Retiring an outdated chant

Status
Not open for further replies.

Smythy17

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2017
Messages
47
Reaction score
48
I am a frequent viewer but an infrequent contributor on GPG, but watching an interview with Klopp about the chant at the Norwich game made me think of something I've long wanted to post:

I've been a season ticket holder for a number of years and generally think what we sing as a fanbase is great - passionate, positive and rightfully taking some shots at those inferior West London rivals. The one exception to this is the "oh West London is wonderful..." chant. I'm sure people will disagree with this, saying it is just a bit of fun etc., but especially as we move into the new stadium and hopefully become an established premier league club, I think there's a strong argument for ditching a chant which is, at best, outdated. It offers nothing positive for the players and surely only alienates fans or potential fans of the club. If you have a young family, would you honestly want them singing this? Whilst you could make the argument that chants with swearing etc. are also off-putting, I think there is a distinction between this and something which I think offers nothing good.

I am incredibly proud to be a fan of the club and as I say, I'm sure some will dismiss this out of hand. But I think as a forward looking club this is something we should seriously be looking to change.
 

cheshirebee

the one without a space
Joined
21 Feb 2009
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
1,034
Location
Macclesfield
I am a frequent viewer but an infrequent contributor on GPG, but watching an interview with Klopp about the chant at the Norwich game made me think of something I've long wanted to post:

I've been a season ticket holder for a number of years and generally think what we sing as a fanbase is great - passionate, positive and rightfully taking some shots at those inferior West London rivals. The one exception to this is the "oh West London is wonderful..." chant. I'm sure people will disagree with this, saying it is just a bit of fun etc., but especially as we move into the new stadium and hopefully become an established premier league club, I think there's a strong argument for ditching a chant which is, at best, outdated. It offers nothing positive for the players and surely only alienates fans or potential fans of the club. If you have a young family, would you honestly want them singing this? Whilst you could make the argument that chants with swearing etc. are also off-putting, I think there is a distinction between this and something which I think offers nothing good.

I am incredibly proud to be a fan of the club and as I say, I'm sure some will dismiss this out of hand. But I think as a forward looking club this is something we should seriously be looking to change.
There were some posts on this a few months ago (including me), all agreeing with your point.
I too am incredibly proud of our club and our fans but I cringe every time this is sung.
Have to hold my hands up and admit to have sung along in my youth so open to accusations of hypocrisy but it’s a different and better time now.
I go with one or sometimes both of my daughters and have got them really involved on the basis of the exciting football and a promise that all are welcome and respected at BFC. I am so embarrassed when this is sung when I’m with them and often wonder how they feel but haven’t been brave enough to ask.
 

badgerbee

Mafeking Avenue........gets you there!!!!
Joined
28 Jan 2008
Messages
17,378
Reaction score
3,556
Location
Langport, Somerset
I am a frequent viewer but an infrequent contributor on GPG, but watching an interview with Klopp about the chant at the Norwich game made me think of something I've long wanted to post:

I've been a season ticket holder for a number of years and generally think what we sing as a fanbase is great - passionate, positive and rightfully taking some shots at those inferior West London rivals. The one exception to this is the "oh West London is wonderful..." chant. I'm sure people will disagree with this, saying it is just a bit of fun etc., but especially as we move into the new stadium and hopefully become an established premier league club, I think there's a strong argument for ditching a chant which is, at best, outdated. It offers nothing positive for the players and surely only alienates fans or potential fans of the club. If you have a young family, would you honestly want them singing this? Whilst you could make the argument that chants with swearing etc. are also off-putting, I think there is a distinction between this and something which I think offers nothing good.

I am incredibly proud to be a fan of the club and as I say, I'm sure some will dismiss this out of hand. But I think as a forward looking club this is something we should seriously be looking to change.
Agree about the "Oh West London" chant. One of the few I never join in with.
Out of interest, what was the chant at the Norwich game? (Haven't seen reports of that) Was it's Liverpool's version?
 

taxi driver

Active member
Joined
26 Jul 2005
Messages
4,184
Reaction score
783
Location
Staines
How about updating the chant for something more wholesome instead of retiring it.
 

BEEcool

Active member
Joined
14 Feb 2005
Messages
2,321
Reaction score
1,819
I agree, it's time we stopped singing about Owusu - that was over 20 years ago now and many new fans won't have even heard of him. It's the current players that should be the focus of our support.
 

RAF_Patto

Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
945
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Lincoln
Agree about the "Oh West London" chant. One of the few I never join in with.
Out of interest, what was the chant at the Norwich game? (Haven't seen reports of that) Was it's Liverpool's version?
Not sure on the wording, but essentially claims that as a Chelsea player he is therefore a rent boy.
 
OP
S

Smythy17

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2017
Messages
47
Reaction score
48
@cheshirebee Hadn't seen the previous thread but totally agree with what you've said. Definitely a hard one to broach with your kids but I'm sure it's something they've heard and it must be a negative from all the other wonderful things they see. I too have just not chanted it, but I feel that not confronting it means it just continues. Anyone new to the club typically wants to join in chants so it doesn't actually diminish.

@badgerbee The Liverpool chant was the "Chelsea rent boy" one - despite being wholly behind LGBT+ with a best mate who is gay, I will 100% hold my hands up and say I've sang that myself before without really considering the implication. This was the Klopp interview which made me think more (and reflect on our chant)
@taxi driver Don't disagree with this, I guess it's a question of whether enough fans get behind a newer version or otherwise some just sing there version anyway

Thanks for the responses so far, would love to see more views on this
 

8corner

Active member
Joined
31 May 2006
Messages
3,630
Reaction score
1,160
I've always substituted funny for 'ayes.

I'd be happy for this chant to be archived. We have plenty of other chants now.

I do still like some of the old school chants like "Dance Now" and "Oh me lads" - definitely hope that is sung loud v Watford - but I'm straying now so better stop before Aussie Ed piles in.
 
OP
S

Smythy17

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2017
Messages
47
Reaction score
48
Waiting for the first "political correctness gone mad" post to really kick this thread off :pop:
I'm sure some will think that, but this is why it is so important to understand the responses of those like @bubb because many of us are fortunate to have probably never heard a chant from their own supporters that makes them feel negative.
 

LostBee

Active member
Joined
22 Oct 2000
Messages
4,318
Reaction score
909
Location
Down in Albion
I'm sure some will think that, but this is why it is so important to understand the responses of those like @bubb because many of us are fortunate to have probably never heard a chant from their own supporters that makes them feel negative.

I completely agree, but I'm bored and some GPG beef 🥩 will keep me entertained for a couple of hours.
 

bubb

Member
Joined
11 May 2013
Messages
172
Reaction score
191
Same here, although my friend and I sing our own version substituting the offending words for something about fellas. ;)
Yes I thought of doing that when an old colleague of mine who was a West Ham fan used to do it. but then it’s a) just the same problem in reverse and b) allows it to continue. I’d rather it went but realize it will take a long time before it goes.
 

FJBee

Active member
Joined
24 Apr 2014
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
412
It's too easy to just continue singing the old songs we used to sing. Personally wouldn't mind if both of these went, plenty of good chants we can sing instead.
 

beesbees_bfc

Active member
Joined
3 Jun 2008
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
1,009
Being completely honest, A few years ago I think I’d have fallen in to the ‘bit of fun’ or ‘pc gone mad’ side of this conversation.

However, now having a young daughter and desperately hoping she will get in to football, Brentford and will want to join me at matches in future, when I hear this chant I start wondering what she’d think when older and how it would impact her match day experience and don’t join in.

Maybe it’s for reasons mentioned in the OP or maybe something else, however, this song used to be heard very regularly, at pubs and away games particularly, as one of the first go to chants, whereas I hear it much less and from much less people these (pre covid) days.
 

olliebfc

Member
Joined
6 Dec 2006
Messages
175
Reaction score
184
So it’s chants this week. Ok. As a catholic always found the one that digs the Pope out (with the IRA) a bit odd 😂. But I just don’t join in and move on with my life in a millisecond. I’m sure the less people who enjoy songs means the less people who sing so they die a natural death... On a tangent my favourite song is ‘down in the town of Northampton’ never understood it, but will never stop singing!
 
OP
S

Smythy17

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2017
Messages
47
Reaction score
48
So it’s chants this week. Ok. As a catholic always found the one that digs the Pope out (with the IRA) a bit odd 😂. But I just don’t join in and move on with my life in a millisecond. I’m sure the less people who enjoy songs means the less people who sing so they die a natural death... On a tangent my favourite song is ‘down in the town of Northampton’ never understood it, but will never stop singing!
Totally appreciate this opinion, but without trying to assume too much I guess you (or I) would be able to "move on with my life in a millisecond" as it's not something that you may feel affronted by. That's why I found that Klopp interview interesting, made me think of it from a different persepective.

@beesbees_bfc Agree with this too - I wonder how many people may have been put off in the past, even subconsciously, due to things like this.
 

Ghost

Active member
Joined
22 May 2002
Messages
9,401
Reaction score
651
Location
Mitcham
On the one hand I'm loathed to sanitise football but the world has moved on. It is a fact that many many more women, children, BAME, LGBTQ are attending games so it falls into the same category as no room for racism imo. I have two daughters who showed a fleeting interest whilst we were still at GP but it's fizzled out for now. If I think how I would have explained that particular chant if they had asked about it :eek:
Surely fun and fervour can still be generated without chants that target any particular group of people (apart from opposing clubs fans of course!)
The "Northampton" song being a case in point. As far as I know it doesn't target any group of people, some people might see it as unsavory perhaps 🤷
 

LostBee

Active member
Joined
22 Oct 2000
Messages
4,318
Reaction score
909
Location
Down in Albion
Being completely honest, A few years ago I think I’d have fallen in to the ‘bit of fun’ or ‘pc gone mad’ side of this conversation.

However, now having a young daughter and desperately hoping she will get in to football, Brentford and will want to join me at matches in future, when I hear this chant I start wondering what she’d think when older and how it would impact her match day experience and don’t join in.

Maybe it’s for reasons mentioned in the OP or maybe something else, however, this song used to be heard very regularly, at pubs and away games particularly, as one of the first go to chants, whereas I hear it much less and from much less people these (pre covid) days.

Makes sense, just as long as we don't have to retire "Fiat Punto" anytime soon. :hat:
 

OhBeehave

Member
Joined
30 Aug 2017
Messages
666
Reaction score
218
Location
West Sussex
Yes I thought of doing that when an old colleague of mine who was a West Ham fan used to do it. but then it’s a) just the same problem in reverse and b) allows it to continue. I’d rather it went but realize it will take a long time before it goes.
I agree and we've stopped it singing anyway and now I just don't sing at all. I need to have words with my brother who was singing along loudly on Friday.
 

upnorthbee

Active member
Joined
3 Jan 2006
Messages
2,106
Reaction score
968
Location
Singapore
Mixed feelings about this. I admittedly don’t have a daughter but can imagine how it would make one who does feel uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I don’t want football to become too sanitised personally... I like how footballs not 100% politically correct and you can still find some rawness in the terraces.

The problem is, where do you draw the line? If we’re ditching racist chants (do we still sing the one about Marcus Gayle?), maybe it is actually time to ditch the homophobic and sexist ones too... although whenever I’ve sang it I’ve admittedly never considered it as offensive.

These are different times we’re living in.
 

BEEcool

Active member
Joined
14 Feb 2005
Messages
2,321
Reaction score
1,819
Being completely honest, A few years ago I think I’d have fallen in to the ‘bit of fun’ or ‘pc gone mad’ side of this conversation.

However, now having a young daughter and desperately hoping she will get in to football, Brentford and will want to join me at matches in future, when I hear this chant I start wondering what she’d think when older and how it would impact her match day experience and don’t join in.

Maybe it’s for reasons mentioned in the OP or maybe something else, however, this song used to be heard very regularly, at pubs and away games particularly, as one of the first go to chants, whereas I hear it much less and from much less people these (pre covid) days.
Agree with all of this.

It's the type of song that will probably die off organically as society changes and it feels like it already has to a large degree - I'm not sure making a specific point about it will speed it up, possibly the opposite even.

I also think age comes it to a lot. I suspect the vast majority of those that do still participate in singing it are in their early 20's which somehow gives it a slightly different perspective.
 
Last edited:

OhBeehave

Member
Joined
30 Aug 2017
Messages
666
Reaction score
218
Location
West Sussex
I'm not a big fan of songs about Fulham and QPR for the most part now that we're in a different division, apart from Bees Up Fulham Down of course. That's perfect but I don't really get why we're still singing about them now we're in a different division. Fine when we were still in the Championship. Now it just seems embarrassingly pointless. I particularly hate "Fulham are you listening" though that might be more to do with the fact that Winter Wonderland is my favourite Christmas song that's not a traditional carol and I hate to ruin it by singing about a substandard club from down the road.
 

Jules

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2003
Messages
84
Reaction score
7
Location
Feltham
Being completely honest, A few years ago I think I’d have fallen in to the ‘bit of fun’ or ‘pc gone mad’ side of this conversation.

However, now having a young daughter and desperately hoping she will get in to football, Brentford and will want to join me at matches in future, when I hear this chant I start wondering what she’d think when older and how it would impact her match day experience and don’t join in.

Maybe it’s for reasons mentioned in the OP or maybe something else, however, this song used to be heard very regularly, at pubs and away games particularly, as one of the first go to chants, whereas I hear it much less and from much less people these (pre covid) days.
Concur entirely - having a daughter stood/sat next to me makes it impossible to sing without cringing, despite having sung it with pride in younger years
 

CheeseFarmW4

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2021
Messages
116
Reaction score
217
Location
Chiswick
Mixed feelings about this. I admittedly don’t have a daughter but can imagine how it would make one who does feel uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I don’t want football to become too sanitised personally... I like how footballs not 100% politically correct and you can still find some rawness in the terraces.

The problem is, where do you draw the line? If we’re ditching racist chants (do we still sing the one about Marcus Gayle?), maybe it is actually time to ditch the homophobic and sexist ones too... although whenever I’ve sang it I’ve admittedly never considered it as offensive.

These are different times we’re living in.
Unless you sit within one of the groups who are the subject of the song, it's very difficult to justify it being OK it by saying you don't consider it offensive as it's not really your call. Agree that you may not be directing offence, but that doesn't mean offence isn't received the other end (this is getting far too PC for me now!). Also agree that it's difficult to know where to draw the line but being generally aware of where we are as a society should indicate that females and LGBT are not in scope for "offensive" songs, as are many others.

I would think it sours the experience of most females which is not only unfair on those that attend, but puts off a lot of potential others. That's pretty bad from a growth perspective, as I'd argue the biggest potential for fan growth for most clubs will be through the local female population.
 
OP
S

Smythy17

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2017
Messages
47
Reaction score
48
Unless you sit within one of the groups who are the subject of the song, it's very difficult to justify it being OK it by saying you don't consider it offensive as it's not really your call. Agree that you may not be directing offence, but that doesn't mean offence isn't received the other end

This is spot on for me. In the Klopp interview (that I will stop referencing at some point!), the fan from "Kop Out" said hearing those chants was "like having a cold bucket of water poured over him" and I think it would be the same with this. I don't think it's just a case of "if you have a daughter" (or a son in my case) or even if there are some people in a 'targeted group' that might be able to ignore it, I think taking a moment to think about what we are actually saying/singing matters. It's a good thing that as a society there are things that we no longer agree with, and this doesn't mean you were a terrible person just because you used to do something.

I can't make the Palace game but would love to have a Villa game without it (and a cheeky 3 points to brag about with some Villa mates too).
 

Jay Bee

Active member
Joined
24 Jan 2001
Messages
8,436
Reaction score
738
Location
London
I like the suggestion of changing the words. When the saints go marching in is one of the great anthemic football songs and it's nice to express some local pride....without the sexist second line.
And, some would react to this type of request by doubling down and singing it as often as possible - I think changing the words is a possible a more positive outcome than simply standing in silence.

Clapton fans sing "It's full of pie, mash and Clapton, oh East London is wonderful" - not suggesting we need their east end cliches but what about something with names of the players? "We've got Janelt, Forss and Norgaard, oh west London is wonderful".
 

Jay Bee

Active member
Joined
24 Jan 2001
Messages
8,436
Reaction score
738
Location
London
Surely fun and fervour can still be generated without chants that target any particular group of people (apart from opposing clubs fans of course!)
The "Northampton" song being a case in point. As far as I know it doesn't target any group of people, some people might see it as unsavory perhaps 🤷
For what it's worth the only songs I hear at Brentford games that I consciously avoid singing are a couple of the popular ones about fighting - not because they are offensive as such I just see them as glorifying something that I have no interest in. Clearly plenty of others do not agree.
 

shouldbee

Active member
Joined
20 Jun 2005
Messages
8,645
Reaction score
235
Location
Richmond
I'm not a big fan of songs about Fulham and QPR for the most part now that we're in a different division, apart from Bees Up Fulham Down of course. That's perfect but I don't really get why we're still singing about them now we're in a different division. Fine when we were still in the Championship. Now it just seems embarrassingly pointless. I particularly hate "Fulham are you listening" though that might be more to do with the fact that Winter Wonderland is my favourite Christmas song that's not a traditional carol and I hate to ruin it by singing about a substandard club from down the road.
100% agree, we don't need to sing about clubs in the Championship, just makes us look small time.
 

nick logan

Well-known member
Joined
6 Apr 2000
Messages
32,957
Reaction score
3,991
Location
Essex
I'm not a big fan of songs about Fulham and QPR for the most part now that we're in a different division, apart from Bees Up Fulham Down of course. That's perfect but I don't really get why we're still singing about them now we're in a different division. Fine when we were still in the Championship. Now it just seems embarrassingly pointless. I particularly hate "Fulham are you listening" though that might be more to do with the fact that Winter Wonderland is my favourite Christmas song that's not a traditional carol and I hate to ruin it by singing about a substandard club from down the road.
nonsense , they are our rivals . Makes no difference what division we are in.
Would Spurs stop singing about Arsenal if they got relegated ?

Yes i realise most of your post was tongue in cheek.
 

JRTBEE

Member
Joined
9 Oct 2010
Messages
126
Reaction score
130
Also can we not sing “ by far the greatest team the world has ever seen” as we are not currently ranked number 1 and are some way from being the best team in the world.I feel this would be misleading to away fans and general day trippers.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom