For years Brentford fans have constantly been evolving the songs they employ to support their team. Scientists and historians, such as myself, rarely take an interest in such forms of tribal worship.
But, after being approached by Beesotted to take a closer look at some of the cleverly worded mantras, my findings make disturbing reading. Several months of investigation studying the precise wording of these war-like songs has revealed major inconsistencies in their lyrical and historical content.
Working closely with Professor Jack Auff and Dr Norma Stitz, both eminent historians, we studied several so-called Brentford songs and stripped them to their core. The findings will shock fans of the club I understand are colloquially known as the Bees.
We began by taking the title known as ‘The Famous Graham Taylor’ song and within a month of starting our analysis, had uncovered a string of factual discrepancies.
“The famous Graham Taylor went to Rome to see the Pope…”
At the time of this song’s inception in the late 70s, Graham Taylor was not well known at all. He was, in fact, a fledgling manager beginning his career at lowly Lincoln City. It was not, reliable football sources inform me, until the early 80s and a sojourn with Watford that he came to national prominence, thereby making the first four words of this song at best erroneous and at worst a flagrant lie.
There are, however, unconfirmed reports that during the 1978 season Mr Taylor and wife Gladys did holiday in Rome, spending a fortnight in a B&B just off the Place del Popolo. But for the song to state that he went to Rome to see the Pope would again be incorrect… As anyone with an ounce of geographical knowledge will concur, the Pope resides in the Vatican, which is an independent state within the Italian capital.
After several months of wrangling, Pope John Luca Vialli, had agreed to grant Mr Taylor an audience at the Holy Palace, having once been a goalkeeper himself. The visitors’ guest book reveals that Mr Taylor did indeed meet the Pope on November 18, 1979.
“Oh the famous Graham Taylor went to Rome to see the Pope…”
As above, the author of this song seems intent on repeating the inaccuracies in its second line as if, in some way, it might add credence to the clearly fabricated story “Oh the famous Graham Taylor went to Rome to see the Pope.”
This fellow was clearly persistent. After asking his followers to believe the lie in the first instance, he repeats it twice to the chagrin of any self-respecting academic.
“And this is what he said – F- Off!”
This line represents the largest single flaw in the song, for generations of Brentford fans have completely misread the stanza of the line. The commonly held theory that Mr Taylor, a mild mannered gent unless roused on the touchline, hurled a four-letter expletive at the Holy Father clearly needed deeper investigation.
We tracked down several witnesses who were in the room at the time of the audience, and all confirmed out darkest thoughts. After travelling several thousand miles to see the Pope, Mr Taylor walked into the room dressed only in a pair of yellow and pink striped shorts with a Canon Sureshot around his neck.
He marched brazenly up to the Holy Man and, casting his arm around the golden painted walls and Michelangelo mural, sneeringly said “This?” He might as well have added the words “this is a shithole in comparison with Sincil Bank” The Pope was astonished and, in a flashback to his days as a custodian of the posts, uncharacteristically turned on Mr Taylor and issued the two word rebuke.
“Who’s that team they call the Brentford, who’s that team we all adore, they’re the boys in red and white and they love to sing and fight….”
Clearly this has been added on by Brentford fans to customise the song because, and interviews with his closest aides confirm this, the Pope was well aware of Brentford’s existence, having heard of Steve Phillips’s prowess in front of goal.
He would no more have needed to ask the question “Who’s that team…” than to ask whether there was a painter and decorator free to do up the Sistine Chapel. He was obviously aware of the team’s kit, but would never have condoned violence of any sort, thereby making the final line obsolete.
“And they’re out to show the world how to score.”
Sadly within months of the Papal visit, the Bees entered a new generation when Phillips, Sweetzer and McCulloch were replaced by Alexander, Bowen and Johnson…. For whom showing the world how to score was an outright impossibility.
Now let us take a look at another favourite amongst Brentford supporters, but one I hasten to add which again is riddled with inconsistencies.
Down in the town of Northampton? A quick look at the ordnance survey map of Great Britain shows us quite clearly that the home of shoe making is some 80 miles north of London, hence the reference to down is incorrect. This should of course read, it was up in the town of Northampton.
The second stanza also bears further examination. If only most of the fighting was done there, where was the rest of it enacted? Reports from the mid-70s, when this, I would claim, mythical event took place suggest that no fighting actually took place in Northampton at all.
Police reports from the time state there were several sporadic outbreaks of violence at the motorway service station in Rothersthorpe with a firm from Carlisle.
According to local hospital admission lists for the day only two people from West London addresses were treated, one for a twisted ankle and the other a severe migraine. Hence I would argue that in fact no fighting actually took place at all, casting even further doubt on the second, grossly exaggerated line.
“When a lone Brentford supporter was shot by a Northampton gun.”
As stated earlier medical records do not confirm this incident, which would have been logged as a murder. Even if the offence was not reported, the claim that the victim was shot by a Northampton gun is again erroneous.
Guns are not, and never have been manufactured in that part of the Midlands.
“As he lay on the terraces dying with the blood gushing out of his head, Gush Gush.”
The song here contradicts itself if the fighting was done in the town, viz-a-viz the town centre, then how would the victim have been able to stagger several miles to the then County Ground home of Northampton Town, pay the admission to the ground and get onto the terraces… With a gunshot wound to the head?
This simply beggars belief amongst the medical fraternity who all state that any gunshot wound to the head results in incapacitation within a matter of seconds. The gushing of the blood clearly signals a very serious wound.
“He turned to the New Road and said…”
The New Road, unless there is a street of the same name in Northampton is, I believe, a reference to a side of the Brentford ground, which is nearly 100 miles from Northampton.
Was the victim turning merely in the direction of the New Road as a Mecca-like gesture of his loyalty at the ultimate moment or does this refer to the group of tribal comrades he refers to as the New Road.
Having been shot in the head and walked several miles, he would have been in no state to say anything… A faint whisper akin to the type you see in Westerns before the hero dies would have been the maximum vocal output.
“N-E-W-R-O-A-D, New Road.”
The mental agility of this man, had he ever existed, would have made him a genius. With blood gushing from a major artery he is still capable of spelling out and in very aggressive tones the name of a road. Quite simply the whole thing is a Chinese whisper passed down through the mists of time with no substance in truth and as such…
You’ve got no right to sing that!