Dave Devereux takes a look at the county songs the fans on the terraces sing to their GAA heroes
Songs hold a special place in the hearts of followers of our national games and we all yearn for a catchy tune that will be sang the length and breath of a county or, if we’re lucky enough, even take the entire country by storm.
It’s a common occurence to hear more traditional tunes emanating from the stands on match day, like the Tipperary fans singing ‘Slievenamon’ with great gusto in Semple Stadium or Shannonsiders belting out ‘Limerick You’re a Lady’ but there’s plenty more written in a made to measure fashion in the hope they will light up the big occasion.
Although most are forgettable and throwaway offerings which are consigned to the bargain bins of history almost as soon as they’re released, every so often one comes along to light up a summer. In the modern world of social media and YouTube All-Ireland final songs are ten a penny, where everyone from the local butcher and baker to the candlestick maker can give it a lash and try their hand at a GAA ditty, with varying degrees of success.
One band that unquestionably found the magic formula was The Wild Swans with their tune ‘Dancing at the Crossroads’ capturing the imagination of a county and indeed the country as Wexford swept to a memorable All-Ireland hurling title in 1996, bridging a 28-year-gap.
‘Dancing at the Crossroads’ soared to lofty heights and actually reached the top of the charts, knocking none other than ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls off of the number one spot.