25,000, and the moment of truth wasn't going well. Nichols was unmoved by the first two songs he'd heard. Simon and Art Garfunkel had a third in the bag. Mrs Roosevelt, they'd called it, for the want of anything else. And in lieu of lyrics, there were bits where they just filled it with do do-do-doos.

"Because of the character in the picture we just began using the name 'Mrs Robinson' to fit," Garfunkel later recalled. "One day we were sitting around with Mike talking about ideas for another song. I said 'What about Mrs. Robinson?'

"Mike shot to his feet. 'You have a song called Mrs. Robinson and you haven't even shown it to me?'"Nichols loved it. Even the do do-do-doos. And so did the Grammy judges in 1969: It won two awards.

Mrs Robinson was covered by indie slackers The Lemonheads in the 1990s, and by Frank Sinatra in 1969, but with the mentions of Jesus changed, bafflingly, to Jilly.

Aside from Danny Drinkwater, the song has been sung in homage to Thomas Rosicky, Jordan Henderson, Vincent Kompany, Ashley Williams and some bloke from Notts Forest who may not be a household name even in his own household.

Oh, his name is Leonardo ...

​It's an unlikely songwriting collaboration. American musician John Fogerty, frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Asa McCoy, freelance writer, sports journalism student and Leicester City fan.

But it happened all the same, although Fogerty is none the wiser. Asa is the lad behind one of the best Leicester City chants in many a year, the tribute to Leonardo Ulloa.

"Oh, his name is Leonardo," it goes, if you haven't had the pleasure of hearing it. "Leicester's number 23, yes he cost a f***ing fortune, but he scores goals so that's alright with me."

Where does Fogerty come in? Well, it's set, in a very loose, roundabout way to the 1969 number one Bad Moon Rising.

You do the Wasilewski and you turn around ...

"You put your big Pole in," sing the City fans, "your big Pole out, in, out, in, out and shake it all about you do the Wasilewski and you turn around, that's what it's all about."

Marcin Wasilewski seems to like it. The Carry On scriptwriters would have loved it.

Iwan is a Welshman

To recap. Iwan Roberts is Welsh. Should this ever be in doubt, he has a hat to prove it.

​When he played for the City, he lived in Leicester, allegedly in a council flat. Next door to Julian Joachim, would you credit.

He was handy with either foot. And on the occasions when the opponents were Derby County ... well, he would cheerfully score all evening.

For pretty much every song, there's a dispute about which club were the first to sing it. If you'd like to tell us Cum on Feel the Noize or any of the other songs here were actually sung first by Arbroath, the Peruvian side Deportivo Wanka or Norwegian club Fotballaget Fart, please address you correspondence to the usual address.

Fans Chants - Origins (3)

The above information was reproduced courtesy of The Leicester Mercury. Click the logo to visit their website.

First published on the Leicester Mercury website 11:19, 28 JUN 2017 / Updated 16:30, 15 OCT 2018

Leicester City FC

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

Views: 5782

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.