So it is upon us: The Rugby World Cup that many people – friends, family and myself have been waiting for. One of the highlights for players and the crowd, is the range of Rugby Cup Songs.
For the uninitiated, rugby songs have always played a role in the match and ‘bonding’ of the players. A standard rugby song is very very naughty, and hilarious and I won’t repeat any. But The Rugby Songs website provides the interested, in a choice of songs – and the lyrics… Normally these are standard songs with ‘a change or lyric’! This style of re-working a folk song doesn’t just happen in rugby teams: I am unable to sing “The Ashgrove” and other British folk songs without laughing due to learning naughty words to the standard tune.
Singing songs is a way of bonding, and certainly at my old (girls’) school, we had a school song which the new headmistress discovered was, in fact, a rugby song. It was immediately banned; the outcry included a debate at national media level; old girls, teachers and girls uniting to keep our beloved song and the Latin teacher grabbing any piano at any time to play the intro before we all burst into song. Like any singing in groups, it unites people.
But rugby songs aren’t confined to the players (or schoolgirls). The crowds have a tradition of singing too; I went to a match at Pontypridd in the 1980s and the crowd sounded like a huge male voice choir; singing in harmony. It was the most amazing experience. And any England crowd will sing “Swing Low” to encourage England.
So we are going to the Wales match on Sunday and anticipate that the Millennium Stadium will encourage the crowd to sing, both before the match as a warm up and during. Here are my songs for this sort of participation.
- Delilah. No Welsh crowd will be happy unless this classic is sung. Remember to cackle in verse two.
- Swing Low. I’m not sure how willing the Welsh crowd will be singing this, but I’m willing to start the singing.
- Jerusalem. Ditto – but it’s a great crowd song
- Green Green Grass of Home. Another Tom Jones classic and definitely one we’ll be singing
- Bread of Heaven. Complete with the tenor harmony!
- 500 Miles. The Pretenders’ song that is being used a lot in sports’ events
- The Wild Rover. In case there are any Irish in the crowd, this is a great one, complete with stamping the feet.
Do let me know if you have any clean Rugby Cup Songs!