McCormick’s Craic: sing when we’re winning (and losing and drawing)

With thanks to Mackftm at YouTube for this gem

My local paper in France runs a French-language version of the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine, changed to reflect Jonny Wilkinion’s career-concluding match, donning the red and black of Toulon for the last time in combat for the French championship final at the Stade de France tonight. You can say John McCormick‘s a dreamer, too. He has let his imagination run riot. Not content with allowing an excess of Merlot to induce a vote for Chile in our grand World Cup ‘other team’ poll, he now conducts a musical review of a strange, occasionally rocking and sometimes discordant season for Sunderland. Here, then, are the songs – some real, some imagined, that defined it for him …

Scroll down to vote for your World Cup team (minus England and Brazil: see why at

Songs that made the season:

At Goodison the youth element started “things can only get better” and kept it up until it was replaced with chants of “Don Vito Mannone”. At Wembley, “Wise men say” echoed round the ground and made us proud and then, in the last couple of weeks of the season the whistling and de dumming, faint at first, grew louder and louder until the motorbike revved up and charged over the barbed wire. I’m still de dumming now.

These were the songs for our season, most definitely. But are there others? What else could we have sung? What could we have dedicated to the players, the managers, the fans, even the commentators that accompanied our journey? Here are my suggestions:

For commentators everywhere and especially Michael Owen:

The Tremeloes “Silence is Golden”. I had to reach for the mute button when he came on.

For sundry opponents

For Lee Osman, Stevie G (as he’s known here) and every back four player who slipped on an overwatered pitch and gifted their opponents a goal:
Charlie Drake “Down came the rain”

For Jose Mourhino I rejected Carly Simon’s “You’re so vain” and Genesis with “Your Own Special way” in favour of Lesley Gore and “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” purely because of his behaviour after we tonked them at Stamford Bridge

For Hull City, who did the treble and still finished below us:
Sue Thompson, “Paper tiger”
Good luck in Europe.

Even without “Blue is the colour” there are loads to choose from for Vincent Tan, whose behaviour probably made loads of neutrals want Cardiff to go down. I’ve passed by “Blues Stay Away From Me” and Bob Dylan’s “Tangled up in blue” to go for “Red don’t go with blue” by Jimmy Clanton – who also sang Venus in blue jeans

For Cardiff’s Juan Cala, in recognition of a red card that just about made us safe:
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick &Titch “Hold tight”

And for Cardiff City themselves, who weren’t in the bottom three when they sacked their manager and are now in a mess, it has to be the Three Degrees and “When will I see you again?”

For Norwich, whose Board chose the wrong time to sack the man who’d brought them up and kept them up: Johnny Cash, “Delia’s Gone”

For Fulham, whose new owner sacked Martin Jol in December and then let Rene Meulensteen spend £11 million before sacking him in February, it’s the arch anti-capitalist Pete Seeger with “Down by the riverside”

John McCormick:
John McCormick: learning the chords

The Mags have a section to themselves:

For Steven Taylor
Connie Francis “Who’s sorry now”

For Alan Pardew:
Paul Jones, “I’ve been a bad, bad boy”

For Mike Ashley
The Beatles, “Can’t buy me love”

For the Toon army
Karen Boddington and Mark Williams “Home and away”

For Geordiedoonsooth, who just can’t leave this site alone:
Dusty Springfield
“You don’t have to say you love me, just be close at hand”

For Smoggie
Manfred Mann “Ha Ha, said the clown”

And if the Mags have their own section then our own club obviously needs the same:

If you look on YouTube you’ll find something called “Red and white (driving me crazy)” by Northern Cree. How could I ignore that? It has nothing to do with a listed building in a Ryhope allotment [look it up if you don’t know] it’s a drummed and chanted song by a group of native Americans and it sounds like something the youth element could manage. However, if it’s not for you, depending on your age you can choose from:
Ken Dodd, “Happiness”
The Clash “London Calling”
or Bon Jovi “Keep the faith”
(…You know you’re gonna live through the rain, Lord you gotta keep the faith…)

The away fans deserve a special mention, especially the youth element, who never stopped singing, so it’s Olivia Newton John and
“Hopelessly devoted”

Let’s not forget our manager at the start of the season. He could have anything from Madness but I’ve chosen “Welcome to the house of fun” for him. When he went Kevin Ball filled in and wanted the job permanently but didn’t get it. This can’t have helped him so it’s Miley Cyrus and “Wrecking Ball” for Kevin. Then came Gus and “I believe”.

For the whole team

Elton John
“I’m still standing”

Special Mentions

For Don Vito
Max Bygraves “You need hands”
For Jozy
Bernard Bresslaw “You need feet”

For Marcus Alonso, who made some productive forward runs but who isn’t the fastest defender I’ve seen it’s The Beatles and “Get back”
For Wes Brown and John O’Shea I’ve take the easy option and gone for Frankie Vaughan with “If I were a tower of strength” and Jimmy Dean with “Big John”
For Santiago Vergini, in recognition of the fact that he didn’t set the house on fire at first and still divides opinion it’s The Clash and “Should I stay or should I go?”
And for Phil Bardsley, our former longest-serving player, whom I saw give us the win against Man City and who then popped up at Old Trafford, not to mention other efforts and indiscretions, I’ve chosen the Harry Nilsson version of “Thanks for the memories”.

Midfield’s selection reflects its occasional failure to perform:
For Lee Cattermole
Stealer’s Wheel “Stuck in the middle with you” (As opposed to Pink Floyd, “A momentary lapse of reason”)

For Jonno: The Eagles, “Taking it easy”

On the same theme but with a Swedish twist for Seb: Avicci and “Wake me up”

Ki gives problems when it comes to a definitive song but his name has punning possibilties. It’s too late for George Harrison and ” Here comes Seung-Jung” but we could have the Walker Brothers singing “Seung-Jung ain’t gonna shine anymore”. Dion and the Belmonts could give us “Runaround Sung-Jung” and Cliff Richard chips in with “Seung-Jung’s the one” but none of these reflect a player who looks pretty on the ball but can’t tackle to save his life. For that I’ve had to opt for the “Hokey Cokey”.

For Emmanual Giaccherini, who popped up with some decent goals to bracket the season it’s Clodagh Rogers and “Jack in the box”, which means I have to pick something else for Jack Colback. Thanks in part to his goals against Cardiff it’s all right now, in fact it’s a gas, so  “Jumping Jack Flash” gets the vote.( It was either that or the nursery rhyme “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick” which didn’t quite cut it for me)

Finally in this section, it’s thanks to Craig Gardner for the effort, the penalties (all but one) and the song on the metro. Craig, you can bow out to the Pet Shop Boys and ”Go West” (Bromwich Al-bi-on)

And for our forwards:

For Fletch, whom I hope will recover his form next season it’s another song about memories:
Barbara Streisand, “The way we were”

For Fabio I passed over Louis Armstrong singing “Mack the knife” live (a possibility because it sounds like “Mags, the knife”) in favour of loads of groups from all over the world singing “Stay (just a little bit longer)”

For Connor nothing can beat Candi Statton: “Young hearts run free”

For Scorchio, although Gus sees something in him and I look forward to being proved wrong, it has to be Dire Straits and “Money for nothing”

And finally, for Ellis Short it’s another Rolling Stones song:

“You can’t always get what you want”
(but if you try some times, well you just might find that you get what you need)


Join the Salut! Sunderland Facebook group – click anywhere along this line

And follow us on Twitter: @salutsunderland … click along this line

Who should be Salut! Sunderland’s second team in Brazil? free polls 

2 thoughts on “McCormick’s Craic: sing when we’re winning (and losing and drawing)”

  1. For Altidore next season. I hope we can give a stirring rendition of Pete Ham’s classic made famous by Nilsson. “Without you.”

    • “Can’t live, if living is without you”? Not what you had in mind methinks.

      After last season – “I Will Survive” for Paolo? (Go beyond the title!)

Comments are closed.

Next Post