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Sporting hero songs?

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McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 10:38 AM
Midchuck 19 Aug 01 - 11:07 AM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Aug 01 - 11:50 AM
raredance 19 Aug 01 - 12:23 PM
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ard mhacha 19 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 05:17 PM
Callie 19 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM
Gareth 19 Aug 01 - 07:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM
Kim Hughes 20 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Neil Comer 20 Aug 01 - 06:43 PM
nutty 20 Aug 01 - 06:53 PM
Susanne (skw) 20 Aug 01 - 07:10 PM
Steve Latimer 20 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM
Mark Cohen 20 Aug 01 - 08:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 08:35 PM
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Subject: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 10:38 AM

There's what you could call a sub-genre of songs about sporting heroes. But so far as I could see, we don't seem to have many in the DT. What I mean is, songs in the same kind of idiom as BOLD THADY QUIL, but more recent.

The reason I was thinking is because the TV cable service we've recently got gives us GAA sports, hurling and Gaelic football, and there's some great matches at present (Up Tipp), and it set me thinking about songs about Christy Ring and others that I've heard, but don't know.

And there's others about ordinary football (soccer) - there's a great one about Jimmy Greaves and his battle with alcoholism And other sports as well.P>

I suppose the song about my namesake, Msster McGrath falls into the genre too - as would any about racing horses.

Anyway, if anyone can come up with a few of the songs of that sort it'd be good to have them here. I had a search in the archives but I couldn't find them.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Midchuck
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 11:07 AM

Joseph Baker (from Mick Moloney) (distance runner)

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 11:50 AM

Well, off the top of my head, there's Morrisey and the Russian Sailor, and Stewball.

Any others?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: raredance
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:23 PM

Chuck Brodsky has written several about people around baseball: "Moe Berg: The Song" (a catcher in the 1920's-30's); "Lefty" (Steve Carleton a hall of fame pitcher); "Gone To Heaven" (about Max Patkin who was not a player but for half a century entertained during baseball games and was known as the "Clown Prince of Baseball").

Another baseball hero song is "Doing My Job" by John McCutcheon about Cal Ripkin and his 2000+ consecutive game record.

"Glory Bound" by James Keelaghan also comes to mind, about a hockey player, although I do not know if it is real or fictional.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM

Casey at the Bat (ok, so it's a poem.....)
Is John Peel too early to count?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM

McGrath, An interesting aside on The Bould Thady Quill. I heard an account of the song on RTE Radio a number of years ago and the person relating the story knew the Thady Quill of the song. He went on to say that the song was a skit on Thady as he was the direct opposite to the hero of our song, being a big inoffensive person.This kind of ironic humour is to be found in a few irish songs. And how about Johnny Thompson, this song was written after the accidental death during a match of the Glagow Celtic Goalkeeper. This happened around the mid 1930`s. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:48 PM

Mention it not outside of Wales, but try a delve into Max Boyce. Or possibly not in view of current Rugby form.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:17 PM

There's a song lamenting/celebrating the great days of hurling that I heard, centring round some great hurler that had just died, and I just can't remember a word of it. I'm hoping someone come up with that one.

(Mind I'd say the great days of hurling are still with us, from the match I've been watching.)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Callie
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM

Australian singer/songwriter has a song titled ´Bradman´about the cricket legend Don Bradman who died recently. The song is about 15 years old.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 07:20 PM

Mind back into gear - far too many pints of Breakspears at the Bell at Grove.

Max Boyce.

Compilations - "Live at Treorchy" & "We all had Doctors Papers".

Special Mentions.
"The Pontypool Front Row"
"The Outsidehalf Factory",
etc.

Gareth


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY THOMPSON
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM

Well, here is JOHNNY THOMPSON(from Alex Campbell's songbook - not that Alex wrote it, or ever suggested he did). John Thompson was killed when he dived at the ball at the feet of Rangers'forward Dammy English, and was accidentally booted in the head.

There was a lad named Johnny Thompson
From the Fifeshire coast he came
To play for Glasgow Celtic,
It was a team of storied fame.

On the 5th day ofSeptember,
When the Rangers Club he played
Johnny Thompson saved the Celtic goal,
For his club his life he gave.

I took a trip to Parkhead
To see them play a game
As the players came running out,
it did not seem the same

A famous face was missing
From the Green and White brigade
And they told me Johnny Thompson
His last game had played.

The fans they now are silent,
As they travel far and near,
No more will they cheer John Thompson
Who was football's brightest star.

So come on Glasgow Celtic
Stand up and play the game
For in your goal a spirit stands,
John Thompson is his name.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM

There are couple of sprting songs in the DT - there is The Football Match, and the Last Game of the Season.

But what I'm after are the ones with names and places, the ones that displace the imagery of the warrior into th e context of sporting campaigns.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Kim Hughes
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM

A couple that come to mind are "He's Fitbaa' [football] Crazy, He's Fitbaa' Mad" and "Old Bob Ridley" (which I guess is more a boasting song, but all the boasts are about sports.) A.L.Lloyd did a whole record of these, possibly with Ewan MacColl. I don't have the reference to hand, but could track it down if requested.

cheers, kim


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:43 PM

There's always Master McGrath (even though he was a greyhound) and Stewball


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: nutty
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:53 PM

How about John Peel (D'ye ken John Peel) and Bellman (he was a "proper" hound)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:10 PM

Benny Lynch, Who Killed Davy Moore?, and Flowers of Manchester


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM

Catfish by Bob Dylan about pitcher Catfish Hunter. It was covered by Joe Cocker.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 08:22 PM

Fred Small has one about a retired college basketball coach, "Jimmy Come Lately" (it's a true story; I'm still trying to find out the name of the coach). And Stan Rogers did one about a hockey coach; I can't remember the name just now. Since I referee kids' soccer games but don't play myself, I like the ones about the ones who help out!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 08:35 PM

I remember that one, Jimmy come lately - just the other day for some reason I was looking over that thread where you posted it, Mark.

That might have been one of the things that set me thinking about this thread. That and watching a game of hurling - the thing about hurling is that it is an oddly heroic game, a succession of skirmishes, and feats of skill and daring.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 08:54 PM

The Stan Rogers song is Flying. And in looking for it I found a fantastic Stan Rogers website that I never knew about.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:06 PM

If you're interested in how the popular culture of the 1930s dealt with a sports hero, Rounder has issued a CD of songs (pop and folk) that celebrated Joe Louis. $12.98 at CAMSCO.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:28 AM

I think the second line of Johnny Thompson is "From the Wellesley Fife he came". That is the only way I've ever heard it. Tune similar to Noreen Bawn.

ONe song not mentioned - "The Gallant John Joe" about John Joe O'Reillly who played Gaelic for Cavan.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:11 AM

For a different kind of heroism in sports, take a look at Nine Gold Medals. It's been recorded by David Roth, who wrote it, and also by Rebel Voices (another shameless plug for my friends Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis, who are worth a listen -- as is David). It's worth remembering that the race is not always to the swift.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:58 AM

I think (but you know how reliable my memory is!)that the Critics group in UK did a song about a boxer. Randolph Turpin?? There was a novelty record by several UK snoker players a few years ago, thankfully CRS has erased it from memory, it was dreadful. Those of you of a more traditional bent probably know lots of broadsides about bare-knuckle fighters, wobblers (endurance walkers) etc.
RtS (any songs about dominoes or bowls I wonder?)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 05:15 AM

"The Gallant John Joe" about John Joe O'Reillly who played Gaelic for Cavan.

Now could you point us in the direction if those words?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:03 AM

McGrath, Here it is, Lament for John Joe O` Reilly. God rest you John Joe O`Reilly, `neath each cold November air, As the grey dust falls so quickly round the plains of old Kildare. God rest and keep you John Joe may your memory last in Fame, Throughout each hill in Ulster and your own loved Cornafean. 2 God rest you John Joe Reilly, Neath each bright November star, Where his hero tales are told to-night, by firesides near and far, While by quite lakes in Cavan men can hear the Banshee wail, For the bravest hearts of Breifne and the pride of all the Gael. 3 They will grieve for him in Kerry, throughout Mayo, Louth and Cork, While his comrades go in mourning through the sidewalks of New York, Where the Yankees they did cheer him on that ne`er forgotten day, When victory was found three thousand miles away. 4 God rest you John Joe Reilly, that`s the prayer of royal Meath, But his loss is felt the keenest on his native Ulster heath, Through the length and breadth of Breifne they are singing one refrain, God rest you John Joe Reilly you were the pride of Cornafean. 5 We bless and keep you in our prayers, may he count you with his own, While Ulster mourns your passing from the Ards to Inishowen, God rest you and keep you John Joe and we pray for you to-day, While Cavan lost their bravest man on a cold November

John Joe O`Reilly captained the Cavan Gaelic football team in the Polo Grounds New York in 1947, Cavan beat Kerry in the only All-Ireland Final to be played outside of Ireland. McGrath there are numerous songs connected with sporting heroes of Gaelic games. And thanks for the Johnny Thompson song. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LAMENT FOR JOHN JOE O` REILLY
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 09:27 AM

There are numerous songs connected with sporting heroes of Gaelic games.

And that's exactly what I'm hoping we'll get out of this thread (and other stuff too maybe). Thanks - and I've put in the line breaks.

Lament for John Joe O` Reilly.

God rest you John Joe O`Reilly,
`neath each cold November air,
As the grey dust falls so quickly
round the plains of old Kildare.
God rest and keep you John Joe
may your memory last in Fame,
Throughout each hill in Ulster
and your own loved Cornafean.

God rest you John Joe Reilly,
Neath each bright November star,
Where his hero tales are told to-night,
by firesides near and far,
While by quite lakes in Cavan
men can hear the Banshee wail,
For the bravest hearts of Breifne
and the pride of all the Gael.

They will grieve for him in Kerry,
throughout Mayo, Louth and Cork,
While his comrades go in mourning
through the sidewalks of New York,
Where the Yankees they did cheer him
on that ne`er forgotten day,
When victory was found three thousand miles away.

God rest you John Joe Reilly,
that`s the prayer of royal Meath,
But his loss is felt the keenest
on his native Ulster heath,
Through the length and breadth of Breifne
they are singing one refrain,
God rest you John Joe Reilly
you were the pride of Cornafean.

We bless and keep you in our prayers,
may he count you with his own,
While Ulster mourns your passing
from the Ards to Inishowen,
God rest you and keep you John Joe
and we pray for you to-day,
While Cavan lost their bravest man
on a cold November...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT JOE BOB
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 12:11 PM

Here is one from the inimitable Terry Allen:

THE GREAT JOE BOB ( A Regional Tragedy)
(Terry Allen)

He was a panhandle prince … ahhh
Schoolboy football king
They told him 'Hi' in the halls
'Cause he could run them balls
But it was rumoured (deep down) he was mean
He dated high-tone girls
With frosty pom-pom curls
But he never give out his ring
He was the best of the best
He met the grid-iron test
An' there ain't nothin' … as American
An' clean

He was the pride of the backfield
Ahhh the hero of the day
Yeah he carried the ball for the red and blue
They won the District triple-A
An' his name made all the papers
As the best they'd ever had
Yeah so nobody understood it
When the great Joe Bob went bad
First he lost his scholarship
To Texas Tech
For drinking during training
An' breaking the coach's neck … yeah
Then he got suspended (ahhh) for acting obscene
Around the Cum-Laudy, Cum-Laudy
Daughter of the Dean

So…

He took up with a waitress
Named Loose Ruby Cole
While she was still a-hoppin' tables
Down at the High-D-Ho
An' he met her on the sly
When her daddy weren't around
Yeah but he stopped makin' yardage
When he started messin' 'round

Chorus:
Yeah it spread like country wildfire
That something big had gone all strange
Joe Bob, the greatest halfback
Was actin' half-deranged … ahhh
He'd been seen out with this woman
Gettin' drunk and havin' fun
Yeah, he growed his hair, then give up prayer
An' said, 'Football days is done'

Then …

He and old Loose Ruby
Robbed a Pinkie's liquor store
An' had a run-in with the law
When they's a-runnin' out the door
An' Joe Bob's fate was sealed
For the next century
Yeah he traded in the pigskin
For the penitentiary

Words and music by Terry Allen. Copyright Green Shoes publishing/Leosongs.
Source: Terry Allen 'Lubbock (on everything)' Special Delivery SPDCD 1007.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM

"Boom Boom Mancini" by Warren Zevon and I'm sure there was a traditional English song about a prizefighter ot fight.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:28 PM

Most of the responses see to be from the East side of the Atlanic. But how about "You Gotta Have Heart!" from Damn Yankees, not about one person but about the spirit. Or Joltin' Joe (Dimmagio)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GALLANT JOHN JOE
From: GUEST,brakn
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:05 PM

This is one I get asked for.......

THE GALLANT JOHN JOE

In the month of November on a cold stormy day
I left my own home and to town made my way
I met with a young man on the road I did go
And he told me the news of the death of John Joe

John Joe O'Reilly has left us behind
He was called by the Lord to the faithful and kind
He called him to heaven a proud land to show
A true son of Breffni was the gallant John Joe

Brave Flan O'Reilly proud is your name
You've raised many sons of great honour and fame
But not even the princes of long long ago
Could compare with our sportsman the gallant John Joe

He led Cavan to victory on that memorable day
In the final against Kerry in New York far away
The next year in Croke Park when our boys beat Mayo
Sure once again they were led by the gallant John Joe

His record's a proud one without blemish or stain
He played his first football with the famed Cornafean
Now he lies in his cold grave where the wild flowers grow
A true son of Breffni was the gallant John Joe

At each corner of Breffni there's sorrow and pain
Such a true hearted sportsman we'll ne'er see again
Young players may come and old players may go
But there'll ne'er be another like the gallant John Joe


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,brakn
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM

Cookie seems to gone....


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:29 PM

And here is a picture of the man - John Joe O'Reilly


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:23 PM

Here's another from the same sub-genre:

A father and son they stood hand in hand As they watched Wexford play from the back of the stand And the words that he said, I'll hear when I'm old IT'S A BEAUTY TO BEHOLD WHEN YOU SEE THE PURPLE AND GOLD

On the purple and gold is my heart and my soul From the men of today to the heroes of old Oh the purple and gold is the dream I still hold It's a beauty to behold when you see the purple and gold

I can still see them now on the All-Ireland Days And the Rackards stood proud and by God could they play And the Quigleys stood tall every man brave and bold It was a privilege I was told to wear the purple and gold.

On the purple and gold is my heart and my soul From the men of today to the heroes of old Oh the purple and gold is the dream I still hold It's a beauty to behold when you see the purple and gold

I found that one in this page the Dromina Cork) GAA website, in a page given over to "GAA songs"


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:28 PM

And with line breaks in the right place it looks like this:

A father and son they stood hand in hand
As they watched Wexford play from the back of the stand
And the words that he said, I'll hear when I'm old
IT'S A BEAUTY TO BEHOLD WHEN YOU SEE THE PURPLE AND GOLD

On the purple and gold is my heart and my soul
From the men of today to the heroes of old
Oh the purple and gold is the dream I still hold
It's a beauty to behold when you see the purple and gold

I can still see them now on the All-Ireland Days
And the Rackards stood proud and by God could they play
And the Quigleys stood tall every man brave and bold
It was a privilege I was told to wear the purple and gold.

On the purple and gold is my heart and my soul
From the men of today to the heroes of old
Oh the purple and gold is the dream I still hold
It's a beauty to behold when you see the purple and gold


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:10 AM

There's also Football Crazy, The Crumlin Kangaroos (incidently I'm still looking for the rest of the lyrics if anyone has them I'd be grateful. There's a song about Rinty Monaghan I'll try to find the words for and of course the beautiful song on Christy Moore's latest This is the Day; about "the Gorgeous Gael, Jack Doyle. Den


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOLTIN' JOE DIMAGGIO^^
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 10:51 AM

Used in a series on HBO about baseball called "When It Was A Game", there's Willie, Mickey, and the Duke.

And of course the Alan Courtney song that was a hit for Les Brown:

JOLTIN' JOE DIMAGGIO

"Who started baseball's famous streak
"That's got us all aglow?
"He's just a man and not a freak,
"Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.
"Joe, Joe DiMaggio
"We want you on our side.
"From Coast to Coast, that's all you hear
"Of Joe the One-Man Show.
"He's glorified the horsehide sphere,
"Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.
"Joe, Joe DiMaggio.
"We want you on our side. "He'll live in baseball's Hall of Fame,
"He got there blow-by-blow.
"Our kids will tell their kids his name,
"Joltin' Joe DiMaggio."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 11:22 AM

Torontonians over 40 will remember "Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack" about Maple Leaf Eddie "The Entertainer" Shack. Unfortunately, I don't have the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:35 AM

There are several songs about sporting idols in Australian popular music: 'Up there Cazaly' is about a famous Australian Rules player of earlier times (I think the 'Twenties)Roy Cazaly, who was noted for his tremendous leaps to 'mark' a high ball. 'The Goondiwindi Grey' is about Gunsynd a famous racehorse that incidentally has a statue in his honor in the town of Goondiwindi, NSW. I'm sure there are many more.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:26 AM

Up there Cazaly - yes I was hoping someone would come up with that. I found the first verse of it on this site about Rules Footie

One song has been written which is recognised as the national Football Anthem. The name of it is :"Up There Cazaly" Below are the words of the first verse.

Well you work for a living, then the weekend comes around
You can do what ever turns you on, get out and clear your mind.
Me I like football but there's lot of things around.
When you line them up together.
The footie wins hands down.

Up there Cazaly, in there and fight
Out there and at 'em, show 'em your might.
Up there Cazaly, dont let them in.
Fly like an angel, you're out there to win.

Here's Roy Cazaly Any more verses?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:23 AM

I wrote and recorded "he played for England" loosely based on the up and down life of Tommy Lawton. England centre forward in the post war years. I remember Derek Dougan requesting I sing it at his testimonial dinner.

He played for England, yes he did
He played before the war
He was magic with a football
And by God he made us roar
We saw him on the newsreel
He was talking to the King
He played for England once
But now, it doesn't mean a thing

His cartilage went at 31
His back at 32
He left the game at 33
With nothing much to do
He couldn't settle down, you know,
He couldn't find a job
The only skill he'd ever had
Was nodding in a lob

Si in the pub he talks of when
Goals were goals, and men were men
But now the only pass he makes
Is with a glass that someone takes

He thought the world would not forget
To pay him what it owed
That he could live forever
On the memories he'd sowed
But legends mean so little
And memories grow cold
As boys create new heroes
And men forget the old

He never goes to see a game
He reckons now it's all the same
Nameless numbers run like hares
The joy is gone but no-one cares

His wife deserted years ago
His kids have gone abroad
He spends his time with scrapbooks
Of the many goals he scored
And on his wall a photograph
Of when he met the King
He played for England once
But now, it doesn't mean a thing


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 07:41 AM

That's a sad one, Harvey. A good one too.

I think that's what the best of these songs do is recognise, like this one, there's a life off the pitch as well as a life on the pitch. That's I suppose why I started with the Bold Thady Quill (tongue in cheek as oit is.)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 08:55 AM

Bouncing Billy Barker of Gorton, Manchester, could jump across the local canal from a standing start. Used weights to gain momentum and 'skimmed' like a stone apparantly. Won many a bet and escaped from the local constabulary by the same means after some more nefarious activities as well! He could also jump over a horse from a standing start and was regarded by many as a local sporting hero. I think Tony Hill wrote the song with the chorus -

"It's impossible, it can't be done
cried many a remarker.
But now who's heard of Gorton town,
and Bouncing Billy Barker?"

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 04:11 PM

Harvey's song seems to be a fitting counterpart to James Keelaghan's 'Glory Bound', mentioned further up, on the advantages of dying young. If you follow the link I provided for 'Flowers of Manchester' you'll find (among other things) a newspaper article on how those survivors of Munich who could not play any more were treated by their club. Sad!


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: CraigS
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:16 PM

There are lots of old broadsheet songs about barefist fighters, such as Bendigo. More recently, Johnny Wakelin had hits entitled *Muhammed Ali* and *In Zaire (the rumble in the jungle)*, although these are not exactly in the folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:45 AM

McGrath, In Colm O` Lochlainn`s Irish Street Ballads, there is a song about Dan Donnellys bare-knuckle scrap with Cooper the english champ. This was fought on the Curragh of Kildare in 1815. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:03 PM

Flowers of Manchester -

I recall as a child awaking to the News of the Munich crash - even at that age it shocked me.

But please remember those of you that sing the original version Captain Thain was exonerated in the end - it was slush on the runway, not ice on the wings.

On the other hand his dismisal stood - not for the crash but for 1/. Accepting the word of the ground crew that the wings were clear of ice rather than checking himself, and 2/. Not aborting the last take off run early enough.

gareth - in insurance claims.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:12 PM

Wasn't there a Ballad of Eddie the Eagle? The only English ski-jumper who achieved mock-heroic status for jumping like a plank of wood in the Winter Olympics. (And if you asked most people in England today for the name of a ski-jumper, his would be the only one they'd know.)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,Brakn
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:00 PM

Here's a couple of songs about an ancestor of mine who bareknuckles champion of the US.

Joe Coburn "The Boxer"


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:47 AM

Stanley Accrington did an Eddie the Eagle song, McG.

He's Eddie the Eagle, he's out on the slope
He's Eddie the Eagle, he looks like a dope
He may not fly far, and he may not fly fast
But we're proud that he's British, 'coz he always comes last

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 09:04 AM

That's the one. (There may be others, but that was the one lurking in my subconscious.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: TURPIN-SUGAR RAY
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 03:36 AM

For once the memory was right> It was Randolph Turpin and it was the Critics>. Fortunately, the LP has the words which I transcribe here> Sorry I don't do dots, chords or MP3!

TURPIN-SUGAR RAY
(Fight of 1951 inspired Soho gambler "The Professor" to write this. Music by Ewan MacColl recorded by The Critics on "Sweet Thames Flow Softly" Argo ZDA47)

1.Come all you sporting citizens
Who like an honest fight
You gamblers who know the silver ring
All you who fancy leather
2.They said that Turpin was too young
To fight with Sugar Ray
And the champion he would cut young Turpin down
But you should have seen our Randy
Chewing up that Sugar Candy
On the night he won the right to wear the crown

3.There was eighteen thousand people
In the stadium that night
When Sugar Ray came prancing down the aisle
With his midget and his barber
And bags of old palaver
And Randy in his cornet he just smiled

4.The bell went for the first round
And the boys came out slow
As cagey as two lions in the zoo
And the punters they were sweating
On cleaning up the betting
With the odds on Sugar Ray at 5 to 2

5.Young Turpin came out fighting
When they belled the second round
And Sugar led a straight left to the chin
But that punch just sliced the air
For young Randy wasn't there
And those fighting boys just up and waded in

6.For six long rounds they mixed it
While Turpin set the pace
And Sugar Ray was showing all he knew
But Turpin's hooks and hammer punches
Upset all the punters hunches
And the betting now was down to 3 to 2

7.They mixed it in the seventh round
Exchanging blow for blow
And excitement in the crowd was rising high
Then the Yankee* boy back peddled
At the British boy's advance
The crimson it was flowing from his eye

8.They said that Turpin wouldn't last
Beyond the seventh round
But he went in there and showed 'em they was wrong
Eight more rounds he was attacking
And he gave and took a bashing
And all the time the punches coming strong

9.For seventy long minutes
Those heroes fought it out
A better fight no man did ever see
And the champion, Sugar Ray,
Fought young Turpin all the way
But the British boy he gained the victory

10.So join with me you sporting boys
And punters one and all
And join with me and sing young Turpin's fame
For he beat the Yankee down
And he won the champion's crown
We never shall forget young Turpin's name.

*"Yankee" used in the British sense, of course, as any US citizen
RtS (I'm sure I remember my Dad listening to this fight - Eamonn Andrews and W.Barrington Dalby commentating, I expect- on the wireless)


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 06:40 AM

Somewhat belatedly (I arrived at this thread by accident):

McGrath of Harlow mentioned

There's a song lamenting/celebrating the great days of hurling that I heard, centring round some great hurler that had just died, and I just can't remember a word of it. I'm hoping someone come up with that one.

That's probably Cuchullain's Sons about the Rackard brothers. We may have had it elsewhere - if not, I'll try to dig up a set. Fine song.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 06:55 AM

and a there is a song about Dan O Mahony,world champion wrestler from Ballydehob.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: breezy
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 07:06 AM

Has Joe Peel been mentioned, a quintessential song.

I wish Harveys was more specific but its still a good one from our Midi Bard

i didnt notice as i scanned

wasnt Joseph baker written by Pete Coe , who appears at The Pumphouse tomorrow in watford and possibly 'Floors' tonight at Redbourn


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: oldhippie
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 07:19 AM

"The Ballad of Dale Earnhardt" by C W McCall


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 07:28 AM

Here's the words for Cuchulainn's Son :

The challenge of an ancient game
Brought glory, glory to your name
Though March winds blew the crowds still came
To watch you gentle hero.
In life's long march you made us proud
And many a voice from out the crowd
Called out your name aloud, aloud
An echo still resounding.

CHORUS
And Blackstairs men who saw you then
Still speak of you in awe,
On Carman's green where you had been
They tell of what they saw,
We watched you on September fields
And lightning was the drive
You were the one Cuchulainn's son in 1955.

The hand that held the stick of ash,
And the man who led with style and dash,
Oh! Carrigtwohill once felt the crash
And Bennettsbridge and Thurles.
And when in later life, you met
The devil on that lonely street
You showed us how to take defeat
With dignity and courage.

CHORUS

The last parade was sad and slow
The last oration spoken low
And as, on green fields long ago
The Diamond stood beside you
Old friends they flanked you side by side
And the tears they shed were tears of pride
An ash tree toppled when you died
And scattered seeds at random.

CHORUS

In the cold light of day, it reads as almost banal and over-sentimental - and is sometimes sung that way! But to hear one of the Berry brothers of Wexford sing it to (and with) a crowd of hurling enthusiasts is quite something.

I know there was a final verse added when the last of the three Rackard brothers died, recently - but don't have it to hand.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 09:34 AM

Frank Hennessy does "Dyn Arbennig, Dyn Mawr Iawn" (A special man, A Great man) a tribute to Ray Gravell, Wales & Scarlets rugby icon


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM

There's another John Thomson song recorded by (and I think written by) John Watt from Fife, and on his CD "Heroes".
The last line of the chorus is:
John Thomson cam frae Bowhill, Bowhill, Cardenden.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: breezy
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:18 PM

Has 'The Flowers of Manchester' been mentioned ?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:39 PM

One would think, what with all the purple prose used by sportswriters of the 1920's and 1930's in the U.S. such as Grantland Rice and Ring Lardner, et al, that there must have been songs sung in celebration of Red Grange, The Four Horsemen, Bobby Jones, Babe Zaharias and the rest. I have had no luck finding them as yet. Our companions in song from across the broad waters can't possibly have a monopoly on this...or can they?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:52 PM

Breezy:
yes, Suzanne (skw) linked to it back in 2001 on this thread!


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GREEN WELLIES
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 07:58 AM

Christy Moore - Ballad of Ruby Walsh, or has this already been mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:38 PM

Thanks, Martin - yes, that was the song I had in mind. Heard it sung in a bar in Clonmel at the end of a Fleadh Ceoil, and it made the hairs stand up on my neck.

I hads a look just now, and found a youtube rendering - George Lawlor and "a crowd of hurling enthusiasts" in Wexford


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 08:01 PM

Here's one about the Cork hurling legend Christy Ring (with a nod to the Rackard brothers):

A Song For Christy Ring
by Brian McNamara.
(air of Old Skibbereen)

Come gather round me boys tonight and raise your glasses high,
Come Rockies, Barrs and Rovers stars, let welcome hit the sky,
Let bonfires blaze in heroes praise, let Shannon echoes fling,
For homeward bound with hurling crown comes gallant Christy Ring.

So all you hurlers from the Nore, you lads from Corrib's side,
From Garryowen gay and bold with Tipp's own men beside,
You may have hurlers straight and tall who can a caman swing
But whose the name can play the game with Cork's own Christy Ring.

When we were young we read in school in the days of old,
The young Setanta showed his worth with shield and spear of gold,
As hurling hard on royal sward he'd hurling heroes fling,
My soul today, he'd yield the sway if he met Christy Ring.

A health to faithful Wexford boys, to the Rackards and their team,
Should Cork surrender Ireland's crown may victory on them gleam,
John Kelly's name we hold in fame - of '98 we sing,
But Slaney's plan must find a man to equal Christy Ring.

How oft I've watched him from the Hill move here and there in grace,
In Cork, Killarney, Thurles town or by the Shannon's race,
"Now Cork is bet; the hay is saved!" the thousands wildly sing-
They speak too soon, my sweet garsun, for here comes Christy Ring.

When age has gained this warior brave, when ended is the fight,
And o'er the hearth he hangs at last his stick and trophies bright,
Come counties all both great and small who boast a hurling King,
Can one tonight hold candlelight to Cork's own Christy Ring?.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM

From somewhere in the hidden depths of my mind comes the image of a rather dumpy, squat Canadian singer/songwriter called Vera Johnson who we used to book at our club in Lewes in the 1960s. She was a most unlikely looking performer but had a good number of fine committed songs and a pleasing voice. One she wrote the Vietnam draft refusal of Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay). As I remember it, the chorus went -

They cheered you in the ring, Mohammed Ali,
Revered you llike a king, Mohammed Ali,
But you wouldn't go to war,
They don't like you any more,
Where's the crown that you once wore, Mohammed Ali?


I'm sure that I have the words written out in one of my many old song books if anyone is really that interested.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 07:47 PM

I would love to see the words. I once heard it on the radio in the 1960's and it made such an impression that I have never forgotten it. I did a Google search using the words of the chorus and yours was the only reference to the song that it produced.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 06:50 AM

Here's a YouTube of "The Ballad of Muhammed Ali", a new song in this "sporting hero" tradition, written by Dermot Kelly of Ennis. It was written to mark the visit paid this week by Ali to the town, from where his great-grandfather came back in the 19th century.

I put up a thread about the visit, in which the song came in, but I thought it'd be handy to have it in here as well.

Come gather around me a story I'll tell
About a great boxer, a hero as well
Has come from the US his people to find
Who left dear old Ireland so warm and so kind.
Muhammed, Muhammed, Muhammed Ali
Come float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,
From Grady's, The Turnpike, your ancestors came,
Brought glory to Ennis, to Ireland great fame.

Your style was so graceful, your hands were so swift.
Your smile so beguiling, your mind full of wit,
Your flashing foot movements, your body so big,
Somewhere in there was a real Irish jig.
Muhammed, Muhammed, Muhammed Ali
Come float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,
From Grady's, The Turnpike, your ancestors came,
Brought glory to Ennis, to Ireland great fame.

You were for peace, not a man for the war,
Refused to enlist, Ali you were a star,
You shone like a beacon to guide the ship home
To County Clare, Ireland, to be with your own.
Muhammed, Muhammed, Muhammed Ali
Come float like a butterffly, sting like a bee,
From Grady's, The Turnpike, your ancestors came,
Brought glory to Ennis, to Ireland great fame.

Boxers may come, boxers may go,
Some with great skill, some melt with the snow,
But you were the greatest, an oak standing tall,
The best, still the best, still the best of them all.
Muhammed, Muhammed, Muhammed Ali
Come float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,
From Grady's, The Turnpike, your ancestors came,
Brought glory to Ennis, to Ireland great fame.


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 07:16 AM

Weren't there any broadside songs about Daniel Mendoza?


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Subject: RE: Sporting hero songs?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 09:28 AM

I used to watch Tommy Lawton play — have never seen a striker [or centre-forward as the proper English term has it] who could score with such nonchalant elegance. Brilliant song above by Harvey Andrews.

About the second or third post of this thread mentions the song about Joseph Baker, the runner 'who lived in Delamere': nobody seems to have pointed out it was one of the firmly Cheshire-based songs of Peter Coe of that county:- "And sportsmen came from far and near To challenge Baker's speed; From every place, in every race, They strove to do that deed. For a butcher came from Nantwich, And a baker came from Sale, And a sailor came from Birkenhead, And a grocer came from Hale" [all towns in Cheshire - from memory: if I've misremembered the detail - sorry Pete].


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