50th Anniversary: You’ll Never Walk Alone meets Jamhuri Day

12 Dec


Carlo Ancelotti was also in the Atarturk stadium that night in May 2005, in his role as the AC Milan coach. What impact did the defiance of Liverpool fans have on him? In August 2012 he was asked which club has the best fans. “In my opinion Liverpool fans, when they sing a song they… I don’t know in English, but your skin is…””(he fluttered his fingers up and down his arm to explain).

Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics and Richard Rodgers composed the music for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in 1945, in their Broadway musical, ‘Carousel’. In terms of its emotional impact and iconic status, one BBC programme ranked the song alongside the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ and the hymn ‘Abide With Me.’ Legendary composer Irving Berlin said that the song had the same effect on him as the Psalm 23.

The version we know rather better, by Gerry and the Pacemakers, first appeared in the charts on 12 October 1963, @ No. 22.  Thereafter it rose steadily upwards:

  • 19 Oct @ 7
  • 26 Oct @ 2
  • 2, 9, 16 and 23 Nov @ 1

While debatable, the week of 19 October onward – the day we beat WBA 1-0 at Anfield – might just be the first time the song was played as part of pre-match entertainment at Anfield. However it’s probably more likely to have been the home game against Leicester City on 02 November 1963 (a 1-0 defeat!), given that it reached No.1 that day. Or it could have been Fulham on 16 November (a 2-0 win) or Burnley on 30 November (another 2-0 win) arrived at Anfield. What’s certain is that we won the league in YNWA’s first season, ahead of the Man Utd of Best, Law and Charlton, with Everton third.

However, this story from Redandwhitekop alleges that fans didn’t start singing the song until 27 April 1963, when a certain Gerry Flaherty sang ‘When you walk through a storm’ during a thunderstorm during an FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough (another 1-0 defeat by Leicester), which would mean that our famous anthem was born at the same ground at the same stage of the same competition as our saddest day occurred.

Kenya at 50

Kenyan Liverpool fans should easily connect with the song as their country also turns 50 this year. Exactly two months after You’ll Never Walk Alone was released, the country became a Commonwealth realm on 12 December of the same year, with Her Majesty the Queen [Elizabeth] as Head of State. On 12 December 1964 Kenya became an independent republic.

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

Credit: The Tomkins Times, You’ll Never Walk Alone’s 50th Anniversary.’ Original story appeared on 29 August 2012 | http://tomkinstimes.com/2013/10/youll-never-walk-alones-50th-anniversary/ | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya#Independence

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