iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for You Only Sing When You're Winning

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

You Only Sing When You're Winning

Duration:
20 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 10 September 2011

With the idea of an audience singalong becoming enshrined not only in the Proms last night traditions but also in the concert programme itself, Simon Townley tells the story of one of tonight's chosen numbers. 'You'll Never Walk alone' might have started as a Broadway hit but its hold on the national psyche has more to do with its emergence in the 1960s and 70s as the anthem of Liverpool Football club's famous Kop, the embankment at one end of their Anfield ground.
Simon recalls how, as a budding young pianist and serious minded classical music enthusiast the power of the Anfield anthem was thrust upon him while on an exchange visit to Paris. Billetted with a family of fanatical French football fans Simon made his name by predicting that their beloved St Etienne FC would come off second best on a visit to Liverpool for an important European cup tie. They did, but it was the crowd singing that astonished the young Simon.
Why 'You'll never walk alone' worked as a singalong piece, how its impact reflected the mordant wit of the football terrace and why it's appropriate that it should be picked up by a Prom audience as a piece that tells us as much about the singers as the song, is the theme of Simon's talk.

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss