by Karl Hofer.
Sadly (or thankfully, depending on how you look at it) we have no cup final songs to offend our ears this year.
It’s a sign of the decline in importance of the FA Cup in an era where Premier League and Champions League are the be-all and end-all. Not that Arsenal didn’t celebrate with gusto last May, it’s still a tremendous competition, but there was a time when the nation (and chunks of the world) held its collective breath in anticipation of the big day.
Whole towns or cities would be decked out in colourful splendour to support their side, the nations media would interview local fans and business people who would gush with pride when talking about their team, bakers would make special cakes to mark the occasion, previously unknown players would become national celebrities and so on.
And, of course, the team would bring out a single.
They would follow that up with a cringe-worthy appearance on Top of the Pops and sometimes those songs would be cherished by fans for generations to come – and some would not.
So in the week of the cup final BOBBY has put together the top five greatest ever FA Cup final songs for your delectation. And before anyone pipes up with ‘What about ‘Blue is the Colour’, why isn’t that on the list?’ it is because that was recorded for the 1972 League Cup final v Stoke City – and not the 1970 FA Cup final v Leeds as many people believe. So there.
5. Arsenal – ‘Good Old Arsenal’ (1971)
The start of the seventies brought plenty of cheer for Arsenal, who scooped the league and cup Double in 1971 and were widely considered the best team in the land.
To celebrate, they released this catchy hit called ‘Good Old Arsenal’ which was more of a chant along to the tune of Rule Britannia.
It reached number 16 in the charts and there’s some great players and club legends singing along, including Bob Wilson, George Graham, Frank McLintock and Charlie George – and just look at Charlie’s face in this photo taken with Pan’s People, the boy looks delighted to be there!
4. West Ham United – ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ (1975)
Bellowed from the stands at the Boleyn ground since the 1920s (but sadly for only 12 months more), the West Ham club anthem was given a seventies makeover when John Lyall’s Hammers reached the 1975 FA Cup final, in which they beat their Bobby Moore led London rivals Fulham 2-0.
The hit wasn’t all that successful, however, charting at 31. It did beat the Cockney Rejects punk version to mark their cup final appearance five years later – that only reached 35.
3. Arsenal – ‘The Hot Stuff’ (1998)
Donna Summer’s 1979 hit ‘Hot Stuff’ is regarded as a true classic. So the Arsenal took that successful platform and built on it (badly) by slipping in mentions of players in their squad.
That’s what Arsenal did to mark their march for the Double in 1998 and it made number nine on the countdown. Featuring lines like “You’re telling us we’re boring, We’ll just keep on scoring now, Hot Stuff” it reaffirmed the belief that football and music rarely mix well…
2. Liverpool – ‘The Anfield Rap’ (1988)
This memorable collaboration between Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston and rapper Derek B – and also featuring the rap skills of John Barnes – was a parody of a number of hip hop tracks of the time and peaked in the charts at number three.
Liverpool had a dressing-room full of real characters at the time, and they all seemed to revel in recording this track which featured some great lines such as: “Steve McMahon sure can rap, it’s about time he had an England cap.”
1. Tottenham – ‘Ossie’s Dream’ (1981)
The Cockney Lennon & McCartney – or Chas & Dave as they’re also known – teamed up with their beloved team four times between 1981 and 1991.
Their (pre-Falklands) effort in ’81 was written in honour of the Argentine midfielder who, despite his all-trembly knees, was “gonna play a blinder, in the Cup for Totting-ham”.
Of course mocking foreigner’s accents is neither big nor clever. But in 1981 is wasn’t just accepted, most prime time TV seemed to revole around it!
Keep an eye out for a very young Chris Hughton in the footage below sporting an afro that’s almost as impressive as Micky Hazard’s!