Anything to fill in time on a football-free Saturday (meaningful football, that is).
Colin Randallrecalls a few of the musical pieces familiar to fans of Sunderland going back to the 1960s …
Samantha Marie Sprackling is the real name, Saffron the one she’s better known by. It probably won’t offend her to know Salut! Sunderland finds her pleasing on the eye and the ear.
As lead singer of Republica, her little belter, Ready To Go, was the perfect foil to Sergei Prokofiev’s Dance Of The Knights from Romeo And Juliet, classical changing abruptly to rousing rock as the teams emerged from the tunnel at the Stadium of Light and reached the pitch. Unless I am mistaken, the band performed it on the pitch once during the pre-match warm-up.
A lot of older fans regret the obsession with noisy entertainment as a substitute for atmosphere built by the fans as kickoff approaches.
But there has always been some music in the distressingly long period of time that I have been supporting Sunderland.
In my earliest days at Roker Park, the teams ran out to the theme from Z Cars. I was never quite sure what a television police series based in East Lancashire had to do with us, and was aware that Everton – with more geographical justification – played the same music at Goodison.
On the Fulwell end, the fans roared along in time, and broadly in tune, with the Monkees’ I’m a Believer. It would be an exaggeration to say I was ever a Monkees fan, but the Fulwell augmentation of the chorus was an impressive sound.
Later, much later, our supporters adopted Queen’s We Will Rock You, and it was heard with great volume and passion at various points before and during the 1992 Cup Final against Liverpool, underlining our fans’ massive superiority in the stands. Pity the Lads couldn’t match that on the field.
What else? Well, there are obvious ones – Wise Men Say and the rest of the medley, which always makes the congestion on leaving the East Stand seem more bearable when we’ve won – and the good, bad and ugly tracks on that Mackem Music CD.
But I’m bound to have missed plenty out. Anyone care to fill in the gaps?