50 Best Football Chants: 50-41 – Cuba, cowboys and Noddy Holder
Here's the first of our countdown of the best chants.
We've organised our selection by the original source and mentioned the derivatives and clubs who use that chant.
50. Cum on, Feel the Noize
This grammatically questionable glam-fuzz marvel became Slade’s fourth hit single in 1973, and the Black Country rocker’s catchy-as-Ebola effort was ripe for a chant. "Come on, David Moyes / play like Fergie’s boys" scanned especially well when the Glaswegian wraith was managing Manchester United, but the boys didn’t, and he got sacked without anyone going wild, wild or wild. The "Come on Leicester boys / make some f**king noise" version however is enjoying a renaissance as Claudio Ranieri’s men pillage the Premier League this term, however. (NM)
49. Lord of the Dance
The most brilliantly inventive yet horribly offensive ditty on our list, belying its origins as a Shaker hymn in 1860s America, was first used raucously by Chelsea fans in 1982 – beginning ‘Carefree’ and referring to ‘the famous CFC’ – and has been adopted by several other clubs. While we’re pretty sure that former Manchester United winger Park Ji Sung isn’t among the minority in his home country to have chowed down on Chihuahua, and we’re absolutely certain that even Scousers who rely on housing benefits aren’t partial to rack of rat, you can’t help but sing along. (LM)
48. The Wild Rover (No Nay Never)
An Irish drinking song of imprecise origin, The Wild Rover is arguably the best-known Irish folk song of them all. The original lyrics deal with a young man returning home from his travels and encountering some tribulations while trying to get a pint. It’s now naturally popular at Celtic, but is also sung vigorously by both Burnley and Blackburn Rovers, two clubs who detest each other, with “til we play the b*stard Rovers" or "...Burnley b*stards” inserted to suit into a verse about declining an offer to play for the other outfit. (NM)
47. El Cant del Barca
Written in 1974 as part of Barcelona’s 75th anniversary celebrations, this hymn was enthusiastically embraced by the Nou Camp congregation, who obligingly sing it prior to every match in glorious union. The lyrics are fairly standard guff – “the whole stadium loudly cheers / we’re the blue and claret supporters / it matters not where we hail from… united we’re stronger!” – but it's belted out with the requisite passion to be infecting, and the end section – ‘Barça, Barça, Baaaaaaaaaarça!’ is absolutely cracking. (NM)
46. Sloop John B
Sloop John B is one of British football’s pet sounds. The Beach Boys’ take on a Caribbean classic, The John B Sails, has been adapted so often that the tune heard at grounds is almost unrecognisable from the original (though if you want a reminder, enjoy this a capella version).
“He’s one of our own” (Harry Kane), “He left ‘cos you’re s**t” (Robin van Persie), “Your eyes are offside” (Mesut Özil), “We’ll just call you Dave” (Cesar Azpilicueta)... the variations are numerous, some more complimentary than others. The closest to the original, “I want to go home / I want to go home / This place is a s**thole / I want to go home”, no doubt makes Brian Wilson’s heart swell with pride. (HD)
45. Is this the way to Amarillo?
Who would win a spitting contest between Frank Rijkaard and El-Hadji Diouf? Bolton fans will tell you it’s no contest. And while there’s been precious little for them to sing about recently, their take on Tony Christie’s seemingly harmless (Is This The Way To) Amarillo – at the time be repopularised by the local mirth-merchant Peter Kay – is pretty memorable.
The controversial Senegalese forward may not have made friends throughout his stay in the north west, but no matter – he was bloody good at spitting, and that’s the main thing.
“Sha la la la la la la la... Diouf! Diouf! Sha la la la la la la la... Diouf! Diouf! El-Hadji Diouf will spit on you...” (EP)
44. Holte Enders In The Sky
Widely considered the no.1 Western song of all time, Ghost Riders in the Sky was written in Death Valley by Stan Jones in 1948 and became a huge hit for Vaughn Monroe shortly after. In Birmingham’s Wild West, a more robust version – “Yippie aye-eh, yippie aye-oh, Holte Enders in the sky” – celebrates the cowboys of their famous old terrace. There’s a dubious full version involving chasing a Birmingham City fan through the Midlands streets, too. (NM)
You’ll have heard this tune at every ground. Well, you’ll have heard football’s version of it – as with many chants, the original melody got a bit lost in the Chinese whispers that brought it to sporting arenas.
Guantanamera is the theme you'll know as “You’re getting sacked in the morning”, as well as the slightly insensitive and psychiatrically inaccurate “There’s only two Andy Gorams”, after reports the Rangers goalkeeper had schizophrenia.
The Cuban tune was recorded by folkist Pete Seeger, who also did Bristol Rovers’ Goodnight Irene and apparently never wrote any of his own songs, and is heard by any manager in the midst of a slump. (HD)
42. Here Comes The Hotstepper
Sunderland fans’ response to signing the evergreen Jermain Defoe was to reimagine Ini Kamoze’s #1 as a paean to the Beckton forward.
Simplicity is what the Stadium of Light faithful are all about, and there’s no arguing with the directness of their approach. Much like the man himself’s contribution to a game, it’s clinical and effective.
“Na, na na na na, na na na na na na na, na na na, Jermain Defoe!” (EP)
41. Inno Milan
Your Best Football Chants
Nobody does grandiose operatics quite like the Italians, and Milan’s club song falls firmly into the ‘stirring’ category. The lyrics, meanwhile, see fans telling the team they’re “always for you” and “only with you”.
Altogether tuneful and uplifting, it’s also bloody long – no “Kolo, Kolo Kolo”, this – and still the crowd sings every word, which is a testament to their commitment and indeed memory. But the good news for non-Milanistas is that door-stepping ground-hoppers can still join in the chorus of “MI-LAN! MI-LAN!” Few matchday songs top it. (HD)
Writers: Huw Davies, Nick Moore, Emyr Price and Jamie Thunder.