A Song For Euros – Group B

Continuing the look at music associated with teams taking part in Euro 2016.

» In this round we are dealing with Group B: England, Russia, Slovakia and Wales.

As mentioned previously I’ve had trouble locating songs done about the competing teams in European competition, so I will include World Cup tunes. Again if I can find any though.

ENGLAND

So we don’t have the best players right now. A group of good footballers, but as I said, not the best. Great individuals but a great team ? There are no worries up front with Kane and Vardy both on form. Hopefully they’ll continue that into the finals. But elsewhere there are concerns. It will be a youthful slightly inexperienced midfield, which is no bad thing. The same with the defence, which could be prone to mistakes. And although there is Joe Hart, he still needs a solid back line in front of him.
It is the usual false hope and expectations. Cup final, to win it. And the usual bitterness and disappointment after an exit at the Quarter Finals.

There wasn’t an official England song for the 2014 World Cup. And because of this and because we live in a world where anybody can have a crack at it if they want to, there was a proliferation of songs uploaded to You Tube. And there were hundreds. And they were all very, very bad.

And so far there hasn’t been word of any professional band wanting to have a go. And thankfully One Direction have broken up so there’s no danger there. And don’t even dare mention Sam Smith. And if there isn’t an official tune this time round there will be even more terrible music uploaded. *shivers*

We should also remember and never forget the Stock-Aitken-Waterman England Euro ’88 song (as well as their non-performance on the pitch. The song that nearly killed football and music until New Order came to the rescue a couple of years later.

There was of course, a very well known song was banged out in time for when we hosted the tournament in 1996. Well actually there were loads of them, but I’m not going with the obvious route. With all the hundreds of England songs you probably know, I can guarantee that you will not have heard of this one.
And that is a good thing.

We are going back to the 1982 World Cup (which was held is Spain so we still have the European angle) and I present to you this is cod-disco/electric-folk music effort:

“This tournament is going to be held in Spain, I know – throw in some castanets and trumpets. Add some mentions about the rain in Spain, flamenco, bull fighting, a bit of faux-Spanish… Done !”

I tried to find out more information about those responsible for this horrible, terrible mess of a tune (so I could bring a private prosecution) but there’s not much out there. The writers only used their intials on the credits:
E. Silvester, J Bagnall. Absolutely nothing about who is singing. But the producer credits told me lots.
This single was released on EMI Records and was done by an in-house producer Bob Barratt. He produced such acts as Vince Hill, Max Boyce and The Wurzels. This looks like then, a cash-in by EMI. But thankfully it didn’t sell and it never charted.


RUSSIA

We all know about England’s former boss that was in charge of Putin’s Army, but you probably haven’t kept up with what has been going on with the team. After they hoofed the Italian they’ve kept it in house by hiring the ex CSKA Moscow boss Leonid Slutsky. Same with the players too. Nearly every member of the national team play in Russia – there’s one name you might recognise – Denis Cheryshev who plays in midfield for Valencia (on loan from Real Madrid). As for the team performances in major competition, they got to a semi-final once (in Euro 2008) but apart from that they’ve never got past the group stages in Euros or World Cups.

As for any music… Two years ago I took a look for any tunes related to Russia for their World Cup campaign, in fact for any competition they’ve been involved in and I found nothing. Since Russia “won” the rights to host the World Cup in 2018 there’s been lots of music posted about that, they’ve become obsessed. But there is nothing for the Russian football team of the past, present or future it seems.

I had to delve deeper into their history and went right back to when they were part of the Soviet Union.

If it wasn’t for You Tube I woudn’t have found half the music featured on here. As they say – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. It is to YouTube that I went in search and found this one which is just entitled “Soviet Football Song” and nothing else.

– This next one comes via the website: www.dofootball.com.ua which is an Ukrainian based website. Their name translates to ‘Before Soccer’

The video accompanying the music has some kids playing football, I’ve no idea if it actually is related to the song. I’ve got a feeling it might not.

Google translate of the YT page says:
Google translated

Bonus Song: For the World Cup in 2010 the musician K’nann (pronounced Keinan) did the official song Wavin’ Flag. There were also versions of this same song in native languages. Some featuring K’nann, some not.
There was a Russian version sung by ‘Spez’ :


SLOVAKIA

To steal a quote from a well known Match Of The Day pundit – We don’t know much about the Slovaks. Actually we do. Martin Škrtel plays at the back for them so there you have it. Just like Albiania in Group A, this is also Slovakia’s first appearance in the European finals. Once again: Slovakia qualifed and Scotland didn’t. SLOVAKIA.

In my search for any music associated with the Slovakia team I once again went to You Tube. I never expected to find anything and quite unexpectedly, I did.

This takes a bit of explaning so bear with me… There’s this website set up by a music producer and a DJ and this have this one tune. Now what they’ve done is post the music – with lyrics – and invited anyone to sing along to this song. To upload a video of themselves singing it. The thing is as I say it’s the one song, but they change it to whatever country you want to sing about. Seriously. There’s a France version of the very same tune below. Both of them by the way, sung by the same bloke.
Here then, is the Slovakia version:

And here is the France version. Same tune, same lyrics, same singer. Both very terrible but it is the only thing I’ve found that even has a tenuous link to Slovakia.


WALES

Would it be a bit of a stretch to say that the Wales team are a bit like an international version of Leicester City at the moment ? Yes maybe that’s a bit far, but they have the same belief in themselves. The same winning mentality. They are also a team that are not filled with positions by players from the “big teams” in the Prem, or Serie A or La Liga. Yes they have that one bloke who can play a bit, currently plying his trade in Spain. But he’s not a big ego, he knows his place and fits in with the others.
As to their chances in the group. Yeah why not. All the others are there for the taking and you know the England match is going to be a nervy bore draw. They’ll get to the knockout stages.

As for the music – Overjoyed to read today that the Manic Street Preachers will be doing an official song for the Welsh National Team. But we’ll have to wait until May 20th to hear it. So in the meantime here are other tunes. I’ll update this entry when the song ir released.

One of the things I’m most annoyed about is that I don’t have much, if anything relating to the Welsh team – or any team from Wales for that matter. Is it because they haven’t taken to singing much ? That can’t be a reason. It’s the Welsh. They are singers and boy, can Welshman sing.

– What I do have in regards to the national team is this from 1985. And that puzzles me. Why did they release a single about the national team in that year ? It’s an odd number year so there was no World or European competition taking place. Basically what I’m saying is that I’ve got bugger all info about this song.
If you have then leave a comment below.

The info I do have is that the lead singer was Gary Pickford-Hopkins who sadly is no longer with us. He was mostly associated with prog rock and here’s an exhaustive discography about him.

That’s it for Group B. Take a wild guess as to what’s coming up next.

03 comments on “A Song For Euros – Group B

  • TheRobster , Direct link to comment

    That Wales song is a mystery. Why does it exist? Not only was there no tournament to promote it, but Wales never came close to qualifying for them anyway! Which makes the line “always winning” even more ridiculous…

    MrsRobster, however, is rather taken by the corniness of the whole thing and wants it as her ringtone. Any idea where I can get an MP3 for her???

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