Thursday 24 February 2005

... and welcome to Countdown

In a new and potentially exciting feature we'll be taking a weekly look at music from, and inspired by, the Melbourne Football Club. If you've got anything - now matter how tenuous - please let me know via the comments.

Anyway for the first edition of this new special feature we've got to go with the obvious. First off the rank,

The Fable Singers - Melbourne FC Theme Song (1.57mb)

How predictable was that? Don't tell me you didn't see it coming the moment you read the first paragraph.

Now, in a completely unbiased way let me say that I love this song. I rank it the third best in the league behind the ubiquitous Richmond effort and the operatic stylings of Geelong. In my uneducated musical opinion the trademark of a good theme song is one which can be delivered at maximum volume towards a group of opposition supporters without sounding corny. Could you imagine somebody yelling the Carlton song into your face? You wouldn't take it seriously would you? But this is genius. Let's run through it bit by bit:

0:00 - The instrumental barrage at the start is a perfect lead in. It's instantly recognisable and gets the heart flowing. Attempt to fire yourself up to the Port Adelaide song and you'll get nowhere.

0:08 - The big orchestral bit drops out just at the right time for the old man singers to fire up a perfect rip-off of George M Cohan's American patriotic anthem "You're A Grand Old Flag". I defy any MFC fan not to go wild when they see that episode of the Simpsons where Lisa walks in the room singing it.

0:22 - The first verse ends with "the team of the red and the blue" and there's a short instrumental break. A few seasons ago I attempted to pioneer a "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAH" in this break but nobody, NOBODY went with it. Shame.

0:29 - In the break after "and we sing this song to you" it has become traditional to yell out "WHADDAWESING?" without taking a breath. I'm personally a bit suspect of this attempt at injecting Richmond style "Yellow and Black" personality into our already excellent song and refuse to indulge unless I'm particuarly excited about the result or we've just won a thriller. In this situations I like to alter the phrase so it comes out as "WHADDAFUCKDOWESING?" instead. It's very hard to squeeze the extra word in, and parents can often be seen covering their children's ears at that point, but it's all necessary in the post-match 'cooling off' period. Very occasionally, in the presence of kids, I have been known to insert the word "Hell" instead of other terms. Usually only happens at Wizard Cup games.

0:38 - The song finishes for the first time. Softer members of the supporting fraternity, and old ladies, give up here. The rest of us take a few deep breaths, enjoy the spirit of '64 with a full brass backing and maybe throw in some comments to those around you before launching into a second round.

1.08 - By now, if you are me, you will be turning purple from all the energy expended in screaming the first part of the song at the top of your lungs. Your voice - already shot from the four quarters of heartache, drama and ultimate victory - is starting to crack and you're wondering if you'll be able to get through another thirty seconds without collapsing but you press on regardless. If you die now it's ok. You'll go while you're happy.

1.29 - Nobody who has belted out both sets can possible entertain the prospect of doing a "WHADDAWESING?" at this point so it's left to all the people who have been clapping for the 1.28 previous to come in and do it for us. We're dying here.

1.36 - The voice on the tape goes up an octave for "keep your eye on the red and the blueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" but you've totally lost yours by this point. You couldn't hit that note if you had a gun to your head.

1.38 - One final trumpet blast and it's over. They'll play the thing twenty five times more but you couldn't possibly sing it. People will just clap along and then drink it in. Collapse on your seat and feel satisfaction that you've just given the opposition fans a minute and thirty-eight seconds of hell. Hopefully repeat the next week and ad-bloody-nauseum to the end of the season at which point we win a Premiership and I drop dead from joy on the spot.

Later in the season we'll be back for a full-scale dissection of opposition club songs. It's slightly off topic, and may open up several feuds with other members of the empire but it's a necessity.

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