Archive for the ‘LFC Verse’ Category

The Reds Against the Mancs

Posted: January 31, 2012 in LFC Verse, Liverpool FC

I’ve updated this a couple of times since  I wrote it about ten years ago, for example all the Spanish-tinged verses from the Rafa Benitez era, but somebody pointed out how out-of-date it had become again.  So here goes again – this version is for Ian, who requested the update.

Please notice that about two thirds of the verses are in speech marks, as I imagine them to be a passionate rant by someone like Jamie Carragher himself, as he tries to educate and inspire any non-Scouse team-mates who are new to this fixture.  To be read aloud.

The Reds against the Mancs

It’s the battle of the East Lancs Road,
A commercial rivalry a hundred years old,
About shipping and spinning, silver and gold,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s Melwood guile v. Fergie’s bile
How easy is that tw*t to rile ?
It’s his grimace v. the wry Scouse smile,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s like Catalans or Basques versus Real,”
Said red-hearted Carra to his new Spanish pals
“It’s more important than the ‘Mundial’
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s viva Liverpool ! Andele, andele !
It’s Skrtel getting stuck into Rooney – Olé !
Let’s give Vidic & Ferdinand one hell of a day
For the Reds against the Mancs !

“Oh aye it’s  better than the best bullfights
When Stevie tackles those gobshites
Get into Neville and punch out his lights
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“F*ck their Shreks and Smiths & their treasons
This one’s for love, not  money reasons.
Let’s make it a habit, like we did for seasons,
Let’s tw*t these f*ckin Mancs.

“It’s about who needs to catch who  up,
It’s ding-dong battles in League and Cup
It’s when we needed him, Danny stepped up
For the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Flash Gerrard against Emperor Ming
It’s having dreams and songs to sing
Not letting the Dark Lord get your ring!
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s the Enterprise v. the Clingons of course
It’s Star wars – can you feel the force?
It’s Red Rum against any other horse,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s usually at ungodly hours of morning
Thanks to Sky and police ‘warnings’.
The atmosphere is not heart-warming
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s about a pedestal and pushing  them off it
It’s about passion and pride, not PR or profit
The moneymen know where they can stuff it !
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s not Carlsberg versus Vodaphone,
It’s nick nack paddy wack, give the dog a bone
It’s Man United f*ck off home
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Pete Wiley versus Morrissey,
The Bunnymen versus Magazine,
Cast against the Stone Roses,
… OK, some you lose  to the Mancs.

“It’s about blinding vision, about silencing the noise,
Hymns about messiahs and very naughty boys,
And fleeting epiphanies of skill and poise,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s hearing “In your Liverpool slums !”
It’s “Posh Spice tum-te-tum-te-tum”
It’s boring refrains of  “Sign On ! Sign On !”
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s ha ha ha, it’s hee hee hee
It’s Bryan Robson’s got VD,
If he comes too close he’ll give it to me –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Georgie Best , superstar,
Pink frilly knickers and a playtex bra,
Bingeing and boozing and  crashing fast cars –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s the devil in the detail of your crest
Or a  Liverbird upon your chest,
For we are men of Shankly’s best –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.”

It’s traditional rivalry, to which this rant belongs,
But could it be time to stop the worst of the songs?
Could it be nothing good ever came of two wrongs,
In the Reds against the Mancs?

Yes, both sides have mindless minorities of hate,
But stop the chants about Hillsborough or Munich ’58
No matter who does what to intimidate.
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s ‘nevra again’, it’s time to kick it out,
It’s engage your brain before you shout.
Only moral high ground is worth fighting about
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

But when the moral ground’s claimed  by a US executive,
Or by a bleating bully whose moral vision is selective ,
Then it’s time to get a grip and get some perspective –
On the Reds against the Mancs.

We’ve both got our share of idiots who embarrass us all,
And sad dummies in the stands who know f*ck all,
But we’re not small-time clubs with our backs against the wall,
We’re the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s not about a bandwagon & jumping on,
When the bubble bursts they’ll be gone;
First ones off are the last ones on,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s not about Hicks, Gillette or the FSG,
It’s not about a PLC or the Glazer family;
F*ck all them – it’s about you and me,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

Both cities  have suffered past neglect,
It’s been up to both clubs to earn respect,
Reap what you sow, cause & effect,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

I thought “they’ll never overtake us while I’m alive!”
But stats can change, and fortunes can revive,
It’s about nineteen and eighteen, three and FIVE
It’s the Reds against the Mancs !

It’s about your head, about your heart,
Your identity, history, your craft and art;
It’s 40 miles, but it’s worlds apart,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

Ding-dong! Super Danny steps up and scores for the Reds against the Mancs last Saturday, helping send United crashing out of the FA Cup.


A collection of Shanklyisms  for the 25th anniversary of his passing

I was made for Liverpool

“Mr. Shankly, would you like to manage” they said
“The greatest club in football, the men in Red?”
“I didn’t know Matt Busby had resigned” he said
“But I’ll wake the giant in your football hotbed.” 

He kept faith & continuity with the Boot Room sages,
Such foundations that empires are made of.
“I don’t drop players”, he said, “I make changes.”
The right changes he wasn’t afraid of.

He kept Hunt, Byrne, Melia & young Callaghan,
As a Red Machine was carefully assembled.
St. John, Yeats & Thompson completed the plan
And the whole of football soon trembled.

“You’re not in Division 1” said Yeats to Shankly
Shanks said “No, but with you, we soon will be!”
To the press “take a walk round my new centre half,
Now we could play Arthur Askey in goal, for a laugh”.

In Sixty-two, as Shankly’s Reds won Division Two,
He led us back where we  belong.
And through the early Sixties Liverpool grew
Into the capital of football and song.

He spoke of “collective play” with “improvisation”
Of the “preparation & adjustment” that came before.
There was preparation even for the preparation
That made us runaway champions in Sixty-Four.

A Red Machine is greater than the sum of its parts
For individual superstars he couldn’t care less.
“The socialism I believe in is everyone working
Together .. sharing the rewards of  success.”

So into Europe he led the relentless Red march
And how did the Red Machine prepare?
On the way to Iceland he had the lads stop off
For some homely laughs, at Butlins in Ayr.

He was the man who put the Champions into all Red
“It’ll make you look like giants” he said.
Every quote made you believe we were different class:
“It’s great grass at Anfield, professional grass”.

He had the “This is Anfield” sign fixed up there
To make his team & their opponents equally aware
Of what it means to run out in front of the Kop,
Saying “Liverpool people will always come top”

When faced with jabbering reporters in Italy
He refused to be given their 3rd degree
He said: “just tell them I completely disagree
With everything they say.”

“I’m an impatient patient man”, he later said
“We trained hard, so Patience favoured the men in Red”.
So when it went to extra time in Sixty–Five,
The Cup was finally won by the fittest team alive.

For Shankly and Liverpool, brave Gerry Byrne
Laid his body and soul on the line.
Shanks said “it was the most emotional day
For Liverpool, in the history of time.”

He made every player the best they could be,
If they weren’t interfering, told them they should be!
He made them all feel that they were our property –
“That’s not your knee, son, it’s Liverpool’s knee.”

“Trouble with you laddie, is your brains are all in your head”
“It’s so simple, pass and move for the men in Red.
Work hard so this city has the 2 great teams it deserves:
That’s Liverpool  …… and Liverpool Reserves.”

At Anfield or scouting, till all hours of the clock.
“On overtime, he’d earn a million” said Tommy Doc,
Don’t get me wrong, he loved his family life,
But is the legend true about Nessie, his wife?

“On your anniversary you took her to Rochdale away?”
“Not so, laddie, I’ll tell you the reason
It was Rochdale Reserves & it was her birthday –
Would I have got married during the season?”

Never afraid of tough choices for his team in Red
As he dismantled his old side in 1970
“If you can’t make decisions in life,” he said
“You’d be better off becoming an M.P.”

He said “the best side drew” and he always knew
How to gee us up when we felt a bit flat.
It was every last breath, it was life and death,
It was “much more important than that.”

And beating Everton in the 71 semi, he said,
“I’d have wanted to be here even if I was dead!
When I go, prop my coffin up, and cut me a hole-
I wouldn’t want to miss the winning goal.”

“You learn more when you lose,” said The Boss
“Though we don’t lose many now”
And that most famous photo was taken when we’d lost,
With Shankly citing Chairman Mao:

“A greater show of  Red Strength was never seen,
Even by the Chinese people’s leader.”
(A ‘Little Red Book’ of Shankly’s great quotes
Is far more entertaining for the reader)

“Agents? The only good agent is 007”;
“I only wanted him for the 2nd eleven”;
“If Everton played in my garden, I’m certain
I’d just have to close the curtain.”

The lessons were learned, and in Seventy-Four
He repeated our Cup-winning dream,
Adding to League & UEFA the season before
Three triumphs for his new young team.

Then everyone remembers the newsagents’ signs:
“Liverpool in shock, as Shankly resigns”
He said “It felt like walking to the electric chair”
How could he do it? How would we fare?

I read the Echo that day, and through the tears
I didn’t think about the fifteen years,
But just thought about empty years to come
How could we repeat the trophies he’d won?

I was only young, though, what did I know?
Nobody knew then how we’d thrive and grow
From the seeds of passion that Shankly had sown
To make The European Champions Cup our own,

And dominate the game for the next 15 years
If I’d only known that, I’d have saved my tears
Not for Liverpool, and its young fans like me,
But for the sacrifices of Bill & Nessie Shankly.

I remember his programmes on Radio City,
And him still coaching young kids till 1980,
With his sheer enthusiasm shining through it all
“All you need is the green, green grass and a ball.”

The strongest voice of my youth, I can hear him still
Broadcasting the wit and wisdom of Uncle Bill,
And I remember that day, September 81,
That feeling of loss – Shankly has gone.

The next  home game v. Tosh’s Swansea,
He added 15,000 to the crowd.
And he was there in spirit, watching LFC
As we chanted his name aloud.

The one word “Shankly” had now  taken the place
Of all of the words to “Amazing Grace”
He’s there still in his statue, his name’s on the gates
But his spirit’s the ethos our club radiates.

“At Liverpool from the very start I’d planned
To build a bastion of  invincibility.”
I believe that “I was made for Liverpool, and
Liverpool was made for me.”

“I’d like to be remembered simply as a man
Who strove to make the people happy.”
I believe that “I was made for Liverpool, and
Liverpool was made for me.”

© Nige 2006

A guidebook in verse for visiting supporters in the Champions League.

See you in the Sandon – where it all began.

This is Anfield on a European Night

Two visiting fans of a European team
Asked me about the Anfield scene
“Where can we get a drink near the ground?
Or should we just have a beer in Town?
Are the pubs safe for a visiting supporter?
Can we wear our colours, think we ought to?”

I said “the only problem with yer scarf & top
Is everyone in the pubs will want to swap
Scousers aren’t shy like most Brits with a stranger
So the crush to get served is yer only danger.”
I said  “come  on jump in a cab with me
I’m meeting some mates in pub or three.

Oh aye, it’s the place to be alright –
Is the Anfield area, on a European night.”

The Anfield Iron’s on the cab radio
Talking of glory nights of 30 years ago.
But I think the cabbie could be a Blue,
As he mutters & switches to Radio 2.

Shall we go the Cabbage Hall, far enough away
And enough bar space to get served any day ?
Or start in the Oakfield? A  decent pub alright
Home to many an HJC fundraising night..

“See that chippy there, when I was small
We’d get dinner there & sit eating on a wall.
Or for good Chinese, try this one here –
You’ll need some scran to soak up the beer.
And  that  Little Solly’s a fine little pub
But it can feel like a bit like a private club.

Oh aye, this is the place to be alright
Is the Oakfield Road, on a European night.”

Into Sam Dodd’s wine bar to meet friends of mine
It’s funny – but none of them are drinking wine.
Then all into the Sandon, a historical pub
It belonged to John Houlding, founder of our Club

Liverpool used to change in a shed out the back
On the very spot where we meet Dave and Mac.
They went the first leg, they go everywhere
And try to have a laugh with the lads from over there,
But it’s not the first time, nor the last I’ve heard
Visitors say they can’t understand a word.

Oh aye, these are the places to be alright,
Are the Anfield streets, on a European night.

There’s plenty of native handicraft & art
In these street scenes so dear to my heart.
Like the two lads darting in and out of the bars
Flogging fake fifties with the faces of our stars.

Outside “any spares?” as you pass by the touts.
“6 quid yer half & half scarf!” someone shouts.
These two want a scarf too, so we all stop
He gives us 3 for fifteen, so we’re all made up.

“Get yer overpriced fake charity wristbands here!”
Shouts a self-made man with a budding career.
There’s plenty of characters, and the odd vulture
In  this  European  Capital  of  Culture.

Oh aye, there’s money to be made alright
Round the Anfield ground, on a European night.

Our guests ask “shouldn’t we get in the ground,
To sample the atmosphere & Anfield sound?”
I say “not much point before seven thirty five
Then You’ll Never Walk Alone brings us alive
(Though for a tight 2nd leg against the Cockney boys
From seven fifteen we’ll be cranking up the noise).”

“But, if you really think you can knock us out,
Shouldn’t you be in there starting to shout ?”
I  said  “for well-timed  pre-match preparation
Kopites know the key players need lubrication.
These vocal chords, now getting lager libation,
Will  all  help  in  your  team’s  elimination!

Needing to beat St. Etienne by two in ’77
The Kop helped it happen for the Red XI;
Needing the same against Roma in 2002
Again the Kopites sang us through;
The Olympiakos late show was like St. Etienne,
A 2-goal margin – we stormed through again.

Right here are the places to be alright
The Anfield pubs on a European night.”

One more round? I’d love to lads, but frankly
I’m meeting me mate at the statue of Shankly.”
I take them past the flagpole & there’s Andy Knott
“You really should buy that fanzine he’s got,
It’s better than the official match programme
And he designs the Kop mosaics – top man !”

Oh aye,  these are the people to be with alright
On the Walton Breck Road, on a European night

When we get to the statue, outside the Kop
Our visitors are tempted to pop in the shop
I say “You’ll miss kick off with the queues in there
Get corporate crap tomorrow in Williamson Square!

Tell you what, let’s nip in  the ‘Justice’ Shop
It’s just over here, right opposite the Kop.
They’ve got badges, t-shirts, scarves & all that
Much better souvenirs than the corporate  tat.”

Oh aye, it’s the place to be alright
Is the Walton Breck Road, on a European night.

“And this is the Albert, by the way my friends
Let’s  meet in there after the game ends.
Plenty of other pubs are perfectly fine:
Big Solly, Park, the Arkles or Flat Iron,
Or there’s a dozen more ten minutes away
And you’d save 50p a pint easy that way.

The Albert’s not exactly famous for its beer
But I still think it has a great atmosphere –
Well it can  be great, but it’s not for the purists
Who say it’s full of day trippers and tourists.

But half an hour after a win, you never know
Some of the rare old songs may just get a go.
Plenty of memorabilia adds to the atmosphere
Plenty wide-eyed wools asking ‘am I really here?’

“Enjoy the match lads – sing yer hearts out
And whoever’s team wins gets the next shout.
Afterwards we’ll all go down Mathew Street
It’s a hard day’s night if you’ve been Mersey beat.”

Yes, this is the place to be alright.
This is Anfield, on a European Night.

© nige 2006