Shit Band - No Fans
By BentleysRoof
Thursday 11 Nov 2010 21:09:00
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Charles Exford writes:

Not long now before the terrace songs of the ’70s and ’80s are historical relics, replaced by generic, Sky-and-sponsor-approved anthems, piped “goal celebration music” and branded plastic trumpets. After all, you don’t want anything too difficult when you’re packaging it all up for export. So, since there are probably some HMHB fans who probably aren’t aware of all of the original chants, I thought I’d compile a list of the occasions when NB57 has actually parodied or quoted an existing football song in the lyrics, even where this is done to a different tune.

I’ve nearly always mentioned the tune of the original chant, even when it is obvious. I’ve included a few YouTube links, though of course some of these may die as this posting gets older. is also worth exploring for some audio clips of chants mentioned.

Of course there are instances where HMHB use an old tune which has also been adapted as a football song, but this list doesn’t go into those. Those are for the HMHB Music Project, down the corridor, on the left. So not included are tunes like Sing Hosanna (the tune of “Irk the Purists” and many football songs, for example Celtic’s “Henrik Larsson is the kings of kings”), He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands (“they’ve got the whole world in their house” as well as “we’ve got the best team in the land”), Tiptoe through the Tulips (“Come tip toe to the front row of the Korn show”, or Stoke’s “Tip toe through the Boothen, with yer boots on, you’ll get yer head kicked in, Come tip toe through the Boothen with me”), The Hokey Cokey (for example NUFC’s “Shola Ameobi” chant or a delightful version sung by Spurs about West Ham fans, I believe), or The Twelve Days of Christmas (which has been sung by several clubs’ fans, listing their greatest sides, “…and a Bruci-ie in our goal.”)


1-2-3-4, John the Baptist knows the Score
M-A-U-G-E-R, Ivan Mauger robbed my car
K-R-O-K-U-S, Krokus know my home address

Typical Football version:
All the “2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate” type chants that you still hear from cheerleaders in US high school movies now sound incredibly dated in a UK football context, but they were still around when we were growing up in the Seventies, on the terraces and in the playgrounds.

It’s nice to know you’re here, it’s nice to know you’re here

Typical Football version:
Sung when the away fans don’t exactly bring a big noisy crew:
(Tune: On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at)
“It’s nice to know you’re here,
It’s nice to know you’re here,
It’s nice to know you’re here”

- In some regions police dogs may have precisely these sentiments about the visiting Tranmere fans.

Yngwie, Yngwie Malmsteen, Yngwie Malmsteen in our van

Typical Football version:
Tune from TV’s “Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier”, which became a standard on many terraces from the Sixties onwards, in chants such as:
“Willie, Willie Morgan, Willie Morgan on the wing!”

You’re going on after Crispy Ambulance!

Typical Football version:
“You’re going home in a f***ing ambulance/St. John’s ambulance/Yorkshire ambulance” etc., etc.

- It is perhaps ironic that these somewhat unsubtle Anglo-Saxon chants seem to originate from one of the sexy, sophisticated samba clapping rhythms introduced to world football by Brazilian supporters at televised world cup tournaments in the 60s.

Sign on with no hope in your heart

Typical Football version:
The same: “Sign on with no hope in you heart”, though “with a pen in your hand” is much more common. The bloke who wrote the Four-Four-Two article implied this was an NB57 original, but this parody of YNWA has been sung at Scousers since the early 80s, and is still sung today, often even by fans from towns with even an higher unemployment rate than Merseyside. Some clubs sing it to anyone in the North, e.g. Forest fans sing it in all mining areas which stayed solid during the strike.

When you walk through a storm you get wet

Typical Football version:
A less common parody of YNWA, but it’s still been around for decades.

Tower block, you couldn’t score in a tower block

Typical Football version:
One of a myriad of chants sung to “Guantanamera”, e.g.
“Score in a brothel
You couldn’t score in a brothel”

Walking up Scafell, Swinging a chain,
Along came a hosteller, I asked him his name
…die you off-beat cabaret type

Typical Football version:
There have been a lot of extremely unsavoury versions of this, but to cut a long and fascinating story short, big chart hit The Tennessee Wig Walk (that’s the YouTube link) was subject to different adaptations by Teddy Boys in the ’50s as a racist chant or an anti-police chant (known as The Bow-Legged Chicken, after the opening line of the original American song):
“I was standing on the corner
Swinging my chain
Along comes a copper
And he asks me my name
I kicked him in the balls
And I punched him in the head
Now that copper is dead.”

It was then taken up in the 60s on the terraces, in versions such as this charming little one, which I remember being taught in the playground when I was nine:
“I was walking down Lime Street
Swinging my chain
Along comes a cockney
And he asks me my name
I kicked him in the balls
And I punched him in the head
Now that cockney is dead.”

Same old Northerner, always got nothing to say

Typical Football version:
(“Pompey Chimes” tune)
e.g. “Same old * * , always cheating”
or “Same old Shearer, always scoring”

Am I supposed to be at home?

Typical Football version:
But if they do bring a big noisy crew, the away fans can generally out-sing the home end, in which case they rub it in (to the tune Cwm Rhondda AKA Bread of Heaven):
“You’re supposed to
You’re supposed to
You’re supposed to be at home.”

- Very apt in a song bemoaning the “new football” and decline in atmosphere since the nineties. You get a numbered seat, separated from your mates, you can’t stand any more and ergo you get out-sung by the away fans 19 times out of 20.

Agony Aunt if I had the arse of a crow
And the wings of a sparrow, and you were below

Typical Football version:
(Tune very similar to Bring Back my Bonny)
“If I had the wings of a sparrow,
If I had the arse of a crow,
I’d fly over * * tomorrow
and shit on the bastards below
Shit on, shit on, shit on the bastards below.”

Not to be confused with the following to the tune of “Roll out the Barrel”:
“Shit on the * * , shit on the * * tonight”

Shit band, no fans, shit band no fans…

Typical Football version:
The “Pompey Chimes” tune again:
“Shit team, no fans, shit team no fans…”

- Bloody hell, the first example I found on YouTube is from Australia!

The singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to see the Pope

Typical Football version:
First United fans sang “Glory, glory, Man United” to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, then Liverpool and City fans still debate who first originated the parody version. But the point of the song was that Pope JP2 was a self-confessed Liverpool fan, so I for one know who I think started it:
“The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope,
The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope,
The famous Man United went to Rome to see the Pope,
And this is what he said:”

Little did they know that the chorus of their parody would then be ironically and gleefully taken up by the United fans themselves, wherever they go:
“Who the f*** are Man United,
Who the f*** are Man United,
Who the f*** are Man United,
And the Reds go marching on, on, on.”

Ten past nine, the Borderline

Typical Football version:
At first this just sounds like an adaptation of the playground “clapping song”, but “ten past nine” gives it away as a probable adaptation of a classic hoolie chant:
“Ten past nine, stabbing time,
Doo Dah Doo Dah…”

- For decades, all midweek league matches in England used to end at 9.10pm, and of course that meant pretty much every match at Prenton Park, where the Friday night policy meant a bigger floodlighting bill than anywhere else in the country.

Same Old Hampstead, Ken Hom Wok Set

Typical Football version:
See “Same old Northerner…” above

U is for the umpire which I sometimes wish I’d been instead
You never hear a cricket crowd chanting “who’s the bastard in the hat?”

Typical Football version:
“Who’s the bastard?
Who’s the bastard?
Who’s the bastard in the black?”

- Another one to the tune of Cwm Rhondda.

Oh you can’t put your foot up in Europe
You can’t show your studs on the ‘nent
They take a dim view of a slightly raised shoe
So think on if you’re up against Ghent, my lad
Think on if you’re up against Ghent

Typical Football version:
As soon as you first hear this one you think it must have been around for years, but in fact as far as I know it’s HMHB’s greatest entirely original football chant. So it shouldn’t really be in this list. It’s here because I just love it. I sang it at the telly just the other night when there was a foot-up moment involving a culture clash between an angry Polish right-back and a shrugging James Milner. No yellow card for the Englishman, surprisingly.

From: Half Man Half Biscuit: Shit Band, No Fans - lyrics

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