But before we do that, it should be noted that the club song is a unique part of our national game. While other teams around the world are associated with songs (You’ll Never Walk Alone with Liverpool FC and Celtic FC, fighting songs associated with American College teams), to the best of my knowledge, none of these teams have the players collect themselves after a victory to sing the song. That appears to be something only us Aussie Rules people do. And long may it happen.
Unless you happen to have to sing one of these songs…
18. West Coast Eagles – “We’re the Eagles”
The Eagles ditty represents all that could possibly be bad about a club song. It’s too short, unnecessarily repetitive, and does not inspire any great feeling with anyone. My clearest memory of this song was attending the 2006 Grand Final, when the song was played approximately 437 times before the game started. My mate and I would simply look at each other each time the song started and say “Oh, they’re the Eagles“.
17. Port Adelaide – “We’re the Power from Port”
Too long, an uninspiring tune, and too many long words that should not be found in any song designed to fire someone up. Remember that just about the only two syllable word in the USA’s National Anthem is “Spangled”.
16. Greater Western Sydney – “There’s a big big sound”
There’s been a bit of praise for the Giants new club song today, but it really sounds like someone dared them to write it as a joke. Would clearly sound more at home in the 1980 Moscow Olympics than the 2012 AFL Premiership Season.
15. Fremantle – “Freo, Heave ho!”
The most maligned club song actually holds a special place in my heart because it’s so clearly identified with the club. It’s almost so bad it’s good, and that places it above a few of the others.
14. Gold Coast – “The Suns of the Gold Coast Sky”
In this day and age, I think this was a pretty good effort. After they beat Port Adelaide last season, I couldn’t get the damn song out of my head. I’ve already forgotten the Mishka-inspired durge from Blacktown.
13. Western Bulldogs – “Sons of the West”
Clearly the least best of the traditonal Victorian songs, this one suffers from one terminal problem: it could be dreary for its country.
12. Adelaide – “The Pride of South Australia”
The best of the new songs, Adelaide’s main problem is that it is much too long. And while on occasion your team will live up to claims of being the best, I highly doubt Adelaide will ever be the “admiration of the nation”.
11. St Kilda – “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In”
The only other words in the song are “I love to be at St Kilda”. Seriously.
10. Brisbane – “We are the Boys from Brisbane Town”
Has anyone ever asked the French about using their bloodthirsty, nationalistic anthem and turning it into a light and airy jingle for a football team? Not the best, not the worst.
9. Geelong – “We are Geelong”
There’s a reason the original tune was left to people who were paid to sing. Quite a range in that song, and it reminds me of Roll-a-doors.
To the finalists – the top eight songs…
8. Melbourne – “It’s a Grand Old Flag”
If you can do better than Melbourne’s song, you are doing all right. Gets extra points for the refrain towards the end: “what do we sing?” Also calls on Melbourne fans to forget the past, which may be a good thing.
7. Sydney – “Cheer Cheer the Red and the White”
They have a banjo in their club song! Considering it’s based on the Notra Dame fight song, it’s designed to get you going.
6. Hawthorn – “We’re a Happy Team at Hawthorn”
Based on Yankee Doodle Dandy, it’s a great tune with a pretty good lyric. Any extra accoutrements get extra credit in my book, and I love the Hawthorn boys counting down before getting to “one for all and all for one”.
5. Essendon – “See the Bombers Fly Up”
I couldn’t bring myself to put them in the top four (because they are Essendon), but this is a song that once in, you can find it awfully hard to get out of your head. Bouncy and rousing.
4. Carlton – “We are the Navy Blues”
Despite being slower than the Doggies song, the Blues song is less dreary. Also uses the phrase “we’ll keep our ends up” to great effect.
3. North Melbourne – “Join in the Chorus”
I have a soft spot for this one, because a local club I was associated with when I was young used the exact same song. The extended version (that North sing after wins) is fantastic, and incorporates three different tunes, all inspirational. Also invokes patriotism, which is nice.
2. Collingwood – “Good Old Collingwood Forever”
While Magpies fans will be angry they just missed out on the number one position, their song is the most emotional. When not having success, it is easy to make fun of the cakewalk claim, but most fans secretly wish their song was as good as Collingwood’s. Except…
1. Richmond – “Tigerland”
Nice to see the Tiges win something. This one has it all. Silly phrases (leg and shin, Tiger of old), a rousing tune, a lyric citing against the odds victories, and last of all, that wonderful cheer at the end of the song that even the most part-time fan could remember.