Don’t think I haven’t received enough stick for my confident predictions already. I’m beginning to regret submitting this to Dave Thomas at MIB too…
Last night saw the newly created Joys & Sorrows chat room given it’s first outing and it was fairly busy all night with people listening to the game via BRMB, Radio WM and various web commentaries all getting different events at different times. After just twenty minutes we were 3-0 down and that was it, it was all the fault of the newly created real time interaction tool.
I’m one of the ones that still listens to BRMB since I’m not keen on the ‘experts’ on WM and Broadhurst still drops the odd useful bit of analysis unlike his co-commentator who was a source of amusement all night during the chatters of this fine community. It’s almost impossible to work out what’s happening when Ross goes into helium mode.
But onto the game. 20 minutes gone and it felt like it was all but over. Broadhurst had claimed that our opening twelve minutes had been the best we’d started all season. Isn’t it typical that just 10 minutes later, we were 3 goals down. Larsson was, supposedly, at fault for the first goal (as he was up at Burnley) and Taylor flapped at another. I’ve seen the goals on Sky Sports News but too quickly to really analyse them.
Half time came and everyone agreed that we probably wouldn’t get back into the game but it would probably be wise to stick Jerome on up top and move McSheffrey out to the left and Larsson play on the right. Another option was of course to move Danns into the middle for a more potent goal threat but with the Saints playing three in the middle, we needed the workmanlike energies of Clemence and Muamba in my opinion.
Into the second half and Southampton missed a great chance to make it 4-0 and all I wanted was the final whistle. I saw the incident on Sky Sports News earlier and the Saints player on the line heads it out for us! Then he gets a second bite of the cherry and manages to slam it against the bar. How it stayed out I’ll never know. Bruce brought Danns and Muamba off for Jerome and Nafti.
McSheffrey hit the crossbar, Larsson hit the post… it sounded like it wasn’t going to go our way. Just over 20 minutes to go and Blues managed to nick one. Jerome couldn’t fail to knock the ball home from a couple of yards out from a Blues corner. Four minutes later it got even better as Bendtner finished neatly from a rebound off the ‘keeper. The chat room buzzed, the Blues battled… I honestly thought we’d nick something after that.
Just six minutes later and Burley did a Bruce! He brought on Bradley Wright-Phillips and the younger brother of the former England winger (Heh!) brought it down and finished nicely to practically put the game out of the reach of Blues – just 12 minutes left to nick two goals.
Injury time came and Radhi Jaidi managed to bag himself a goal from around six yards out from a corner (our second of the night!) but surely too late? DJ Campbell had a great chance and managed to hit the bar in the very last few seconds of the game but it simply wasn’t to be.
Blues managed seventeen attempts to the home side’s thirteen. Southampton managed just five shots on target whilst Blues managed seven. We also managed six corners to two of the home side. Overall it sounded as though we were fine going forward but lazy and sloppy defensively.
A minor blip I feel but after being 3-0 down so early, nicking something was always going to be damn near impossible. Credit must go to the battling qualities on show as, had this been the team of a couple of months ago, we’d have capitulated and had a Liverpool FA Cup type score on our hands.
An article by Kym.
When I started writing this article on Wednesday night, I was frantically trying to get my head around us conceding three goals on five minutes, but I suppose that’s all part and parcel of being a Bluenose.
At least we managed to pull our socks up enough to turn our encounter with Southampton to a cliché-ridden one of two halves, sadly only one of which we won. I’m relieved that we managed to rescue our goal difference and did try to remedy some of the first half direness, but I think it gave me and a lot of other people a sharp reminder of the way that our beloved team can raise us up and bring us crashing down again.
I’m often accused (by other teams’ supporters and by fellow Bluenoses) of being pessimistic about my team, but maybe it’s just that I’ve been on the planet long enough to realise that supporting the boys in Blue is indeed a “long, long road” that can be pretty painful at times.
When Sir Harry Lauder wrote the original version of Keep Right On, little did he know how prophetic his words would be for us when he mentioned “joys and sorrows”, as we seem to lurch from one extreme to the other rather than settling for the middle of the road.
Which leads me on nicely to the real subject of this week’s offering, as in the end the Southampton game was a bit of a distraction and not what I intended to write about at all.
I couldn’t let 2006 draw to a close without mentioning a significant anniversary for Blues fans. Although the 100th anniversary of St Andrew’s has been well-publicised, (particularly by those of us who have wandered around with “1906-2006” written across our backsides every week this season), this year also marks the 50th anniversary of Keeping Right On.
The tale of how KRO arrived at St Andrew’s is pretty legendary and really doesn’t need telling again, but 1956 was a special year in that it included one of our fairly rare visits to an FA Cup Final (which in true Blues fashion we didn’t win).
Keep Right On was written by Sir Harry Lauder as a response to his only son’s death in the First World War. It sounds like a Scottish folksong, but isn’t. By the 1970s when I started going to Blues games, it was famous enough as a club song for even my mother (who knew absolutely nothing about football) to know it, and even know all the words. It was obviously well-rooted in the Brummie psyche by then.
Talking to other supporters who are of the right vintage to remember the game in the 1950s, they all tell me that they can’t remember many other teams having their “own” song at that time. The songs that became massive football anthems, like You’ll Never Walk Alone didn’t turn up on the terraces until the 1960s, so for once it looks as though we were leading rather than following.
Over the last 50 years, football chants have come and gone and some favourites have stuck around for quite a long time, but nothing is so especially, exclusively ours as KRO.
It’s true that one or two other teams have had a brief flirtation with it, but it never seemed to find a place in the hearts of Ipswich or Preston supporters in the same way as it has for us.
West Ham United may have I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (which has always struck me as a rather daft song to be associated with the beautiful game) and Southampton may have When the Saints Come Marching In, but for the life of me I can’t understand why Notts County sing the Wheelbarrow Song!
Most football chants and songs are transient things; they are often made up on the spur of the moment or worked out in the pub before the game. They relate to specific people, moments in the match play or are aimed directly at the other team’s supporters.
They’re often made up of only one or two lines of music, rather than an entire song and they quickly go out of fashion. Some other tunes are used in entirety, but in many cases the words have been completely rewritten so that the Battle Hymn of the Republic lives again as Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur (or Man United… or even Leeds United!). The Fields of Athenry has become a more modern anthem, and like KRO has accomplished the trick of sounding older than it actually is. It is catching on though, and over the last few seasons is popping up at places other than Anfield.
A few songs find their way right into the hearts of football supporters; You’ll Never Walk Alone is so popular that it is used by a dozen clubs around the world, including such unlikely places as AEK Athens (where, unsurprisingly, it has been translated into Greek) and FC Tokyo.
So what makes songs like this and KRO so great amongst football supporters? Why have people latched on to a song from a 50s musical and one that was written in response to a death during the First World War?
The answer is that they stand out. They are real songs, not snatches of songs; they have good tunes, and good words.
Most important of all, they are both about hope. Hope is what keeps football supporters interested; it’s what keeps the love affair alive. Hope is what makes us sing when we are 3-0 down, and it is hope that we need when we are staring defeat or relegation in the face. We also need hope when we are looking at the struggle to get back to where we feel we belong.
Keep Right On captured hearts fifty years ago and it has been passed on from fan to fan in the terraces. Sometimes, like Chinese Whispers, the words get a little confused (it’s “often partisan”, chaps, not “off to partisan” or even, the mind boggles, “off to Pakistan”!), but it’s still the battle cry, the song that stirs the heart and makes hairs on the back of the neck stand up when it is being sung by thousands.
Best of all though, Keep Right On is OURS. We don’t have to share it with anyone else. Other may have toyed with it, but they didn’t love it as much as we do.
Here’s to the next fifty years.
After one or two people on the forum suggested a real-time chat, I’ve finally got around to installing one. I’m dubbing it the Cameron Jerome chat room since it’s there, it’s working but it’s not quite the finished article yet.
I’ve got one or two things to fix up and sort out but it’s very usable. I’ve tried to get it working for tonight’s game against Southampton and it is. For those who haven’t managed to get to St Mary’s tonight (Saints fans welcome) then stick BRMB on, log into the room and experience the game with some of your fellow ‘Noses.
You have to register (free) to use the chat room and you can do that by clicking here.
Hopefully it’ll become a regular feature of Joys & Sorrows.