It’s hard to argue that the SRU don’t do their best to try and create a great atmosphere inside Murrayfield on an International match day. There’s fireworks, explosions, cannons, balls parachuted onto the pitch, the odd national hero and the often stirring acapella singing of Flower of Scotland; all designed to get the crowd into a frenzy.
However the crowd’s contribution in the 80 minutes that follows is often lacking, especially when things aren’t going Scotland’s way. Cheering, shouting, but singing?
In the face of swinging Chariots, The Fields of Athenry, Ou Est Le Papier or the entire Welsh valleys choirbook, there are two go-to options for the Scottish crowd. Number one, the National Anthem; and number two, a droning chant of “Scoooootttlannnd/ Scoooooooootttllannnnnd”.
Football fans do it much better, enlivening the dullest of matches with a song and engaging with whatever rival fans are singing (rather than just trying to drown it out). Songs don’t even have to have anything to do with what’s happening on the pitch or who’s playing. Scottish football fans have, inexplicably, taken to singing “Doe-a-deer” from the Sound Of Music. Humour can even be found when suffering heavy losses, such as the infamous Tartan Army chant of “we’ll support you till four.”
Given the great tradition of bawdy songs sung on rugby buses and in clubhouses up and down the land it’s surprising that this hasn’t translated to the stands. So here’s an opportunity to add some material to the Scotland rugby fan songbook. We’ve come up with a couple of suggestions but would love to hear some from you too. Keep them clean so the kids can join in and let’s see if we can’t get some going during the Six Nations.
Songs could be about players…
“He’s big/ He’s blonde/ His legs are five miles long/ It’s Richie Gray/ Richie Gray!”
“Our Johnnie plays over the ocean/ our Johnnie plays over the sea/ He’s gonnae smash ye tae pieces/ That’s why we love Johnnie Beattie!”
Could be a response to opposition fans…
“You’re not swinging low any more!”
Or even a satirical sing-song during a heavy loss…
“Are you Tonga in disguise?”
No prizes for the best, just a smug sense of satisfaction if any make it into the stands.
UPDATE: this article got written up in the Scotsman here, and also appeared on the Scottish Rugby Facebook page. Heady heights indeed!