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Grand Slam for The Blims?

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James McLaren James McLaren | 09:00 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2012

This weekend Wales will attempt to secure their third Six Nations Grand Slam in the past eight years. This year, though, they've got some musical support in the form of The Blims' Side Steps And Side Burns.

The song, currently in the top five of iTunes' rock chart, is a sunny, acoustic-tinged paean to the joys of supporting Wales and the team's rugby heritage. Watch the video here:

Martin of the band says: "Music to me should stir emotional reactions. Hearing crowds singing Bread Of Heaven has undoubtably been a subconcious influence. I love a song to tell a story, with early Sterophonics songs making me reach for the guitar.

"I loved Catatonia and I'm a huge Manics fan but i find it hard to write songs about subjects. We just got lucky with Side Steps And Side Burns. We feel the best songs come easily and flow well. I'm just happy our song has struck a chord. I think it's because it's what everyone truly feels... and if you mean what you sing it always shines through."

The Blims appear on Roy Noble's show on Radio Wales this Friday (16 March) from 2om.

It got us thinking about sport-related singles that have blessed or cursed our lives in the past. For me, it was football which blighted my teenage years with such tracks as Pass And Move (It's The Liverpool Groove) and Glory Glory Man United.

The tradition originated in the 1970s, when each year teams contesting the later stages of the (then important) FA Cup would release tuneless songs featuring team singalongs involving pronouncing Wembley as Wem-ber-ley.

I suppose when the best football-related commercial single was New Order's World In Motion from the 1990 World Cup the bar's not set very high.

For Wales the likelihood of achieving great football success is lower than the big English teams, so Welsh footy singles are few and far between. In 2008 Cardiff City FC's FA Cup run gave them the excuse to release Bluebirds Flying High by James Fox with an appearance from the team (of course):

Swansea City, although Wales' foremost football team at the moment according to the league structure, has never been successful enough to warrant an official single, but please correct us if we're wrong.

Instead, there was a Swansea-related 1998 Christmas single called Nice Swan Cyril, with the titular Cyril being the club's mascot. A swan. Called Cyril.

Rugby lends itself less well to singles destined for the bargain bin three months later, but its canon of classic songs more than makes up for it.

It would be remiss not to mention Max Boyce at this point:

Of course, there's nothing like a song about a murder to get into the mood for a sporting fixture.

Here's Wales' official 2009 Six Nations song, Let The Dragon Roar, by Paul Child:

Then there's Stereophonics' As Long As We Beat The English.

But Wales has a trump card. If a 75,000-strong rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau doesn't make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, there's something wrong:

What are your best and worst Welsh sporting songs? Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login.

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  • Comment number 1.

    No Swansea song? Don't let lack of research spoil an adequate article!
    by Roger Evans and the Special Acoustic Rock Band

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks Andrij!
    I was sure we'd have missed some, so it's great when readers use the comments to fill in gaps and share their knowledge.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm a Newport County fan and i know we've had at least 3 songs:

    'Come on the County' by Newport County Supporters and the Colin Woodman Sexette in 1973;
    'Carl Zeiss Jena(Broke Our Hearts' by Flyscreen;
    'Come on the County' (different tune) by The Tenants Supermen in 2011

    The club released a CD in the 2010-11 season with 6 songs on it as well, with some sung by the players including a parody of Oasis with a Newportonian twist- 'Don't Look Back in Amber'. Also Newport County themed is the Tony Pulis rap by the GLC.


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