A song that because of events, took on additional meaning at Anfield…
It became a song of solidarity to their fellow fans, to their brothers in arms. You’ll never be forgotten. You’ll never walk alone.
To the Liverpool fans this Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune is not only one of remembrance, it’s also one of pride of themselves and their team.
The background to the song is still one of sadness though…
This piece, originally from the musical Carousel (1945) was sung by the cousin of the female protagonist to comfort her when her husband killed himself.
Then in 1963 the band Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded a cover version which hit the charts.
So how did it start being sung at Anfield ? This from Wikipedia:
“According to former player Tommy Smith, lead vocalist Gerry Marsden presented Liverpool manager Bill Shankly with a recording of his forthcoming cover single during a pre-season coach trip in the summer of 1963. “Shanks was in awe of what he heard. … Football writers from the local newspapers were travelling with our party and, thirsty for a story of any kind between games, filed copy back to their editors to the effect that we had adopted Gerry Marsden’s forthcoming single as the club song.” Shankly later picked the song as his eighth and final selection for Desert Island Discs on the eve of the 1965 FA Cup Final.”
How it was first heard there was because the top ten singles were played before the matches and the fans, especially Liverpudlians who we know are very musical, sang along to the tunes.
– This is from a 1964 documentary:
I’ve collected a few variations of the song. From the original Carousel performance, to the Gerry Marsden cover and beyond.
» Starting with the original musical:» Carousel Broadway production – You’ll Never Walk Alone
» Gerry Marsden’s 1963 cover:» Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone
The opera singer Katherine Jenkins recorded a version for her 2nd album:» Katherine Jenkins – You’ll Never Walk Alone
Going back to pop now with the ex-Spice Girl and big Liverpool fan Melanie C:» Melanie C – You’ll Never Walk Alone
Staying with pop and another very famous Scouse musician who recorded these for a Peel Session:» Shambeko Say Wah – You’ll Never Walk Alone
…and this rather tongue-in-cheek version:» Shambeko Say Wah – You’ll Never Walk Again
This is from the previously featured Tackhead, who sampled the crowd – and got THE Brian Moore into the studio to record his vocals. With the crowd thing, I *think* I remember reading somewhere that this isn’t the Liverpool fans but in fact Celtic, who also sing the song. Anyway, here’s three variations:» Tackhead feat. Brian Moore – The Game (You’ll Never Walk Alone) » Tackhead – The Game (You’ll Never Walk Alone) – Instrumental Chants » Tackhead – The Game (You’ll Never Walk Alone) – Full Time Instrumental
Die Toten Hosen, another band previously featured are big football fans. They did an album of (English) cover versions including:» Die Toten Hosen – You’ll Never Walk Alone
Now finally to Liverpool FC themselves. There are three versions of the fans singing. The first one is introduced by Tommy Smith thanking fans for supporting them and buying the LP, the 2nd one I think is a recording of the same crowd but with sound effects of the turnstiles, etc before the singing starts. The last one is from FabricLive. 07 which is an essential CD which I urge you to purchase. In this edition of the series John Peel, the very famous Liverpool fan played this as part of his set:» Liverpool fans – You’ll Never Walk Alone (Tommy Smith intro) » Liverpool Fans – You’ll Never Walk Alone » You’ll Never Walk Alone – Fabric Live 2007
And finally – the Liverpool players to give us their rendition:» Liverpool FC 76/77 Squad – You’ll Never Walk Alone