Sing When You’re Winning 3 – Love v Hate On The Terraces

Sing When You’re Winning 3 – Love v Hate On The Terraces

“Sing When You’re Winning” is our look at some of our favourite football related songs.

Whether that means songs by proper bands about football, songs by themed bands about football, or songs by teams and players about themselves, you’ll find them all here. (If you missed them, catch up with Part One and Part Two)

We continue the series with not just one song but two from the early eighties, and it’s a battle for love v hate on the terraces.

English football terraces weren’t a fun place to be at times in the 80’s. Lots of hate, lots of venom, lots of fighting, but also the chance to find the love of your life – if you looked very, very carefully!

And such themes were reflected in the music of the time.

The Cockney Rejects came out of the post punk era, with their brand of “Oi” music, a lot of which was heavily influenced by football.

Avid West Ham fans, the band even had a UK Top 40 hit with their version of the Hammers “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” anthem as the team won the FA Cup in 1980 (I still have the 7″ proudly in my collection).

That same year they released the football hooligan themed 7″ single “We Are The Firm”, the b-side of which, “War on the Terraces” was another song about the violence off the pitch.

It reached number 54 in the UK charts, but captures the mood of that section of the football supporters at the time. Have a listen (and sing along with the lyrics below!):

Go!
It’s a dark place over there
The seats, and the stands are bare,
But you remember not long ago,
All the times that we battled there.

The sun, it shines right on the gutter,
And you remember that he was there,
And you should know, right there in the fold,
that you grabbed him by his hair.

War on the terraces
War on the terraces
It was war on the terraces
War on the terraces

The local pub, it stands silent
And all of this town, will be soon
and you remember the pints we would sink
and sing “the fuzz is watching you”
You remember them wagons, that took us straight down the nick
When we would sing back to them, don’t it make you feel like a prick?

War on the terraces
War on the terraces
It was war on the terraces
War on the terraces

So you’re looking up, at the terrace,
and smile, it breaks your face.
And to the younger generation, we’ll be here to take your place.

War on the terraces
War on the terraces
It was war on the terraces
War on the terraces
It was war on the terraces
War on the terraces
It was war on the terraces
War on the terraces
War!

Those days are past now. And in the past, they must remain. But it wasn’t all about hate on the football terraces those days. You could find love too, but that was never destined to end well!

Norwich band Serious Drinking are another group whose lyrics have been heavily influenced by football over the years.

They took their name from the headline of an interview with The Cockney Rejects in Sounds magazine in 1981 and a year later they released their debut EP “Love on the Terraces”, the title track of which was a loving response to the Rejects’ violence filled picture of the terraces.

“Love on the Terraces” made number 38 in John Peel’s 1982 Festive Fifty and tells the tale of young love at the football. It still makes mention of the fighting and even name checks The Cockney Rejects too, but ultimately it’s about seeing a cute girl, then as violence erupts around you, she steals your heart and then your programme!

There’s actually different versions of the track but “MkI” is by far the best. Have a listen (and again, the lyrics are below):

Her name is Sharon,
She came from Southend,
Her sister Karen,
A little skinhead,
She liked football,
She liked snooker,
She liked A Certain Ratio,
She liked the Cockney Rejects.

Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces.

At the stadium,
By the river,
Buying a programme,
And a silk scarf,
She had a nice face,
And blonde hair,
She wore a tracksuit,
She was beautiful!

Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces.

I got to halftime,
Same as usual,
And then the brass band,
Or a Norwich disco,
The match got lively,
And a goal went in,
Another fight broke out,
Then I saw Sharon.

Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,

No, I’ll never forget the day I found it
Just in the tea stall by the Barclay stand,
As my mates indulged in mindless violence,
And the main stand was reduced to total silence

It was love at first sight,
As the gangs began to fight,
But I couldn’t give a toss
Cos this match will be their loss
It was love at first sight,
As the gangs began to fight,
But I couldn’t give a toss
Cos this match will be their loss

Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Me and Sharon (love on the terraces),
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
I gave 100 percent (love on the terraces),
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
She’ll never walk alone (love on the terraces),
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
She nabbed my programme (love on the terraces),
She broke my heart (love on the terraces),
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
Love, love, love on the terraces,
[Full time whistle],
Love, love, love on the terraces.

So there you have it. Love v Hate. You can pick what one you prefer.

We’ll have more in this section soon, with more from Serious Drinking coming up later in the series.

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