A football chant or terrace chant is a song or chant usually sung at association football matches by fans. Football chanting is an expression of collective identity, most often used by fans to express their pride in the team or encourage the home team, and they may be sung to celebrate a particular player or manager. Fans may also use football chants to slight the opposition, and many fans sing songs about their club rivals, even when they are not playing them. Sometimes the chants are spontaneous reactions to events on the pitch.
Football chants can be simple, consisting of a few loud shouts or spoken words, but more often they are short lines of lyrics and sometimes longer songs. They are typically performed repetitively, sometimes accompanied by handclapping, but occasionally they may be more elaborate involving musical instruments, props or choreographed routines. They are often adaptations of popular songs, using their tunes as the basis of the chants, but some are original.
Football chants are known to have been used by fans from the late 19th century onwards, but developed into the current popular forms in the 1960s. Football chants can be historic, dating back as early as the formation of the club popularly sung down the years and considered the anthems for these clubs. They may also be popular for only a relatively short time, with new chants being constantly created and discarded. The tradition of football chants vary from country to country and team to team, but some chants are common to many clubs and popular internationally. Football chants may be considered one of the last remaining sources of an oral folk song tradition.
Football chants may be considered modern examples of traditional storytelling and folk songs. According to folk singer Martin Carthy, football chants are "the one surviving embodiment of an organic living folk tradition." It is also a unique public expression of collective identity, and football chants may be seen as modern examples of the folk tradition blason populaire where a group vocalise their identity as well as their rivalry against another group.
Football chants have been sung by fans since the 19th century; war chants were known to have been used by football fans from the 1880s onwards. The first known song which references football, "The Dooley Fitba' Club" later known as "'Fitba' Crazy", was also written in the 1880s by James Curran, although it was intended for the music hall rather than the terrace. It was also recorded in the 1890s that Sheffield United fans had adopted a music hall song, the "Rowdy Dowdy Boys", while Southampton fans sang a "Yi! Yi! Yi!" chant based on a war cry. Blackburn Rovers fans were reported to have sung "We've won the cup before – many a time" before their 1891 FA Cup Final match against Notts County. Composer Sir Edward Elgar wrote a football song in honour of the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, Billy Malpass, after watching a match in February 1898 between Wolves and Stoke City. However, the anthem he wrote, "He Banged The Leather For Goal", never caught on among fans on the terrace.
The oldest football song in the world that is still in use today may be "On the Ball, City", a song believed to have been composed in the 1890s by Albert T Smith, who became a director of Norwich City when the club was founded in 1902. The song was adopted by fans of the club and it is still sung by Norwich's fans. Such club song may have its origin in the public school system (Norwich City was formed by a group of schoolteachers), while others have links with working-class music hall. Other early football chants still sung today include "Pompey Chimes" or "Play up, Pompey" sung by Portsmouth fans since the 1920s (an early form is believed to have been sung at the Fratton Park ground in 1899, therefore it is arguably older than "On the Ball, City"), and "Blaydon Races", a Geordie folk song from 1862, which was adopted by Newcastle United fans in the 1930s. Some of the songs sung at football ground by the 1920s were modified from popular music hall songs, for example "Kick, Kick, Kick, Kick, Kick it" from "Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken" and "Keep the Forwards Scoring" from "Keep the Home Fires Burning". Chants that referenced players were also heard on the terrace; for example, "Give it to Ballie" chanted by Swansea fans in reference to a player name Billy Ball who played for the club in 1912-1920.
Football chants in the early years were club-specific and they were generally friendly or jocular in tone. Songs with sectarian overtones, however, had been sung at matches between Rangers and Celtic in the 1920s, which became more overtly confrontational in later decades, raising the possibility that sectarianism may have been the origin of oppositional chanting and singing at football matches. Fans of the early period also had a limited repertoire of chants, which become more varied as singing was encouraged by the use of brass bands before games and the community singing movement that arose in the 1920s (the tradition of singing "Abide with Me" at FA Cup finals started in this period).
While various elements of football chants were already present in the early period, it was in the 1960s that the nature of football chants started to change and modern football chants emerged to become an integral part of fan culture and experience. The catalyst for the change may be due to a number of factors; one suggestion is the growth and evolution of youth culture in this period which, together with popular music started being played over the public announcement system at matches instead of brass bands, encouraged fans to start their own singing based on popular tunes. Another suggestion is the mixing of fan cultures from different countries through international football competitions that started to be broadcast internationally – the exposure to intense chanting by South American and Italian fans during the 1962 and 1966 World Cups may have encouraged British fans who were previously more reserved to do the same. They also picked up different type of chants from other countries; Liverpool fans for example, may have used a Brazilian chant "Brazil, cha-cha-cha" from the television broadcast of the 1962 World Cup, and turned it into the "Li-ver-pool, [clap, clap, clap]" chant.
Chants became more extensive in the 1960s, and popular songs became increasingly common as the basis of chants as fans adapted these songs to reflect situations and events relevant to them. Chanting the name of the team, chants for players and managers started to become prevalent. Liverpool supporters, particularly those on the Kop, were known for modifying songs in the early 1960s to suit their own purposes, and this practice quickly spread to fans of other clubs who created their own versions after hearing these chants. Liverpool fans, for example, honoured their player Ian St John with "When the Saints Go Marching In", a song that was also adopted by other clubs. Fans of many clubs now have a large and constantly evolving repertoire of chants in addition to a smaller number of songs closely associated with their club.
A more controversial aspect of this period of change was that abusive chants targeted at rival team or fans also became widespread. These may be taunts and insults aimed at the opposition teams or players to unnerve them, or obscene or slanderous chants targeted at individuals. A sampling of English football chants in the late 1970s found these types of chants to be the most numerous. Threats of violence may also be made to their rivals in chants; although such threats were rarely carried out, fights did occur which, together with increasing level of hooliganism in that period, gave these threats a real edge. Some abuses are racial in nature; for example, anti-Semitic chants directed at Tottenham Hotspur began in the 1960s, also against the Argentine club Atlanta (commonly heard in the 1960s but may have began as early as the 1940s), and against Ajax in the 1970s. Racist insults directed at black players began to be heard in the 1970s and 1980s in England and Spain when black players started appearing in their leagues in increasing numbers. Concerns over the abusive nature of some of these chants later led to measures in various countries to control them, for example, the British government made racist and indecent chants an offence in the UK in 1991. In Italy, the Mancino law had been used to prosecute fans for inciting racism. Despite efforts to stop them, some chants remain an issue around the world, such as the "Eh puto" chant used by Mexican fans, and racist chants in many countries.
As the sport of football spread to other country, so did its associated fan culture of football chants. Many countries, however, have developed their own tradition of football songs and chants; for example, most Italian clubs have their own official hymns, often written specially for the club by a prominent singer or composer who is a fan of the club. Many countries also have football chants dating from the early part of the 20th century, and football chants created in different countries may be specific to the local culture. Hand-clapping chants were popular in South American countries such as Brazil before it spread to other countries. Some chants originated from other sports; for example, the "two, four, six, eight!" chant that was used for sports in the United States from the early 20th century was adopted by football fans in the UK in the 1950s. The "Olé" chant from bullfighting is believed to be first used in Brazil for Garrincha in 1958, and a different version, the "Olé, Olé, Olé" chant, was first heard at a league game in Spain in 1982 and became popular in that country, while another version quickly spread around Europe in 1986 and became widely popular around the world.
As football fans travel to other countries on away international matches, and international broadcasts of football matches are common, fans from around the world often picked up chants from other clubs and countries, and some chants spread in an organic manner and become popular internationally. An example is the chant based on "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes — it was first adopted by fans of Belgian Club Brugge KV in 2003, their chant was then picked by Italian fans, and it was made an unofficial anthem for the Italy national football team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, following which it spread to other football clubs around the world as well as beyond football into other sports and events.
Common types of chants
- Anthems – These are songs that are closely associated with a club, and are commonly sung by fans to express their collective identity. Unlike other types of chants that are variations of widely-used chants, these songs tend to be unique to a particular club. The best-known example may be "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung by Liverpool fans, although it has also been adopted by a few other clubs such as Celtic and Borussia Dortmund. Other notable club anthems include "Blue Moon" (Manchester City), "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (West Ham), "No one likes us, we don't care" (Millwall), "Stern des Südens" (Bayern Munich), and "Cant del Barça" (Barcelona). Some anthems are written specially for the club, for example "Marching On Together" for Leeds United, and more recently "Hala Madrid y nada más" for Real Madrid, but many are popular songs that for whatever reasons have become identified with the club.
- Engagement with the team – These chants come in various forms. They may be expression of pride or loyalty in the club or team, or identity as fans of the club. At the simplest, the chants may just be repetitions of the name of the team, often with clapping (e.g. clap, clap, clap 3×, clap 4×, [name of club]), or they may identify themselves, e.g. "We are the [name for fans or home stand]". These also includes songs commonly sung at the club, such as "When the [name of team] Go Marching In".
The chants may also praise the team, individual players or managers. Typically popular tunes are used for this type of chants, for example, "There's only one [name of player]" sung to the tune of "Guantanamera", "Super [name of player or team]", or the "Olé, Olé, Olé" chant.
The chants may give encouragement to the team, for example, "Come on you [name of team]", "Vamos [name of team]", "Allez [name of team]".
They may also be expression of confidence and optimism, suggesting that their team will win a game, the league, be promoted, or going to a venue that hold major cup tie such as Wembley and win.
There may also expressions of dissatisfaction, such as criticism of the team when they are performing poorly, or calling for the manager to resign, and occasionally against the owner of the club.
- Insults, threats or expressions of hatred or mockery directed at the opponents – There are large variations in this type of chants. The chants may target the team (for examples "We hate [name of team]", "Stand up if you hate [name of team]", "You're shit").
Chants may be aimed at individual players or managers, and these can range from the amusing to the offensive or obscene. For example, "Who Ate All the Pies?" may be used against a player considered fat, or racist chants directed at black players. Chants may sometimes reflect players or managers in the news, or they may be made-up accusations directed against them that can be sung in either a humorous or offensive manner.
Chants may target fans or home grounds of the opponents (e.g. "My garden shed is bigger than this" or "Is this a library"), and may also refer to events in their rivals' club history, sometimes in highly offensive manner. Fans may also use parodies of their rivals' anthems, for example, singing "sign on, sign on ... you'll never get a job" to the tune of "You'll Never Walk Alone" started at a time when there was high unemployment in Liverpool.
- Reactions to events that happened on the pitch or off the pitch, these may be in celebration of a goal (e.g. "two-nil") or aiming to disrupt, or are expressions of boredom, or they may be comments about the officials such as the referees (e.g. "the referee's a wanker"), or the policing.
- Atmospheric chants – Sounds aimed at creating interest or excitement in the game without any specific message, such as long drawn-out "oooooh" and "arrrrrgh", or "la la la la la ..."
Some chants are spoken, sometimes accompanied by percussion. These chants may simply consist of the name of the team and/or words of encouragement. The chants may also be in a call-and-response format. For example, Chile national football team fans will do a routine whereby one group of fans will chant "Chi-Chi-Chi", and another group will respond "Le-Le-Le". For the Indonesia national football team one group of fans will chant "In-Do-Ne-Sia" with an air horn and hand clap in response. "Garuda Di Dadaku" is sung by fans when Indonesia plays at home.
Popularised at the Sydney Olympics and used by Australian football supporters everywhere is the "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi" chant between two groups of supporters. It is a derivation of Welsh rugby chant "Oggy Oggy Oggy", which was also adapted by Chelsea supporters in tribute to Peter Osgood.
Some chants consist simply of a loud shout or whoop with a hand clap, sometimes led by a drum beat that gets increasingly faster, such as the Viking Thunder Clap made popular by fans of Iceland. Similar chants have been performed by fans of teams such as Motherwell and Lens, and a version called "Boom Boom Clap" has been used by fans of North American clubs such as Seattle Sounders and Toronto since 2008 as well as the American national teams.
"You're Gonna Get Your Fucking Head Kicked In", sometimes pluralised to "You're Gonna Get Your Fucking Heads Kicked In", is a football chant originating in England. It is also used as a case study in psychology and sociology. The chant is often used as an intimidatory chant towards the opposing fans rather than as an actual threat of violence, but there have been a number of occasions when it has led to a fight between fans. The chant is sometimes used after the opposition have scored. It is now considered to be a dated chant with little current usage in English football culture despite being in common use in the 1970s and 80s.
Chants based on hymns and classical music
Several football chants are based on hymns, with "Cwm Rhondda" (also known as "Guide me, O thou great redeemer") being one of the most popular tunes to copy. Amongst others, it has spawned the song "You're not singing anymore!", "We support our local team!", and "I will never be a Blue!".
Various teams have used the "Glory Glory" chant (used by "Tottenham Hotspur", "Leeds United", "Manchester United", etc.), to the tune of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". Hibernian were the first team to popularise the song with the release of a record by Hector Nicol in the 1950s ("Glory Glory to the Hibees").
Many football crowd chants/songs are to the tune of "La donna è mobile" from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto, for example the chant by Derby County fans in honour of Fabrizio Ravanelli of "We've got Fabrizio, you've got fuck allio".
Italian tifosi employ various operatic arie, especially those by Giuseppe Verdi, for chants. For Parma's home matches at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, during the entry of the teams in the field, Aida's triumphal march resounds as Verdi is a symbol of the city.
Italian Torino fans sing their signature chant Toro alè to the tune of French anthem "La Marsellaise". The anthem theme was first popularized as a chant by A.S. Roma's curva sud after a 3-1 match win against Juventus on 30 January 1977. The anthem has also been modified by the RC Lens fans.
Chants based on spirituals and folk songs
Some chants are based on spirituals. "We shall not be moved" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" are both used by fans. An example of the latter's use was "He's got a pineapple on his head" aimed at Jason Lee due to his distinctive hairstyle. The song was later popularised by the television show Fantasy Football League.
The tune to the Shaker song "Simple Gifts" has spawned many terrace chants including "Carefree", a chant associated with Chelsea, though it was originally Chesterfield fans who adapted this. It was also used for a Tottenham song abusing Sol Campbell after his move to Arsenal in 2001 and was sung by Manchester United fans, in honour of Park Ji-Sung.
"Sloop John B" has been popular amongst English football fans since the mid-2000s. It was adopted by the supporters of English non-league team F.C. United of Manchester as a club anthem in 2007. Since then more high-profile teams have followed suit, usually with different lyrics for their own teams, most notably Watford, with Newcastle, Blackpool, Middlesbrough and Hull also adopting the song as their own. It was perhaps most famously sung by Phil Brown, the manager of Hull City FC, shortly after Hull had avoided relegation from the Premiership in 2009. The tune from the song's chorus is often sung with alternative lyrics, particularly "He scores when he wants", "You know what you are" and "We know what we are". Some Rangers fans sing a version expressing Anti-Irish sentiment in the lyrics, with the chorus notably replaced by "Your famine is over, why don't you go home?".
The Geordie folk song "Blaydon Races" is associated with Newcastle United. Other folk songs to have their lyrics altered include "The John B. Sails" to "We Won it 5 Times" by Liverpool fans, "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" to "We'll Be Coming Down the Road" by the Scotland national team and Liverpool fans, "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean", "The Wild Rover" and "Camptown Races", which is used for "Two World Wars, One World Cup", whilst Birmingham City fans sing "Keep Right on to the End of the Road".
The melody of "Bella ciao" is often used as a chant by Italian ultras groups of Salernitana, Cosenza Calcio, A.S. Livorno and also outside of Italy like with Aris Thessaloniki, AEK Athens F.C. or Paris Saint-Germain F.C. fans, as well as the Timbers Army of MLS' Portland Timbers. The song was also adapted by Brazilian fans during World Cup 2018 to tease and taunt Argentina about their possible exit in the first round, which eventually did not occur, with references to Argentinian players Di María, Mascherano, and Messi (Brazil and Argentina have a well-known football rivalry).
"The Fields of Athenry" is a widely used anthem by Irish sports fans, sang particularly at rugby and football matches. The song was adopted and reworked by Liverpool fans as "The Fields of Anfield Road".
Chants based on popular music
Popular music is the most common source of football chants. In the United Kingdom, music hall songs such as "My Old Man (Said Follow the Van)", "Knees Up Mother Brown", "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", "I Came, I Saw, I Conga'd" and "Two Little Boys" have long been used as the basis of terrace chants. Popular standards such as "Winter Wonderland", Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer", and the 1958 Eurovision entry "Volare" are also widely adapted to suit players and managers. The Cuban song "Guantanamera" became popularly used as a chant in the UK as a version by The Sandpipers charted soon after the 1966 World Cup, commonly in the form of "There's only one [player's name]". The tune "Tom Hark" is often played at many stadiums following a goal by the home team and for chants such as "Thursday Nights, Channel 5", whilst "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" by Doris Day is generally reserved for matches where the venue of the final is Wembley Stadium.
Music of the 1960s influenced terrace chants. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash and "That's Amore" by Dean Martin have been used by several sets of fans. "Lola" by The Kinks, and "Hi Ho Silver Lining" by Jeff Beck have been adapted by several clubs - most prolific of these include Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanderers. "All You Need Is Love", "Hey Jude" and "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles are often used. Songs from musicals have become very popular as football chants, such as "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from the 1964 musical Mary Poppins. Some early songs became popular as football chants later, for example the Venezuelan song "Moliendo Café" popular in early 1960s first became used as a chant in Argentina in late 1970s, which spread to Italy as "Dale Cavese" chants in 2006 and then later to clubs around the world.
The emergence of funk and disco in the 1970s also made its mark on the terraces with songs such as "Go West" by the Village People and "Oops Up Side Your Head" by The Gap Band remaining popular amongst fans. "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus and Chaka Khan has been used by Arsenal fans and others. Music popular in the 1980s and 1990s is also used widely. Chants have been based on "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, "Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats, the Band Aid song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag" by Pigbag and "This Is How It Feels" by Inspiral Carpets. Other chants have used tunes from on pop songs include "Three Lions", the official England anthem for Euro '96 and Manic Street Preachers song "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next".
More recent releases to have their music appropriated include "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes, which became highly popular across nations. A number of songs became popular in the 2010s, an example being "Freed from Desire", which is used to celebrate particular players – it was first popularised as "Will Grigg's on Fire", then used for others such as "Vardy's on Fire" and "Grizi's on Fire". An Italian disco song "L'estate sta finendo" became popular among European clubs such as Napoli, Juventus, Porto, Atlético Madrid and others as "Un giorno all'improvviso", later picked up Liverpool fans, who created their own version as "Allez Allez Allez" for their 2017–18 UEFA Champions League campaign, and it then spread to other British clubs in the 2018–2019 season. In late 2017, "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire had a big impact in English stadia.
Chants based on advertising jingles, nursery rhymes and theme tunes
Football crowds also adapt tunes such as advertising jingles, nursery rhymes and theme tunes. "The Farmer in the Dell" known in some regions as 'The Farmer Wants A Wife', provides the famous chant of "Ee Aye Addio", a tune which also provides the first bars of the 1946 be-bop jazz classic "Now's The Time", by alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. The marching tune "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is also used a basis for songs, such as "His Armband Said He Was a Red", sung by Liverpool fans in honour of Fernando Torres while he was still at the club. Chelsea fans then adapted the chant to match their own colours when Torres was transferred to the London club in 2011, with "He's now a Blue, he was a Red." Manchester United used the song to describe Torres and his looks too after he missed an open goal. United also used the song about John O'shea after he scored a goal against Derby in the Carling Cup in 2009. The children's song "Ten Green Bottles" became "Ten German Bombers", to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," both songs used by English fans to their main rivals, Germany. The nursery rhyme "This Old Man" is sung by both supporters of Manchester United and Manchester City. The theme from Z-Cars has been used in Everton's Goodison Park ground since 1962.
Some football teams also have songs which are traditionally sung by their fans. The song "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel is associated heavily with Liverpool. In 1963, the song was covered by Liverpool group Gerry and the Pacemakers, which prompted the song's adoption by the Kop. At this time, supporters standing on the Spion Kop terrace at Anfield began singing popular chart songs of the day. The mood was captured on camera by a BBC Panorama camera crew in 1964. One year later, when Liverpool faced Leeds in the FA Cup final, the travelling Kop sang the same song and match commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme commended the "Liverpool signature tune".
Fans of West Ham United were said to have adopted the song "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" at Upton Park in the mid-1920s, although no record of West Ham fans singing the song existed until 1940.
"Marching on Together" is played and sung at Elland Road by supporters of Leeds United, and is one of the few club songs specifically written for the football club in question, being an original composition by Les Reed and Barry Mason. It was first released as the B-Side to Leeds United to coincide with the 1972 FA Cup Final.
Manchester City has been strongly associated with the classic popular song "Blue Moon" since the late 1980s. The song is now an established and official part of the club's brand and culture: 'Blue Moon' is also the name of the club's leading fansite, images of a blue moon (a moon that's blue in colour, not the astronomical phenomenon) appear on licensed and fan-made clothing and merchandise, and the team's mascots are a pair of blue aliens from the moon named 'Moonchester' and 'Moonbeam'.
"Go West" by the Village People has been co-opted by fans of Arsenal F.C., using the words "1-0 to the Arsenal" as a reference to the club's defensive style of football under former manager George Graham. The same "1-0 to the Arsenal" was also often sung, in ironic spirit, by fans of opposition by way of mocking their perceived boring style of play during this time.. The tune is also used by supporters of Leyton Orient with the words "Stand Up for The Orient"
"Sailing" (originally by the Sutherland Brothers, but most commonly associated with Rod Stewart) is sung by Chesterfield fans, usually whenever the Spireites look to be 'sailing' to victory. A much faster-tempo version of the melody is used by Millwall F.C. fans for their famous chant "No one likes us, we don't care".
Birmingham City adopted "Keep Right on to the End of the Road" by Sir Harry Lauder after the team sang it on the coach before the 1956 FA Cup Final Versus Manchester City , it was heard by the fans outside Wembley Stadium . The song was a favourite of Alex Govan who introduced to his teammates, and their manager Arthur Turner used the song as a pre-match ritual in their FA Cup run. It has been the Blues Anthem ever since.
Supporters of Hibernian are known for singing "Sunshine on Leith" due to the song's composers and performers The Proclaimers being well known Hibernian supporters and the song's reference to Hibernian's home in Leith and as such the song has become an unofficial club anthem. The club has in the past also played other songs by the pair at its home ground Easter Road, such as "I'm on My Way", though none have the same association with the team that "Sunshine on Leith" does.
Supporters of Sheffield Wednesday regularly sing the words "Honolulu Wednesday" to the tune of "Honolulu Baby"; a song which featured in the 1933 film Sons of the Desert starring Laurel and Hardy. Across the city, Sheffield United F.C. fans celebrate the start of home games with a chorus of The Greasy Chip Butty Song.
Before every match, Nottingham Forest fans sing "Mull of Kintyre", replacing "Mull of Kintyre" with "City Ground", and "Mist rolling in from the sea" with "Mist rolling in from the Trent". "Mull of Kintyre" has also been adopted by Charlton Athletic, with Valley, Floyd Road and the Thames similarly being referenced.
"Can't Help Falling in Love" has been adopted originally by Sunderland as well as several other teams including Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Preston North End, Rotherham United, Swindon Town, Swansea and AFC Wimbledon.
Coventry City former chairman and manager Jimmy Hill, adopted the "Eton Boating song" as the club's official anthem to create Play up Sky blues in the early 1960s. The song has been sung on the terraces ever since and remains one of the most recognisable in English football.
Country-specific songs and chants
"Vamos, vamos, Argentina" is a stadium anthem sung by Argentine fans in support of their national team. At the 2014 World Cup, "Brasil Decime Qué Se Siente" ("Brazil tell me how it feels"), sung to the tune of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" and first used by San Lorenzo fans, became a popular song chanted by Argentine fans directed at Brazil.
"Cielito Lindo" is a song popularly sung by Mexican fans as an unofficial national anthem. Brazilian songs popularly sung by the country's fans include "Eu Sou Brasileiro" ("I'm Brazilian"). Similarly Spanish fans may sing "Yo soy Español" ("I'm Spanish"), which is sung to the tune of "Kalinka" after they beat Russia in Euro 2008. Other songs Spanish fans may sing include "Y Viva España".
Songs commonly sung by fans of England national team include "Here We Go" (with "England" enunciated as a three-syllable "Eng-ger-land"), "Three Lions (Football's Coming Home)" and others. A few songs are directed against specific teams, such as "Ten German Bombers" usually sung at their matches against Germany.
"Contigo Perú" is a famous song that is often sung by Peruvian football fans during their National Team's matches, even in the Russia 2018 World Cup match vs France. "Vamos" is also popular chants used by a number of Latin American countries. "Soy Celeste" ("I'm sky blue") has been used by the Uruguayans in reference to their national flag.
On 11 May 2004, Jonny Hurst was chosen as England's first "Chant Laureate". Barclaycard set up the competition to choose a Chant Laureate, to be paid £10,000 to tour Premier League stadia and compose chants for the 2004–05 football season. The judging panel was chaired by the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, who said "What we felt we were tapping into was a huge reservoir of folk poetry."
Argentine Fútbol Chanting
Eduardo Herrera suggests that soccer chanting in Argentina allows participants to create value around and give meaning to the idea of “aguante,” which is “central in the construction of an ideal masculinity.” “Aguante” translates to “endurance” or “stamina” in English. In practice, aguante is part of a masculine discourse that “divides the world between ‘real men’ and ‘not men.’ Garriga Zucal and Daniel Salerno have identified three main signs of aguante. The first is “alentar siempre,” which means to show support for the team throughout the entire match by jumping or chanting, even through bad weather or poor performance by the team. Secondly, to show aguante, a man must show up to all the matches, including away games that require long, uncomfortable trips. Thirdly, a fan must withstand confrontation to demonstrate aguante, either through chanting at opposing fans or through physical fights.
Participating in chanting or cantitos is a major way the barras bravas, or the most important militant groups of fans, can demonstrate aguante. The barras bravas, who are also known as the hinchada militante, stand throughout the game behind the goal and chant the entire time. These groups bring instruments to the matches in order to synchronize the chanting. The most prominent instrument is the bombo con platillo, which is a large bass drum with a diameter of 22-24 inches that can cost around $130 USD. The bombos con platillo are often decorated with the team’s colors and name and the name of the barra group, which is distinct from the team name. Along with these drums, other types of drums include Brazilian surdo drums, redoblantes (snare drums), and repiques. The barras often have other percussion instruments, including scrappers, tambourines, cowbells, and agogo bells. In addition to percussion, most barras have at least three trumpet players, and many teams might add trombones or euphoniums. While the bombo players are always from the barras bravas itself, because of the advanced skill it takes to play the brass instruments, the barras sometimes hire outside brass players for $35 USD to play during a match.
In the ensemble, one bombo player serves as the leader of the group, where he leads with exaggerated arm movements that are easy for the players to follow, but the leader of the chanting is often falls to another leader of the barras. They might lead by giving verbal or visual cues to the head bombo player, or they might just independently start a chant and expect the ensemble to follow.
- Entrance music
- Music at sporting events
- List of UK hit singles by footballers
- Sea shanty
- Tomahawk Chop
- "Los hinchas de Boca recibieron a River con el fantasma de la "B"". Clarin. 23 September 2018.
- Chris Roberts, Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind Rhyme, Thorndike Press,2006 (ISBN 0-7862-8517-6)
- Lawn, Andrew. "The history of chanting". Who are ya? Who are ya? Who are we?. ISBN 9781468948660.
- Armstrong, Gary; Young, Malcolm (1999). "Fanatical football chants: Creating and controlling the carnival" (PDF). Sport in Society. 2 (3): 173–211. doi:10.1080/14610989908721852.
- Luhrs, Joanne (2010). "Football Chants and Blason Populaire". In Eva Lavric (ed.). The Linguistics of Football. Narr Dr. Gunter. ISBN 978-3823363989.
- Nannestad, Ian (8 January 2016). "'Bubbles', 'Abe my boy' and 'the Fowler war cry': singing at the Vetch Field in the 1920s". In Anthony Bateman (ed.). Sport, Music, Identities. Routledge. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9781315763149.
- Russell, David (1997). Football and the English: a social history of association football in England, 1863-1995. Carnegie. pp. 58–59. ISBN 9781859360385.
- Alleyne, Richard (26 September 2010). "Sir Edward Elgar wrote football chant along with his classical music". The Telegraph.
- Doyle, Paul; Glendenning, Barry (6 May 2016). "The Joy of Six: football chants". The Guardian.
- "Club history". Norwich City F.C. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- Eastwood, John; Mike Davage (1986). Canary Citizens. Almeida Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-7117-2020-7.
- Brian and William Fellows. "Sing Your Hearts Out for the Lads". Family Fellows.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Mortimer, Gavin (2012). A History of Football in 100 Objects. Profile Books. ISBN 978-1781250617.
- Richard William Cox; Dave Russell; Wray Vamplew, eds. (3 September 2002). Encyclopedia of British Football. Routledge. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-0714652498.
- Nannestad, Ian (8 January 2016). "'Bubbles', 'Abe my boy' and 'the Fowler war cry': singing at the Vetch Field in the 1920s". In Anthony Bateman (ed.). Sport, Music, Identities. Routledge. pp. 33–36. ISBN 9781315763149.
- Morris, Desmond (1981). "Chapter 43 Tribal Chants". The Soccer Tribe. Cape. pp. 304–315. ISBN 978-0224019354.
- Mortimer, Gavin (4 October 2012). A History of Football in 100 Objects. Serpent's Tail. ISBN 9781847659057.
- Brown, Paul (2017). Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans. Goal Post. p. 162. ISBN 978-0995541221.
- Luhrs, Joanne. "Football Chants and the Continuity of the Blason Populaire Tradition" (PDF). pp. 51–52.
- Cloake, Martin; Fisher, Alan (6 October 2016). "Spurs and the Jews: the how, the why and the when". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- Rein, Raanan (2014). Fútbol, Jews, and the Making of Argentina. Stanford University Press. pp. 145–146. ISBN 978-0804793414.
- Spaaij, Ramón (2014). Understanding Football Hooliganism: A Comparison of Six Western European Football Clubs. Vossiuspers UvA. pp. 196–197. ISBN 978-0804793049.
- Peter Kennedy; David Kennedy, eds. (2014). Fan Culture in European Football and the Influence of Left Wing Ideology. Routledge. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9781351668354.
- "Football (Offences) Act 1991". legislation.gov.uk.
- "Racist chants against Boateng, Pro Patria fans acquitted on appeal". VareseNews. 30 May 2015.
- Arellano, Gustavo (9 November 2017). "Mexico's "Puto" Chant Won't Ever Go Away, No Matter What FIFA Does". Remezcla.
- "Soccer authorities plan measures to stop fans chanting 'Eh puto'". Mexico News Daily. 21 September 2019.
- Smith, Rory (22 December 2019). "When the Monkey Chants Are for You: A Soccer Star's View of Racist Abuse". The New York Times.
- "Bulgaria fans' racism: Racist abuse of England players leads to stadium ban". BBC. 29 October 2019.
- "Italy footballer Mario Balotelli threatens to quit match after racist chants". DW. 3 November 2019.
- Valente, Marcela. "ARGENTINA: Bolivian Immigrants Complain of Racist Football Chants". IPS News Agency.
- "Player walks off pitch in Peru over racist abuse from fans". Reuters. 2 March 2015 – via The Guardian.
- Dutta, Tilak (7 March 2016). "A Brief History of Football Chants in Italy". Goalden Times.
- "Serie A Anthems: Official Songs of All 20 Top-flight Clubs". Forza Italian Football.
- "Heja grabbar, friskt humör, det är det som susen gör!". Musik, sport & allt där emellan.
- Gándara, Lelia Mabel (1997). "Las voces del fútbol. Análisis del discurso y cantos de cancha". Literatura y Lingüística. 10 (10): 43–66. doi:10.4067/S0716-58111997001000003.
- Onion, Rebecca (4 June 2018). "Two, Four, Six, Eight, Who Do We Appreciate? A modern history of childhood, in one postgame cheer". Slate.
- Ambrósio, Tauan (20 September 2018). "'He had left the ball behind' - The day Garrincha gave 'Ole' to football". Goal.
- Baker, Alex (21 June 2014). "Soccer chants heard at the Brazil World Cup explained". Yahoo Sports.
- "Canvas brengt jubileumreeks van Belpop". VRT. 30 September 2020.
- "Hoe wijlen showbizzproducer Roland Verlooven de wereld aan een voetballied hielp". Focus. 11 March 2017.
- Brown, Helen (11 September 2017). "The story behind 'Seven Nation Army', an anthem of the World Cup football terraces". Financial Times.
- Van Evra, Jennifer (5 July 2018). "How a White Stripes song became the biggest soccer anthem of all time". CBC.
- Luhrs, Joanne. "Football Chants and the Continuity of the Blason Populaire Tradition" (PDF). pp. 98–99.
- Mayer-Lodge, Chris. "'You'll Never Walk Alone' at Borussia Dortmund". Bundesliga.
- Hubble, Mitch (12 May 2011). "World Football: Listing the Top 10 Football Songs of All Time". Bleacher Report.
- Gundersen, Edna (2 June 2014). "RedOne nets another hit with Real Madrid soccer anthem". USA TODAY.
- Hawkins, Billy (23 January 2020). "Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts Manchester United fans are 'disillusioned' as supporters chant against Glazers and Ed Woodward". talkSport.
- Shaw, Alex (6 June 2011). Shall We Sing a Song For You?: The good, the bad and the downright offensive - Britain's Favourite Football Chants. John Blake Publishin. ISBN 9781843586470.
- Philbin, Paul (23 January 2016). "10 football chants that fans should stop singing immediately". Liverpool Echo.
- Newman, Scott (16 June 2017). "5 of the most disrespectful crowd chants in football". Sportskeeda.
- Mitten, Andy (12 March 2018). "You only sing when there's dying: Lyrics about tragedies are fair game for some Manchester United and Liverpool fans". South China Morning Post.
- Magee, Will (23 August 2018). "It's time for the 'Sign on' chant aimed at Liverpool and Everton fans to die off". iNews.
- Knight, Sam (2 November 2019). "The Disastrous Arrival of Video Replay in English Soccer". The New Yorker.
- Vangelova, Luba (27 September 2000). "Oi, Oi, Oy". CNN Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013.
- "Oggy! chant 'came from Cornwall'". Wales Online. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- Dowley, Conor (16 June 2018). "Iceland's Thunderclap fan celebration, explained". SBNation.
- "Iceland's Chant Is Mighty, but It Comes From Scotland – via Hollywood". The New York Times. 26 June 2018.
- West, Phil (26 November 2017). "Hear that at the beginning of Leg 2? It's the Viking thunder clap". MLS Soccer.
- Levenson, Eric (10 June 2014). "Here Are the Fan Chants You'll Hear Non-Stop at the World Cup". The Atlantic.
- Gordon W Russell (2008). Aggression in the Sports World: A Social Psychological Perspective. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0195189599.
- Marsh, Peter E. (1978). Aggro: The Illusion of Violence. J. M. Dent. p. 24. ISBN 9780460120265.
- Ingham, Roger (1978). Football Hooliganism: The Wider Context. Inter-Action Inprint. p. 64. ISBN 9780904571158.
- Turnbull, Simon (10 April 2011). "The Last Word: How the once beautiful game can get rid of its snarling face". The Independent. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Caudwell, J.C. (2011). "'Does your boyfriend know you're here?' The spatiality of homophobia in men's football culture in the UK". Leisure Studies. 30 (2): 123–138. doi:10.1080/02614367.2010.541481. ISSN 0261-4367. S2CID 144386213.| access-date =14 February 2012
- "Saints Fans Need To Show Spurs That The Original Is The Best". The Ugly Inside. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "POLL: Which is the best football chant?". FourFourTwo. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "Keegan's the hair apparent". BBC News. 2 October 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Sol Campbells return to White Hart Lane turns spotlight on vitriolic fans". Daily Telegraph. London. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
- Conn, David (9 May 2007). "FC United rise and shine on a sense of community". The Guardian. London.
- "Adrian Chiles: Originality the key for fans who always win when they're singing - News & Comment - Football". The Independent. London. 16 October 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Brasileños adaptan 'Bella ciao' para burlarse y 'despedir' a Messi" (in Portuguese). msn.om. 22 June 2018.
- Lonergan, Aidan (2 April 2017). "Low lie, the Fields of Athenry! Seven facts about Ireland's iconic unofficial anthem". The Irish Post. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Song marks Hillsborough anniversary". BBC News. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Chorniki, Katia. "How a Cuban song became a football favourite". 1843 Magazine.
- "Liverpool team up with Johnny Cash | News". NME. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Fletcher, Paul (18 April 2003). "Zamora ready for the big time". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- McDonnell, Daniel (9 August 2006). "Irish fans no longer dreaming of a team of Gary Breens". Irish Independent.
- "Kanu, el marcapasos de la 'Premier' | Edición impresa | EL PAÍS". Elpais.com. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Dale Cavese: the football chant that took over the internet and the world". The Guardian. 7 December 2016.
- Rice, Simon (19 August 2009). "The funniest football chants". The Independent. London.
- Premier League (11 April 2011). "Liverpool v Manchester City: live". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Top 5 Criminal Footballers – Putting the Laughter in Manslaughter « We Heart Football". Weheartfootball.com. 19 July 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Siegel, Alan. "How The Song "Seven Nation Army" Conquered The Sports World". Deadspin.com. Deadspin.com. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Whaling, James (12 June 2016). "Vardy's on fire! Watch England fans adapt Will Grigg chant for Leicester striker". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Vely, Yannick (26 June 2016). "Euro 2016: "Griezmann's on Fire ..."". Paris Match (in French). Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- Davis, Callum (17 May 2016). "'Will Grigg's on Fire!' Fan behind the cult chant given a free Wigan season ticket". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Smith, Rory (23 May 2018). "How an Italian Disco Hit Became Liverpool's Champions League Anthem". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Doel, Jon (21 April 2019). "Why Liverpool AND Cardiff City fans are singing the Allez Allez Allez". Wales Online.
- Guest, Rob (9 May 2019). "The brilliant new Spurs chant inspired by Man City victory - and Liverpool fans will hate it". football.london.
- MacInnes, Paul. "When a terrace tune goes viral: the hunt for the source of the September chant". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- Winter, Henry (11 April 2008). "British clubs must savour Champions League". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Football Anthems". Football Stadiums.
- Reade, Brian. "Why Blackpool boss Ian Holloway is acting like a used car salesman over Charlie Adam's transfer, plus why Liverpool fans should be thanking their Fulham counterparts for Roy Hodgson chants". Mirror Football. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Liverpool vs Leeds United", British Broadcasting Corporation, F.A. Cup Final, 1965.
- Helliar, John. "The Story of Bubbles". West Ham United F.C. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010.
- Brown, Paul (23 March 2016). "Why West Ham fans sing 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles'". FourFourTwo.
- "Best football anthems - voted by you". BBC. 16 September 2014.
- Parkes-Nield, Christopher (21 August 2013). "Blue Moon: City Fan Anthem". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "20: Millwall FC (1970s) – No-One Likes Us, We Don't Care". Creative Review.
- Keane, Conor (9 September 2019). "This is why Birmingham City fans sing Keep Right On - and have a KRO hashtag". Birmingham Mail.
- Mabert, Tony (12 October 2011). "8 Greatest Tottenham Songs and Fan Chants". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Sussex by the Sea lyrics". Sussex History.
- Smith, Peter (22 April 2020). "Why do Stoke City fans sing Delilah?". Stoke Sentinel.
- Bajarlía, Daniel (10 June 2018). "La historia detrás de "Vamos, Vamos, Argentina", el cantito que llegó a la Justicia". Infobae.
- Debora Rey and Rodrigo Abd (6 June 2018). "Argentine soccer fans write stadium anthems". The Associated Press.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "How does it feel to have the daddy in your house - Argentina claims the defining song of Brazil's World Cup". ITV. 11 July 2014.
- Mackey, Robert (9 July 2014). "Argentines Sing of Brazil's Humiliation, Loudly and in Rio". The New York Times.
- "What is the song Mexicans Sing at Soccer Games?". Inside Mexico. 1 May 2018.
- Arbaiza, Victoria (6 September 2017). "Las mejores adaptaciones de Kalinka en español".
- Hayward, Ben (27 June 2014). "No victory this time but 'Viva Espana' will always be the soundtrack of Spain". Goal.
- Buncombe, Andrew (11 June 2000). "A corner of a foreign bar which is (for now) Eng-ger-land". The Independent.
- Jeffrey, Ben (6 July 2018). "World Cup 2018: What are England fans singing?". BBC News.
- Russell, Mark (15 June 2018). "World in Motion: the making of the greatest World Cup song". GQ magazine.
- "England fans criticised for vocal chorus of '10 German bombers' during match in Dortmund". The Telegraph. 23 March 2017.
- Rollins, Khadrice (15 July 2018). "What Does 'Allez Les Bleus' Mean? French National Team Chant Translation, Explanation". Sports Illustrated.
- Owens, David (8 June 2016). "Only Boys Aloud's version of Can't Take My Eyes Off You to mark Wales at Euro 2016 is fantastic". Wales Online.
- "Wales Euro 2016 song: From Vietnam-bound troops to France". BBC. 13 May 2016.
- "Football's first Chant Laureate". BBC News. 11 May 2004. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 472.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 473.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 476.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 478.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 470-499.
- Herrera, Eduardo. 2018. “Masculinity, Violence, and Deindividuation in Argentine Soccer Chants: The Sonic Potentials of Participatory Sounding-in-Synchrony.” Ethnomusicology 62(3): 480.
- "Dirty Northern Bastards!" And Other Tales from the Terraces: The Story of Britain's Football Chants by Tim Marshall
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Football chants.|
- Barclaycard Chant Laureate: A selection of the finalists
- Terrace Chants
- 50 Best Football Chants (FourFourTwo)
- USA Football Chants and Songs
- World football's 25 best chants (Bleacher Report)
- The 23 songs that most modern football chants are based on
- The Joy of Six: Football Chants