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Musical City

City and music have a long history, many City supporting musicians have released on City based themed material over the years

Before we start, read bands who played York (1950s onwards)

The modern era has seen little in the way of City related music recordings, and some would say the recordings were not musical in any case.

Spring 1984, City were well clear at the top of Division 4. York musician, Bob De Vries, ex of York’s top punk band, Cyanide, was the brains behind, "Here We Go", a singalong of a popular terrace chant of the day heard up and down the country. Bob must have done a good job as Everton recorded the same song a year later in advance of their FA Cup Final appearance.

The B side of City’s effort was "Hello Den, Gotta New Striker", a clever take on a recent Alexei Sayle hit "Hello John, Gotta A Motor".

Watch the recording with Dave Leaper at the desk and Bob de Vries conducting.

The recording was made at York’s Pollen Studio which was owned by Dick Sefton. Before 1984, Dick had had a 20 year association with City. First as a City schoolboy footballer and then in 1974, he wrote and recorded ‘The Big Red Band’ along with John Bird (no relation). The song was played over the tannoy on Good Friday and again a day later in April 1974. Unfortunately, it has been long forgotten. Nowadays Dick is best associated with 2 Facebook sites documenting York’s musical heritage whilst Pollen Studio is now run by his son while Dick follows City from Canada. The Big Red Band, follow the link in the Messenger / DM box to Dick Sefton.

A few years later, I recall, during The Roof Appeal, a local musician Wayne. I’m not sure of his surname, so I won’t say what I think it was to avoid any embarrassment, but there again, I might be completely wrong. A one man band, he went by the name "Walwyn", named after his hero, Keith Walwyn. He did a couple of fundraisers for us.

In an era when local record store / distributor, Red Rhino, hosted a strong roster, many being football fans who attended matches at Bootham Crescent when in York. It’s a pity one or more of them couldn’t have released a City song. How about "Brian Pollard", the debut LP by The Wedding Present, or "John Bryny Striking", from The Jesus And Mary Chain, or they could have just re-recorded the original with David Rush or "Scorin' With Butler", Ted Chippington’s classic which eventually saw the light of day as "Rockin With Rita".

Closer to home, none of Cyanide, Shove, The Jermz, Dave Sollitt (he of many local bands post Cyanide), Nick Jackson (8 Track Cartridge Family), The Redskins or Shed 7 (unless "Chasing Rainbows" was about City) ever got round to recording a City song. Pity.

However, The Shove did release at least one EP, featured tracks included Nutters Of York (a terrace favourite at the time), Raise The Roof Tonite, Pigs and Violance. With the band's close allegiance to the York Nomads Society and their large following, Nutters Of York became a firm terrace favourite.

In the very early 1990s, local skiffle band, The Rugged Aardvarks, were often to be seen busking around York, members included Torgil Benigh, Paul Butler, Simon Guppy and Tim Newton. One of their best known songs was ”Keith Walwyn:A Human Goal Machine”, composer Paul Butler reveals, "I was a Rugged Aardvark and wrote 'Keith Walwyn'". Paul remains a lifelong City fans and season ticket holder. He recalls, “back in the day, I sent Keith a copy of the song; he told me he liked it, I always regretted including the line about him being 'technically weak'; I think I just needed a rhyme for 'peak'. Also, I got the round of the FA Cup wrong in the song. Years later some friends of mine met Keith and rang me whilst they were with him, unfortunately, I thought it was a wind up and, thinking that I was speaking to a mate who was pretending to be Keith, I was extremely rude to him! Nevertheless the song brings many happy memories back - and gave my kids a chuckle!" Listen

February 2006 saw the launch of City’s (conference) promotion push CD "City of Dreams." The song was written and performed by 29 year old York City supporter, Neil James, and is an inspirational tune which the club hoped would assist their quest for promotion to the Football League. The CD, which also features another track called "True", was widely available across York.

It was no cheesy football song, but it was catchy, anthemic and passionate, sounding great after spanking a team 5-1. It even contained recordings from the Longhurst stand. Tracks included City Of Dreams / True / City Of Dreams (Instrumental).

Priced at £2.99, a portion from every sale went to the Guardian Angels Appeal and the rest to the York City Supporters Trust. Songwriter and performer, Neil James said, "I am a huge York City fan and wanted to do something to help the club which is a massive part of my life. To write a York City anthem was an honour and a privilege. I hope the fans like the song and will buy the CD as the proceeds will be helping two great causes".

Commenting on the release of "City of Dreams", York City Communications and Community Director Sophie McGill said, "The song is fantastic and very catchy. The lyrics are very poignant and all City fans will really be able to relate to this uplifting anthem. Neil has written and performed the song on a voluntary basis and we would like to thank him for this unique fundraising effort". Sophie McGill added, "Since I first heard the song a few months ago, I’ve never stopped singing it. Hopefully, with the support of the local media, it will be a favourite in York and we will be able to raise important funds for the Trust and the Guardian Angels Appeal".

Chuitar

City’s 2009 FA Trophy Final, if my research doesn’t fail me, marked our first recording of the digital download era.

Kit Simon, who uses the stage-name Chuitar, penned "City At Wembley" ahead of the club’s FA Trophy Final clash with Stevenage Borough.

He said, "As we’d not heard talk of anyone doing a cup final song for City, Chuitar were formed to have a go at knocking one together on a home computer".

He described it as a "rap-styled odyssey" and has set up a website where fans can download the song in the run-up to the game.

Kit, 33, said, "The track is a little bit ‘rough n ready.? But it’s better than nowt, it’s free and it name checks City legend Iain Dunn, so it’s gotta be worth a listen".

In a thread on the York City supporters' website, Red and Blue Net, most fans gave it the thumbs up. Iain Dunn, who played for City from 1988 to 1991 also approved. He said, "This is the first time I’ve heard the song, but it’s a fantastic honour to be named in it. I last played for York City in 1991, but I still follow them and having supported City since childhood will be going to Wembley with family and friends to cheer them on".

Although he lives on the outskirts of London, Kit’s dad lives in the Hull Road area and Kit began watching City in the grim 1987/88 relegation season. He says that set his expectations "appropriately low" but he has mixed opinions for the cup final. He said: "My head says Stevenage, who’ve been very strong in 2009, will batter us. My heart is keeping its fingers crossed that Stevenage will have their minds on a play-off final (Ed’s note: Stevenage lost in the playoff semi final after Kit's prediction) and that City will choose May 9 to prove they’re not the worst team we’ve ever had. So let’s say 2-1 to York".

The Lyrics ("City At Wembley" (2009):

City at Wembley lyrics (first few verses)

City at Wembley x 4
City at Wembley x 4
City at Wembley x 4
Well we’re York City and we’re not that good
It’s changed a lot since Derek Hood
But on May the 9th you know where we’ll be
And that’s cheering on the lads at Wembley
As seasons go this one’s not been fun
It’s changed a lot since Iain Dunn
But come the day listen for the roar
As it’s Sodj to Brodie and Brodie scores!
We’ve not been there since 93
When Ginner got promotion with a penalty
But now our time’s come round again
Let’s separate those boys from men

Expert’s View:

Charles Hutchinson, Leeds United fan and arts critic for The Press, said, "It obeys all the rules, it’s three minutes, it’s repetitive and as catchy as swine flu, and it does exactly what it says on the tin; City at Wembley, City at Wembley (repeat, repeat!). As for the Cockney York rapper, he sounds about as convincing as Ossie Ardiles in Tottenham’s 1981 Cup Final song".

Chuitar 2009 - Listen

After the barn-storming success of their 2009 FA Trophy Cup Final song ( PRS cheque for £3.39 to prove it!) Chuitar thought it was only right to return with a brand new track for City's trip to Wembley for the 2010 play-off final.

Wembley 2010 is another rap-styled odyssey, this time also featuring the City fans (as recorded on a mobile phone at Luton).

It is all a bit rough around the edges (as, indeed, was their MC's voice after Luton), but its still worth a listen.

Enjoy!

Chuitar 2010 - Listen

Chuitar 2010 - Free MP3 Download

PS: I didn't hear either being sung at Wembley.

"State Of Mind" (2012)

In 2012, Chuitar hit the jackpot.

For the FA Trophy Final, Chuitar released State Of Mind and it was played as City's players celebrated victory on the pitch after the game.

Back at Wembley a week later, a hastily recorded York In Motion marked City's second Wembley win in a week.

As if that wasn't enough, 6 weeks later, a plea to Adriano Moke fell on deaf ears as the player refused to sign his new contract and left for Cambridge.

"Goodbye Gary Mills" (2013)

Chuitar was back in action a few months later with Goodbye Gary Mills in 2013.

"Wembley Paradise" (2017)

Wembley Paradise

"Bye Bye Bootham" (2021)

His most recent City work was Bye Bye Bootham in 2021 to the tune of The Stone Roses "Bye Bye Badman".

It is accompanied by a lyric video featuring photos of the ground submitted to Chuitar by fans on social media. Chuitar said: “This obviously hasn't been the departure from Bootham Crescent that the fans or the club were hoping for, but I wanted to record something to mark the occasion. It's essentially a love letter to a place which means so much to so many of us, and which I think we'll all miss more than we even realise."Obviously we need to look forward to making fresh memories at the new ground, but it's been really nice to collect together so many fans' photos of the old one for the video. The video seems to be going down really well and the club are behind it too. There’s talk of making it the last-ever song to be played over the Tannoy at the ground.”

Soak us to the skin
On the Shippo with no roof on
Walwyn scores. And City win.
Now we’ve reached the end
They say our old ground’s had its time
I don’t care, I love it there

Every bad match and heart they broke
We’d still come back for more
To hear the Longhurst roar

[Chorus]
Here we go
Do we want to? I don’t know
No Burton Stone for you but
We’ll still be red and blue and
Always be York City
But I’ll leave a little part of me
Bye bye Bootham
Bye bye

We beat Arsenal there
Cheered for Bottom, Brodie, Banton
Matty Blair and Ginner’s hair

It’s been bought and paid, thanks to Douglas Craig
There’ll be houses on a shrine
Didn’t even get to say goodbye

[Chorus]
Here we go
Do we want to? I don’t know
Got a new home, it’s true but
we’ll still be red and blue and
Won’t forget Connelly
Smashing one past Man City
Bye bye Bootham
Bye bye

I’ve got reservations
Cos they’re gonna knock you down
Build houses on our
Dreams and wishes
But we won’t forget that ground

After we’ve had vaccinations
And this whole thing’s turning round
We’ll still support them
In the new place
But we’ll always love our old ground

City's Run Out Theme Music

There is no definitive list of all the tunes that City have run out onto the pitch to. That's probably because there are not that many memorable ones. The earliest that I can recall is "The Happy Wanderer" in the late 1960s. The Happy Wanderer was a 1954 hit for - The Stargazers. Others include the themes from "Thunderbirds" (late 1970s) and "The Big Match" (1980s), plus "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Ready To Go", and Right Here Right Now. As I said, nothing memorable.

I always fancied a Stranglers song, "Something Better Chaage" or "Go Buddy Go" re-worked as "Go City Go", or even Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town", all rousing anthems whilst "In The City" and "ChasingRainbow" are too obvious to mention. Whilst a certain Dick Sefton had 3 stabs at glory with City across 3 decades. His final effort never became a run out song.

Terrace Chants

Have a look at some more Terrace Chants and City Terrace Chants. Unfortunately, the original links changed and many City chants were removed in favour of Premier League clubs.

To those you can add:

  • "Send Tom Lockie to Vietnam" to the tune of "Michael row the boat ashore"
  • "Prince Charming", the Adam And The Ants number 1 sung to our number one striker, Keith Walwyn; "Big Keith Walwyn, Big Keith Walwyn, Defenders are nothing to be scared off"
  • ... and also to the tune of ‘Snoopy Versus the Red Dragon’,"Big Keith Walwyn, Big Keith Walwyn; 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more; Big Keith Walwyn keeps running up the score" (or alternatively "Big Keith Walwyn" is going to score").
  • Iain Dunn became something of a cult hero at Huddersfield where the fans sang, “Iain Dunn, Iain Dunn, Iain, Iain Dunn, He's got no hair, But we don't care, Iain, Iain Dunn"
  • “I didn’t know I loved you until I saw you Rodney Rowe”, one of 2 Gary Glitter songs reworked in his honour
  • While at Lincoln, supporters would chant lyrics from George Formby's "Leaning on a Lamppost" in recognition of Andy Leaning
  • "You're just a soft southern pitch" when our passes hold up on waterlogged pitches south of Yorkshire
  • “Are You Scarborough In Disguise”, first aired at Old Trafford in 1995
  • “Feed The Scarborough, Let Them Know Its Christmas Time”
  • “We Want 8”, as LIverpool scored their 7th in 1985

Terrace Lyrics

Matt Hocking (Tune: Volare)

Matt Hocking, Woah-oh!
Matt Hocking, Woah-oh-oh-oh!
His hair is sleek and nice
He probably wears Old Spice!

Alan Fettis (Tune: Winter Wonderland)

There’s only one Alan Fettis
And his name rhymes with lettuce
He’s tall and he’s lean
He keeps clean sheets
Walking in a Fettis wonderland

New York, New York (Tune: New York, New York)

Ba ba ba-ba-ba
Ba ba ba-ba-ba
Ba ba ba-ba-ba
Start spreading the news
I’m gonna be a part of it
New York, New York

Those Nationwide blues
Are fading away
I’m gonna be a part of it
New York, New York

I wanna wake up in a City that never sleeps
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the league

Those Nationwide blues (bah bah bah bah bah)
Are fading away (bah bah bah bah)
I’m gonna be a part of it
New York, New York

And if we can
Make it there
We’ll make it Anywhere

It’s up to you
New York
Newwwwwwwwww Yorkkkkkkkkkkk!

Scarborough Fair (Tune: Scarborough Fair)

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Watch non league football while you’re there
You could have more fun in the electric chair
Then watch Boro and Hayes finish all square.

Mark Sertori (Tune: That’s Amore)

When the ball hits the sky
And we want to cry
Mark Sertori

When the ball flies out wide
We want to hide
Mark Sertori.

Arms will fling
Tinga linga ling
Tinga linga ling

And you’ll sing he’s our striker

We heard a bang
That’s why we sang
Marl Sertori.

Steve Agnew (Various to Black Lace’s Agadoo)

Keith Walwyn (Tune: Seasons In The Sun (Terry Jacks))

He was long, he was tall, he was brilliant at football
He was big, he was mean, he was a human goal machine
Many a man would stand in his way
But they soon moved aside when Keith began to play.

He was never that mobile and technically weak
But no-one ever touched Keith Walwyn at his peak
He was strong and determined and fearsomely bold
And I cried the day that Keith Walwyn was sold.

It’s a long time ago but remember the sight
Of big Keith Walwyn in full flight
And to this day I can still recall
That piercing cry of “Gimme The Ball”!

Well soon there came that fateful day (Howay the lads)
When Keith faced Liverpool in a fifth round replay (Keith! Keith! Keith!”)
Grown men wept and cried aloud
When Keith’s late winner was disallowed.

Keith Walwyn (Tune: Red Barron)

10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more
Big Keith Walwyn’s gonna score
Many men died trying to end that spree
Of the big black striker from York City.

Also:

  • City fan and YCS member, Dave Hattee has been T'Pau's drummer since 1998.
  • Read a potted history of music in York