That ... Blackpool song
Feature by The Seasider
Updated Saturday, 16th May 2009
Who would have thought that a song especially written for a football club by a group of singing Irish sisters would be still part of the pre-match music at Bloomfield Road some 37 years after it was originally released.In early 1972 Blackpool were challenging for promotion back to the top flight and were still holders of the Anglo-Italian Trophy heading for another 80,000 European final against Roma.
The Nolan family had emigrated from Dublin to Blackpool exactly 10 years earlier. Parents Tommy & Maureen Nolan became a regular part of the large working men's and hotel variety show circuits that were a feature of Blackpool's nightlife entertainment at this time. Eventually joining them in the line-up included Tommy Junior, Anne, Denise, Maureen, Brian, Linda, Bernadette & Coleen.
The Nolan Sisters first appeared on vinyl LP on "The Singing Nolans", alongside their Mum and Dad, and brothers, Tommy and Brian. This was their first album, and it was recorded independently for sale at shows in working men's clubs. One of the singers on this album has said that the whole thing was recorded over two days, to be frank it does show. The only instrumental accompaniment is from a hammond organ. Vocally the Nolans are fine but the poor standard of production did no one on the album any favours, the Mother of the family sounds shrill and the kids sound like kids recording an album over a 2 day period.
Oom-Pah-Pah/Where Is Love
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing
Mother Of Mine
Little Green Apples
Danny Boy/My Ain Folk
Beg, Steal Or Borrow
For Once In My Life
Medley : Doh-Ray-Me/Edelweiss/My Favorite Things/ClimbEvery Mountain/Sound Of Music.
What is noticeable is the absence of the original "Blackpool" song from this debut LP because the "Blackpool" song was actually issued as a single with a "B" side called "Apple pie" also in 1972 by the same record company.
Although it was recorded in Mono it was arranged and conducted by Iain Sutherland being produced by Jim Mclean and Bill Farley and was an improvement on earlier songs from the LP. It was written by Tommy Nolan and Jimmy Hill (not the famous Jimmy Hill of BBC Mathc of the Day fame) a local government officer.
Blackpool / Apple Pie (Nevis 1972)
Although they all enjoyed their time as 'The Singing Nolans', it was not long after this, that it became apparent, that the main interest was in the singing sisters. Indeed most of the sisters were no more than children when the original "Blackpool" record was recorded. However both of the tracks on the single appeared on the re-issued version of THE SINGING NOLANS (Nevis 1972 reissued in 1979 as THE NOLANS)
This 1979 re-issue now re-named "THe Nolans" dropped Little Green Apples (which featured Tommy Nolan Snr) and added the following tracks from the single and EP :
None of these tracks have ever been released on CD apart from Blackpool which also appeared on a CD of football songs released for the 1994 World Cup! called: "Bend It" 1994 World Cup CD.
When the "Blackpool" song was first played at Bloomfield Road despite being blasted over a deafening and aged PA system piped from the roof of the stands it was greeted warmly but it never became a pre-match favourite for Pool fans until around 1976. the Nolan family were supporters of the Blackpool and went to the trouble of having a record made of their song at their own expense. The record was on sale from the outset in the Supporters' club.
In the match programme against Millwall on September 11th 1976 a "Blackpool Supporters Song Sheet" was included with the lyrics for fans.
Supporters can also recall the Nolans actually appearing at Bloomfield Road to promote the single following its release. It has since enjoyed a controversial love hate relationship with fans over the years but generally supporters have been pleased to see it's recent re-introduction to the pre-match music entertainment.
It definitely invokes different reactions from individual fans on hearing the song played once again. For most it has become an inescapable part of our rich and proud history and indeed captures this in both the words which recall our greatest achievement and the part that replays the roar of Bloomfield road crowd (supposedly!).
However, for all the positive aspects there are many who would most happily have the song binned for good suggesting its an embarrassment and highlighting a raft of other more up to date songs that could easily replace it, although whether they will be as fondly requested or indeed remembered by younger fans in 35 years time is another matter.
Whatever your opinion this song which is barely 1 minute 40 seconds long it has become famously part of the unique traditions of everything associated with Blackpool FC and its pretty hard to ignore it achieving quite a cult status amongst many Seasiders.
In August 2007 it was once again played when Pool ran out as a Championship side once again in the Division where it was first heard some 35 years ago when it was originally released and a League which Blackpool have spent most of their history in.
To listen to the "Blackpool" song this is recording of the track which has been captured direct from the original single and is here for you to download. (click here)
Altogether... "Whenever your down in Blackpool there is somewhere you must go.....