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The Exciting Zeal of Football Chanting

Watching an exciting football match gets to be more compelling when you see the crowd overwhelmingly rally for their favourite football team, cheering and chanting altogether, such that part of the excitement of the game is actually from the persuasive responses of the crowd, which is proving to actually help the team make a goal move. It is the right chant that draws the crowd, as well as the team, to win more football goals happen during the course of a match.

A football chant, which is also referred to as terrace chant, is a song or a repeated, rhythmic phrase, which is sung or shouted during a football match, and which is done to purposely provoke the team’s opposition, like a psyche game, to make them be discouraged and, at the same time, cheer for their team. Most chant songs are derived from historical or popular song adaptations, in which the lyrics are changed, somehow plagiarized and intentionally mock up from the original versions, and spontaneously conveyed in a match game by the crowd followers when the excitement reaches fever pitch. Chants, which vary from country to country and from team to team, are created to lift up the team spirit, as well as, dampen the opposing team. A lot of popular chants are based according to different types: spoken chants, chants based on hymns and classical music, chants based on spiritual and folk songs, chants based on popular music, and chants based advertising jingles, nursery rhymes and theme tunes.

The rhythmic effect of spoken chants

Spoken chants are usually repeated, rhythmic chants that are either shouted forcefully by the crowd or using a call-and-response format and accompanied by a percussion instrument to instil the right rhythm of the chant. An example of spoken chant is the one rendered by fans of the Chilean national football team, whereby one group of fans will chant “Chi-Chi-Chi” and another fan group will respond with “Le-Le-Le”.

Chants based on hymns or classical music

Examples of football chants that have been popularized by its original hymn versions, such as “Glory Glory” or a Hallelujah chorus, and a classical adaption of “When The Saints Go Marching In” has been repeatedly sung in many football matches.

Spiritual and folk song chants

There was a spiritual-based song created to mock footballer Jason Lee’s distinctive hairstyle, which got its original tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and was changed to “He’s Got a Pineapple on His Head”, while folksong-based chant, “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” was changed to “We”ll Be Coming Down the Road” by the Liverpool football fans.

Chants based on popular music

The emergence of popular music songs, which typified the funk and disco beat of the 1970s, highly influenced terrace chants to make up its own lyric versions, like “Go West” by the Village People, “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode in the 1990s, and in the 2006 FIFA World Cup adapting “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes was extremely popular by fans and players of Italy’s national football team.

Examples of chants based on advertising jingles, nursery rhymes, theme tunes

The famed nursery rhyme, “The Farmer in the Dell” was adapted as a chant into “Ee Aye Addio”, while the marching tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” was used to render the song, “His Armband Said He Was a Red”, as an honor chant for footballer Fernando Torres by the Liverpool fans, and theme tunes, such as “Heartbeat” and “The Banana Splits” were also adapted.