Ranking Premier League Clubs on Their Fans' Singing Talents
The vast majority of English football fans wouldn't dare to sing outside of their own homes in normal circumstances, but when they put a football shirt on, they start bellowing at the top of their lungs.
Chanting is a peculiar trait of the football fan, and one that helps create an intimidating atmosphere on match days.
Here, B/R has attempted to rank the 20 Premier League clubs on their supporters' vocal talents, with points awarded for passion, comedy and originality.
As you'll soon learn, the biggest stadium isn't always conducive to the loudest singing contingent...
20. Hull City
Trying to intimidate rivals by telling them they will be "mauled by the tigers" while doing a mauling action? This is the worst fan chant in the history of fan chants. In fact, it's the worst thing in the history of things.
Every Hull City fan in this video needs to go home, sit down and think about what they've done.
Norwich are a likable club, but Carrow Road isn't known for its rousing atmosphere. When a drunk old lady needs to take to the pitch to liven things up, it's usually not a good sign.
Improvements have been made lately, however, with the introduction of a new chant about star signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel:
Norwich fans' new chant of "Feed the Wolf and he will score" is excellent.— Aidan Reynolds (@aidanreynolds) August 17, 2013
And contrary to what you may have heard, Canaries fans do not sing the rude song Russell Howard once suggested (NSFW link here).
18. Fulham FC
Sat a few yards from the banks of the Thames, Craven Cottage features the oldest stand in professional football (The Johnny Haynes stand is a Grade II listed building), and it was one of the last Premier League stadiums to completely phase out standing areas.
There are few more beautiful and unique places to take in a game in England, and Cottagers fans have been known to create a decent atmosphere. One of their more impressive chants was an ode to former striker Bobby Zamora:
"When the ball ball hits your head / And you're sat in Row Z / That's Zamora."
Thanks to its timid supporters, Arsenal's former ground earned a reputation as the "Highbury Library."
Although the atmosphere often picks up on big European nights and North London derbies, the middle-class London executives who can actually afford to attend a game at the Emirates are still perpetuating the stereotype. Ooh, to be a Gooner.
16. Manchester City
Perhaps due to the shadow cast by their red neighbours, the atmosphere at Manchester City's old Maine Road ground could be a little staid at times—but they always filled the place, come rain or shine.
The extra seats at Eastlands have helped fans find their singing voice, particularly when belting out the City classic "Blue Moon" (shown in this video at Maine Road's final match).
15. Crystal Palace
In the decrepit Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace have one of the worst stadiums ever to host Premier League matches. Eagles fans, however, have a decent singing voice, shown by their rendition of Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" whenever they score. (Note: This season you won't be hearing that song at Selhurst as much as last year.)
Palace also had a humourous chant for former midfielder Alessandro N'Diaye, who was often treated to a personalised edit to a Whitney Houston classic: ""N'Diayeeeeeeee will always love youuuuuu!"
Swansea City enjoyed a sell-out crowd at their opening-day defeat to Manchester Utd, but the Liberty Stadium's 20,733 capacity means the Welsh side will have the lowest attendance in the league this season.
But what they lack in numbers they make up for in spirit. When he arrived from Spain, Michu claimed that the fans' rendition of the Max Boyce classic "Hymns and Arias" made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.
13. Cardiff City
The chirpy Cardiff fans at Ninian Park and Cardiff City Stadium are best known for doing the "Ayatollah," a celebration where they pat their own heads and make lots of noise. Bizarrely, it was inspired by a gesture of grief seen at the funeral of Ruhollah Khomeini, which was broadcast live on British TV.
It also has a music video, which is easily the best thing you will see today.
12. West Brom
After managing an eighth-place finish in last season's Premier League, West Brom fans had plenty to cheer about. The Smethwick End at the Hawthorns seems to be the liveliest, with "The Lord's My Shepherd" an enduringly popular choice.
And of course, how could you dislike thousands of grown men bouncing up and down shouting "boing! boing!" on an endless loop?
11. Manchester Utd
Manchester Utd boast the biggest stadium in the league, but they're thoroughly mid-table when it comes to singing.
Home matches are often loud—particularly if it's a big occasion—but when the opposition are of a lesser calibre, it can feel like a venue filled with tourists and first-time attendees. At the last game this writer witnessed at the Theatre of Dreams, the home fans mustered up little beyond a chant of "United! United!" when they won a corner.
Red Devils fans, however, do deserve credit for inventing "Come on feel the Moyes." You had over a decade to think of that, Everton.
10. Aston Villa
Aston Villa fans didn't have much to sing about when enduring their team's dire performances last season, but they still manage to be heard across Birmingham on match days.
One of their most popular tunes is a simple repetition in which the loudest fans in the Holte End of Villa Park praise themselves: "Yippi Aye Eh, Yippi Aye Oh! Holte Enders in the skyyyy."
Villa fans also won major comedy points on a trip to Anfield a few seasons ago with their "Let's pretend we scored a goal!" routine.
It can get pretty loud at the Stadium of Light, particularly when their old pals Newcastle are in town.
Most Black Cats chants are the generic melodies heard at other English grounds, but their pièce de resistance is surely their ditty about Niall Quinn's clothing choices:
Niall Quinn's disco pants are the best,
They go up from his a**e to his chest,
They are better than Adam & The Ants,
Niall Quinn's disco pants...
Chelsea fans don't win any originality points for their eponymous one-word chant, but at least they don't make a regular habit of singing Suggs' 1997 FA Cup final ditty "Blue Day."
At a capacity of 42,000, Stamford Bridge is the eighth-biggest Premier League stadium, and according to research carried out in 2011, it's the ninth-loudest at 80 decibels. That's about the volume of a small auditorium playing chamber music. How quaint.
Video contains NSFW language
There was a fantastic atmosphere at Southampton's compact old ground The Dell (apart from the day when this writer saw his team relegated there in 1999), and this has been successfully transported to St Mary's.
Saints fans excelled themselves last season when Jason Puncheon had to leave the field to relieve himself during a 0-0 draw with Everton. The potty-mouthed singers knew exactly what he was up to.
6. Tottenham Hotspur
Over the years, Tottenham have had a lot of help in the singing department thanks to the venerable talents of Chas & Dave.
This writer was present at the famous 2010 victory over Inter Milan, where the roar swirled around the steep, enclosed stands of White Hart Lane and quick-witted Spurs fans invented the "Taxi for Maicon!" chant.
One of Tottenham's most-used songs is "Oh When The Spurs Go Marching In," which starts off slowly and gets quite frantic towards the end.
5. West Ham Utd
There's always a decent level of noise at Upton Park, but West Ham's travelling contingent came up with the chant of the season in 2012-13, when they sang "He's coming for you! He's coming for you! Harry Potter is coming for you!" at Voldemort-alike Jonjo Shelvey.
That chant is going to follow him around like a justice-seeking wizard.
4. Stoke City
Stoke fans are famous for creating an intimidating atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium, even though their most popular song is a re-worked version of the Tom Jones classic "Delilah."
2. Newcastle Utd
Packed to the rafters with 52,000 roaring Geordies, St. James' Park is by far the loudest Premier League ground this writer has attended. The Toon Army are famous for their sense of humour, and a number of their lyrical salutes to players seem to be based around '80s pop hits.
And it's always good to hear a rousing rendition of Blaydon Races before a game.
According to a survey carried out by FanChant.com in 2011 (via talkSPORT.com), Anfield is officially the loudest ground in the country, with a measurement of 97 decibels taken. That's a little louder than listening to a pneumatic drill from one metre away.
Few football chants are as hair raising as a packed Anfield belting out "You'll Never Walk Alone." Special commendation should also be given to the Reds' Australian fans, 95,000 of whom filled the MCG with the chorus in preseason.