Blue Moon: Significance
- 09 March 2011 15:48
- Posted by Emily Brobyn
Club anthems resonate throughout football: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ and, of course, our own ‘Blue Moon’. But what’s the story behind the song?
How did those iconic lyrics become etched into so many City fans' subconscious?
This was a time when clubs started to adopt new songs on the then-terraces, rather than chants. Songs like ‘Delilah’ and ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ are two that did stick around for a while, with ‘Delilah’ now remaining as Stoke City’s anthem of choice.
‘Blue Moon’ was originally sung by Crewe Alexandra's fans. It was only during the past couple of decades that the Blues adopted it and made it their own. City historical expert Gary James remembers the first time he heard it.
“The first time I can ever recall it being sung was at the opening game of the 1989-90 season at Liverpool,” he said. “It had never been sung by fans during the seasons before that.
“At Anfield, City fans were kept behind for a while after the match and a few lads started singing it as we started to make our way out. They sang a sort of melancholic version, but it caught on.
"At that time I was doing research for various bits of writing, and recognised that this was unusual - there were plenty of other chants or songs that could have been sung instead.
“People have talked about this to me over the years and most of us share the same memory,” he commented. “Only a few lads were singing it as we came out - two appeared to be singing it to each other, which was quite funny.
“People will talk about Howard Kendall's arrival and other stuff that happened later in the season, but it was the Liverpool match when it was first sung. During that season it grew game after game, and by the time Niall Quinn joined the club it had become our anthem.
I don't know the names of the lads who first sang it at Anfield, but I do know they were regulars. I used to see them at away games
But undoubtedly the best and most popular version is when the chorus of Blues raise their arms in the air, hold their scarves aloft and sing the lyrics with all their heart during the 90 minutes of a game.
It’s a spine-tingling, compelling demonstration of support and loyalty for the club. Who knows what other versions of ‘Blue Moon’ will lie ahead, but long may the anthem continue.
Gary James’ book "Manchester: A Football History" is still available from the City Store, for more information: www.manchesterfootball.org