Study: My Understanding of Chants

The Fervor of Football Chants

Because a football match is too exciting a sports not to be watched all over the world, part of the excitement is drawn from the persuasiveness of the crowd, somehow compelling the rest of the viewers to join their rally, cheering and chanting for their team, such that this kind of gripping scene actually helps the team to make a successful goal move. Chanting for your favourite football team is a forceful message being conveyed by the crowd, such that even the viewers on TV and the rest of the world, as well as the team, rally at their exciting best to make more football goals happen during the course of a match.

A football chant or a terrace chant is more like a crowd singing or shouting a repeated, rhythmic phrase, 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. When the excitement reaches fever pitch in a football match, expect the crowd to spontaneously convey their chants, which are song adaptations from historical or popular songs that are plagiarized and intentionally mock up from the original versions. There are various chant versions from country to country and from team to team, all created to unite the crowd followers to lift up the team spirit, as well as, slighting the opposing team. Chants are classified into the following 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. For instance, the spoken chant of the Chilean national football team fans, which is”Chi-Chi-Chi”, is responded by another group fan with their spoken chant of “Le-Le-Le”.

Chants based on hymns or classical music

We have heard of football chants, such as “Glory Glory” or a Hallelujah chorus , which are hymnal versions, and classical adaption of “When The Saints Go Marching In” has been repeatedly sung in many football matches.

Chants based on spiritual and folk songs

The folksong-based song, “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” was changed to “We”ll Be Coming Down the Road” as a chant song by the Liverpool football fans; and a mock chant song, aimed at footballer Jason Lee due to his distinctive hairstyle, was created, He’s Got a Pineapple on His Head, which was following the tune of a spiritual song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.

Examples of popular music-based chant songs

Popular music songs from the 1970s to the 21st century, which became popular due to the tune and music and rendition of famous bands and song groups, were adapted for football chanting, such as “Go West” by the Village People in 1970, “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.

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.