Week 21 – ‘Sing For England’ (Euro 2012 song)
by Frank Hamilton
When I was younger I would have bet my entire Panini sticker collection that I would end up playing for (and probably captaining) England’s football team.
Unfortunately it hasn’t really worked out. Some say I never fully recovered from the hamstring injury I had when I was 7 and others say I was just a bit shit. I think I prefer some.
As you may know Euro 2012 is just around the corner and Roy still hasn’t called so I figured the only way I’ll be contributing this year is through the medium of song…
It’s Friday morning (01:30am) and I’ve just got back from a wonderful evening watching the Dead Poets show (followed by a Frankie Boyle exclusive) in Soho. For those of you who don’t know the Dead Poets consist of Mark Grist (teacher turned rap-battler and Youtube sensation) and Mixy (Rap-battler turned Poet Laureate and all round nice chap). Having spoken on Twitter many months ago we finally met yesterday afternoon and started working on a few things together. More about that soon.
After the show I walked in to find the finished version of this weeks song in my emails, courtesy of James Earp – who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since the ‘great major label heartbreak of 2009’. He is without doubt one of the most genuine, decent characters I’ve met since I started out in this pig of an industry and although we don’t get to work together much these days (he’s signed to Sony, I’m signed into Facebook) it’s been as fun and easy as it always was. So much so I’m going to drag him down with me…
Earlier in the week (Monday I think) I had a day at home. My only job of significance was to re-write one line in the first verse and in doing so remove all trace of potential offence and political incorrectness. To cut a very long and boring story short… I failed.
We did a radio edit incase the Beeb won’t play it but I much preferred the original line (about world cups and world wars). James agreed so we consulted a few more ears and got the old, ‘Not really sure. Yeh, I think so. Probably be fine’ response, before going out on a limb and making the decision to go for it! I hope it’s taken in the right way (not too seriously) like some of the other lyrics!
I’ve always wanted to write a football song but an opportunity has never really presented itself until now. Must be said it’s been a LOT of fun, due in part to the vibe of the song but mostly due to the lovely people who got involved. It’s been a real team effort:
It all started with James Earp – who helped me finish the song and recorded/produced the whole thing. He even let me play bass on it (one take wonder) which is a first!
My friends Andy and Alex came down the studio and sang on the choruses. The best thing about this? One of them is Scottish! My sincere thanks to him (and his nation) for their support.
Yesterday Mark and Mixy came round my house and huddled into the make-shift vocal booth in my lounge to sing on the choruses. Today we all went back to school…
Mark and Mixy were due to perform/record at The Priory Primary School in South-West London and I asked if I could tag along to try and record some kids singing on the song. Luckily the staff, parents and pupils were all fantastic and I managed to get permission for the whole of year 5 to sing on the choruses. Don’t they sound amazing!?
There was originally a verse that listed players in positions and finished with ‘Downing on the bench, always on the bench’, but true to form Stewart didn’t make the final (lyrical) line up. Ouch.
Aside from the obvious, slightly controversial lyric my favourite HAS to be:
“50 grand a week is why the least that you can do is try…”