Here’s a little musical quiz featuring many of your favourite Newcastle United songs, a quiz to pass the time during the international break.

Below you’ll find a list of 31 well-known NUFC terrace chants. Some of them are in current use, some go back a few years. Most of the people reading stuff on this site will know how most of them go.

But do you know where the tunes come from?

Get a pen and a bit of paper.

For each chant – 1 point if you can say when the tune comes from – not the chant, but the original tune. Is it from:

A – before 1900

B – between 1900 and 1965

C – between 1965 and 1985

D – since 1985

And, for each chant 1 point if you can name the original tune.

So, for example, if the terrace chant was “Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart…”, you’d get 1 point for B, and 1 point for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which was written in 1945 for the Hollywood musical Carousel.

In no particular order, but starting with a nice easy one:

  1. Oh me lads, you should have seen us gannin, passing the folks along the road just as they were stannin, there were lots of lads and lasses there all with smiling faces, gannin along the Scotswood Road…..
  1. Ritchie’s f***ing magic, he wears a magic hat.….
  1. He turned you down, Shearer turned you down
  1. Oh Coloccini, you are the love of my life…etc…I want curly hair too
  1. Rafa, Raphael, Rafa, Raphael, Rafa, Raphael, Raphael Benitez
  1. Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, and so on
  1. Eee aye Eee aye Eee aye oh, up the football/Premier league we go
  1. You’re not singing anymore/ Your support is fucking sh*te/Get your t*ts out for the lads/We can see you sneaking out
  1. There’s only one Kevin Keegan/Bobby Robson/whoever
  1. …… oh what fun it is to see Newcastle win away
  1. Na na na na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, Geordies
  1. Peter Reid’s got a f***in monkey’s heed
  1. Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy Andy Cole, he gets the ball he scores a goal
  1. Don’t sell Cabaye/Don’t take me home
  1. When the Mags go Marching in
  1. Who the f*** are Man Utd..
  1. Hello, Hello, we are the Geordie Boys
  1. Newcastle, Newcastle, Newcastle/Sack the board
  1. Stand Up if you Love the Toon
  1. Hark now hear the Geordies Sing
  1. We Love you Newcastle, we do
  1. We are the Geordies, the Geordie Boot Boys
  1. Drink, Drink, wherever we may be
  1. Down with the Mackems/Sacked in the Morning/There’s only one (whoever)
  1. Geordie Boys are taking the p***/Ryan Taylor, over the wall
  1. Get out of our club, you fat cockney bastard, get out of our club
  1. Tell me Ma, me Ma, I won’t be home for tea
  1. We Hate Nottingham Forest
  1. One Song, you’ve only Got one Song/lots of others
  1. Same old Shearer, always scoring
  1. We are top of the league, say we are top of the league

I don’t doubt that I’ve missed loads out. (There’s one well known one where I’ve no idea where the tune comes from – An N and a E and a W C, A and S and T L E, etc – any ideas?)

ANSWERS

  1. Oh me lads, you should have seen us gannin, passing the folks along the road just as they were stannin, there were lots of lads and lasses there all with smiling faces, gannin along the Scotswood Road….To see the Blaydon Races

Of course you’ve all named that tune, but what about the date? The answer is A, before 1900.

Blaydon Races comes from the tradition of the 19th Century Music Hall. Before TV, and before cinema, and before radio, a popular entertainment for ordinary working people was to go to a music hall (there used to be loads of them), and spend the evening listening to popular songs, bits of music, comic sketches, bits of drama, all sorts. A good music hall song would be the sort of thing everyone would want to sing along to – ‘Altogether now…..’. Which is why, all these years later, they make such good terrace chants

  1. “Ritchie’s f***ing magic, he wears a magic hat….”

On dates, the answer is B – between 1900 and 1965

The tune comes from ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’, which was written and recorded by Lonnie Donegan in 1960.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why Matt Ritchie wears a magic hat, look at the lyrics of the original: “My old man’s a dustman. He wears a dustman’s hat. He wears gorblimey trousers, and he lives in a council flat.”

Although the song was written in 1960, it was written in the style of an old music hall song, and is probably based on earlier songs which go back to the First World War.

  1. “He turned you down, he turned you down; Shearer turned you down”

Answer – D

The tune comes from ‘Three Lions’ written by Skinner & Baddiel in 1996. The original words to that bit of the tune, of course, are “It’s coming home, it’s coming home. Football’s coming home”. Certainly one of the best songs about football ever written, it’s hardly surprising that it has become used on the terraces.

  1. “Oh Coloccini, you are the love of my life…etc…I want curly hair too.”

Answer – C

Can’t Take my Eyes off You – Frankie Valli, 1967.

Original lyrics to our bit of tune are: “I love you baby; And if it’s quite alright; I need you baby; To warm my lonely nights; I love you baby; Trust in me when I say”.

  1. “Rafa, Raphael, Rafa, Raphael, Rafa, Raphael, Raphael Benitez”

Answer – A

‘Skip to My Lou’ – an American folk song which goes back to the first half of the 19th Century.

It was originally a sort of playground song, and has been used hundreds of times over the years with all sorts of different words, but the original lyrics were: “Skip, skip, skip to my lou; Skip to my lou my darling”.

  1. “Geordies, Geordies, Geordies, Geordies,” and so on

Answer – A

‘Amazing Grace’. This is a British hymn which goes right back to the 18th Century – but the tune that we all know was added by an American called William Walker in the 19th Century.

“Amazing Grace; How sweet the sound; That saved a wretch like me’

I once was lost; But now am found; Was blind; But now I see”

  1. “Eee, aye, Eee, aye, Eee, aye oh; Up the football/Premier league we go…etc…

Answer – B (probably)

‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ – another Music Hall song, this time from the early part of the 20th Century.

“Eee-aye Eee-aye, Eee-aye oh

Under the table you must go

If I catch you bending

I’ll saw your legs right off

Knees-up, knees-up

Don’t get the breeze up

Knees-up Mother Brown”

  1. “You’re not singing any more/ Your support is f***ing shite/Get your t*ts out for the lads/We can see you sneaking out”

Answer – B

Bread of Heaven/Guide me Oh thou Great Jehovah – a Welsh hymn written in 1905. The original words to our bit of tune are:

“Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

Feed me till my want is o’er”

  1. “There’s only one Kevin Keegan/Bobby Robson/whoever”

Answer B

Winter Wonderland – 1934 US Christmas Carol

“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening

In the lane snow is glistening

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland”

  1. “……… oh what fun it is to see Newcastle win away”

Answer – A

newcastle united songs

Jingle Bells – an American Christmas Carol from the 19th Century.

  1. “Na na na na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, Geordies”

Answer – C

Hey Jude – The Beatles, 1968

  1. “Peter Reid’s got a f***in monkey’s heed”

Answer – C

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles 1966, from the album Revolver

“We all live in a yellow submarine”

Now, while we’re just looking at the tunes here, can I just say that whoever came up with the words to this one deserves some sort of statue or something. He (or she) is the Bob Dylan of the terraces.

  1. “Andy Cole, Andy Cole, he gets the ball he scores a goal”

Answer – C

Hooray, Hooray, it’s a Holi-Holiday – Boney M, 1979.

Cheesy disco-pop from Germany’s finest in the late 70s.

“Hooray, hooray, it’s a holi, holiday

What a world of fun for everyone

Holi, holiday.”

  1. “Don’t sell Cabaye/Don’t take me home”

Answer – D

Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus 1992

You might be beginning to notice that there aren’t that many tunes cropping up from the last 30 years – but mysteriously enough, one of the select few is this piece of rubbish.

“Don’t tell my heart

My Achy breaky heart

I just don’t think he’d understand

And if you tell my heart

My achy breaky heart

He might blow up and kill this man.”

  1. “When the Mags go Marching in

Answer – B

When the Saints go Marching in – an early 20th C American hymn

“When the Saints go marching in

Oh when the Saints go marching in

Lord I want to be in that number

When the Saints go marching in”

  1. “Who the f*** are Man Utd”

Answer – A

Battle Hymn of the Republic/John Brown’s Body – 19th C American Civil War hymn

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored

He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword

His Truth is marching on

Glory, glory, hallelujah

Glory, glory hallelujah

His truth is marching on”

Those are the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. However, the tune was also used in the American Civil War with the words:

“John Brown’s body lies a mouldering in his grave”

  1. Hello, Hello, we are the Geordie Boys

Answer – A

Marching Through Georgia – 19th C American Civil War Hymn

Another song from the American Civil War.

“Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee

Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free

So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea

While we were marching through Georgia”

The song is about the march of the Union troops through the Confederate state of Georgia

  1. Newcastle, Newcastle, Newcastle/Sack the board

Answer – A

The Stars and Stripes Forever – 1896 American military march.

Another American military tune! There aren’t really original lyrics to this – it was written as a military march. It is widely associated with the US military, and is the official National March of the US.

  1. Stand Up if you Love the Toon

Answer – C

Go West – Village People, 1979

One of three late 70s hits for the outrageously camp Village People – sandwiched in between ‘YMCA’ and ‘In the Navy’.

Original lyrics to our bit of tune:

“Go west – life is peaceful there

Go west – lots of open air

Go west – begin life anew

Go west – this is what we’ll do”

  1. Hark now hear the Geordies Sing

Answer – B

newcastle united songs

Mary’s Boy Child/Hark Now hear the Angels Sing – 1956 US Christmas Carol

Famous versions have been recorded by Harry Belafonte and Boney M (again). Original lyrics:

“Hark now hear the angels sing

A King was born today

And man will live for evermore

Because of Christmas Day”

  1. We Love you Newcastle, we do

Answer – B

We Love You Conrad – from the US musical and film ‘Bye Bye Birdie 1960

A musical and film which (so far as I’m aware) has been almost completely forgotten – except for this little bit of tune. Really you ought to have a bonus point if you got the title of this one right. Original lyrics are:

“We love you Conrad, we do

We don’t love anyone as much as you

When you’re not near us we’re blue

Oh Conrad we love you”

  1. We are the Geordies, the Geordie Boot Boys

Answer – B

You are my Sunshine – US popular song 1939.

Originally a country song, it has been covered over the years by just about everybody.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey

You’ll never know dear how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away”

  1. Drink, drink, wherever we may be

Answer – A

Lord of the Dance – but the tune comes from Simple Gifts, a much earlier 19th century US hymn.

“Dance then, wherever you may be

I am the Lord of the dance said he

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be

And I’ll lead you all in the dance said He”

  1. Down with the Mackems/Sacked in the Morning/There’s only one (whoever)

Answer – B

Guantanamera – a Cuban folk song, the tune is from about 1930.

It is about a peasant girl from Gauntanamo.

“Guantanamera, guajira Gauntanamera”

  1. The Geordie Boys are taking the P***/Ryan Taylor, over the wall

Answer – B

Tom Hark – Elias and his Zig-Zag Jive Flutes, 1958 (covered by the Piranhas 1980)

A surprise to me this one – I knew the 1980 version, but didn’t know the tune went back further than that. Apparently it was originally a jazz instrumental. It was covered by the Piranhas, who put words to it:

“The whole thing’s daft, I don’t know why

You have to laugh or else you’ll cry

You have to live or else you’ll die

You have to laugh or else you’ll cry”

  1. Get out of our club, you fat cockney bastard, get out of our club

Answer – B or C

Sloop John B – Beach Boys

Now I always thought this was a completely new song written by the Beach Boys for their famous 1966 Pet Sounds album. It turns out that it is actually a cover (of sorts) of a Caribbean folk song from the early 20th century. Since the Beach Boys version is so famous, we’ll say a point for either B or C.

“So hoist up the John B’s sail

See how the mainsail sets

Call for the captain ashore

Let me go home

Let me go home

I want to go home

I feel so broke up

I want to go home”

  1. Tell me Ma, me Ma, I won’t be home for tea

Answer – B

Que Sera. Sera – 1956, recorded by Doris Day

“Que sera, sera

Whatever will be will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera, sera”

  1. Hey Alan Shearer, I wanna know…

Answer – B

Hey Baby – Bruce Channel, 1961

“Hey baby, I wanna know

If you’ll be my girl”

  1. One Song, you’ve only Got one Song/lots of others

Answer – B

Blue Moon – Rogers and Hart 1934

“Blue moon, you saw me standing alone

Without a dream in my heart

Without a love of my own”

  1. Same old Shearer, always scoring

Answer – A

newcastle united songs

Big Ben chimes – these go back to the 18th century.

They aren’t a tune as such, and they don’t have lyrics – but the words inscribed in the clock tower which are supposed to go with the chime are:

“All through this hour

Lord be my guide

And by thy power

No foot shall slide”

  1. We are top-of-the-league, say we are top-of-the-league

Answer – C

Rappers Delight – Sugarhill Gang 1979

“I said a hip, hop,

The hippie, the hippie

The hippie to the hip-hip-hop

You don’t stop, rock it

To the bang bang boogie

Say up jump the boogie

To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat”

So there we are. How did you do? Bearing in mind that a blind, deaf monkey should get about 7 or 8 on the multiple choice part:

0-10 points – frankly I’m surprised you’ve managed to read this far. If you were a Newcastle striker you would be … Emmanuel Riviere – absolutely hopeless!

10-15 – …Luuk de Jong – p***-poor

15-20 – …Billy Whitehurst – not very good, but at least you tried

20-25 – …Papiss Cisse – good in parts, rotten in others

25-30 – …Mick Quinn – good, but carrying a few pounds and you ran out of steam

30-40 – …Malcolm Macdonald/Andy Cole/Les Ferdinand – outstanding

40-50 – …Jackie Milburn – the greatest, bar one

50-60 – … Alan Shearer – godlike Genius

Just a bit of fun.

But there are some interesting points when you look at the results.

The most obvious is how old most of the tunes we sing are. I haven’t tried to be scientific about it – the 31 chants I listed were just the ones that came into my head. But if you look at them as a sample:

  • None of them comes from the last 20 years
  • Only 2 out of 31 come from the last 35 years
  • Only 8 or 9 out of 31 come from the last 50 years
  • 12 out of the 30 tunes are more than 100 years old

Why is that?

One possibility I suppose is that nobody writes catchy tunes any more – but I don’t think that’s true. More likely it comes down to the way we listen to music nowadays. If you think about it, to be a successful terrace chant, the tune has got to be one that a large enough proportion of the crowd recognise. That’s 50,000 made up of all ages and backgrounds.

Now there was a time, as anyone who spent time on the terraces in the old days will remember, when most of the tunes that got sung were very modern – songs by the Beatles, or the Beach Boys, or Boney M, or Gary Glitter (he seems to have gone right out of fashion for some reason!!) or whoever would be being sung on the terraces when they were fresh out of the charts.

newcastle united songs

But in those days there weren’t many tv channels, or radio stations, there weren’t many headphones – which meant that if there was a catchy hit record out there you heard it everywhere – it didn’t matter who you were or what sort of music you liked, you couldn’t get away from it.

So if somebody started up a song using the tune from a Gary Glitter record, virtually everyone in the crowd would know the song. For better or worse, that just doesn’t happen anymore – if somebody started to sing a song using the tune from a current number one record, most of the people in the crowd wouldn’t know the tune!

But, having said that it has to be a tune that enough people know – where are all the tunes from the Titans of modern music? Everybody has a head full of tunes from Elvis, or the Stones, or the Who, or Dylan, or Bowie (whether they realise it or not) – but you won’t find them anywhere in the list of tunes above. The Beatles are the exception that proves the rule.

Apart from them, most of the modern tunes come from pretty minor figures. It turns out that the modern-day Kings of the terrace chant are Boney M and the Village People! It has to be catchy – it doesn’t necessarily have to be good.

Looking at where that list of 30 tunes come from, it’s about an even split – one-third come from old folk-songs or music-hall singalongs, one-third come from old religious hymns or Christmas carols, and one-third come from popular songs.