Rangers’ songbook – what’s right and what’s wrong?

Richard Fillingham

Before I start this article I would point out to you that I am a true blue; an extremely passionate Rangers supporter, who has followed our beloved club since the early 60’s when my friend Alex McDonald played with a wonderful set of Rangers legends. I was at Barcelona when the Spanish police made a mess of a happy occasion and they got it all wrong by the way they treated us that night.

I say this, because I know full well that it is not everyone that is going to approve or agree with everything I am saying in the following feature. However I welcome your honest comments and opinions from genuine Rangers supporters and I am totally uninterested in some of the Celtic fans who have a fixation with everything Rangers and spout a load of rubbish in the Ibrox Noise replies.

When Rangers fell into financial meltdown in 2012, they were hiring Catholics and other religions to work for them and had stopped asking people what school they went to etc. In spite of this, fans from other clubs were intent on burying us, and it was extremely difficult to take. I want to move on from that dark period, as many Rangers fans think there is no point of going over old ground, but I am trying to get to the bottom of why so many clubs felt the exact same way against us.

Why do we continue to rub other fans up so much to the point that they hate us? It only attracts trouble and our fans are stereotyped as bigots because a minority of our songs are a huge concern to UEFA who have threatened to punish us severely, if we continue to sing offensive lyrics.

It really is a new era for Rangers and let’s take advantage of this time to sort it out ourselves, by using the help of the new Club 1872 organization. We need a few new songs to sing which are all about Rangers and not about anybody else. Some great singer songwriters are also Rangers fans, so why not get a few to prepare some new catchy tunes with appropriate lyrics for 50,000 voices to sing at Ibrox every other week. I am sure that would appeal to them as Gerry Marsden of Gerry & the Pacemakers is still chuffed every time he hears the Liverpool fans singing, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at EVERY game they play; it is their anthem song since the 60’s. Celtic fans stole it years ago and now use it in the same manner – absolutely pathetic and a vile way to behave.

Some of the moronic things shouted from the terraces are from a small minority of a-holes who are still living in the past and it has to be eliminated immediately if we are to be taken seriously by our new board who are trying so hard to come up with the cash to maintain the high standards demanded from our brilliant support.

I would also like to think that in Scotland we have moved on a tad from a few nutters, and as an award winning, giant club, we are bigger than this rubbish spouted out by so few nowadays. F the Pope, is a no-no for a start, what help to our team comes from shouting it out LOUDLY for the TV companies to criticise the club openly and let’s be honest with each other, they are quite right to point this out to the SFA.

The SFA don’t like us either, because of the behaviour of some of the songs we sing, especially at away games and at Hampden Park in SFA show games. All these games are usually live on TV and can be very embarrassing to their viewers. I know that Celtic fans sing pro-IRA songs, but let’s get our own club in order first and then we can tackle them via the SFA and the media.

As true blue Rangers fans, we should be singing songs that support our team and lift our players to perform even better when they hear us cheering them on, spurring them to greater achievements. Surely it is all about supporting the greatest team in Scotland, other than trying to demean other opposing fans. If a referee makes a mistake, it doesn’t make him a f*n**n b*st*rd, as these comments are often despised by many of our own supporters.

What is a f*n**n anyway? A f*n**n was in the f*n**n Brotherhood political army made up of Irish and Americans, who have been traced back to their origins to 1798 and were also known as United Irishmen. They were originally an open political organization only to be suppressed and they later became a secret revolutionary organization, who rose as rebels, seeking an end to British rule in Ireland and the establishment of an Irish Republic. They were eventually suppressed, but the principles of the United Irishmen were to have a powerful influence on the course of Irish history. This is the reason that Catholics don’t like being called a f*n**n as they are not part of a political army party from 1798.

Perhaps other clubs didn’t recognize the changes at Rangers. Maybe it was ignorance in their part that they were not aware that Rangers had become a club that had stopped worrying about what religion, colour, creed or nationality you were, as long as you could do your job correctly.

We have the best management team in Scotland and everything has changed for the better within our wonderful club. It may take a year or two before we can win the Premiership, but it is only a matter of time until it will happen. If it is this year it will be a big bonus, if not, please be patient as Celtic have a far superior budget to work with.

Do you think 2016 is the time to stop singing sectarian songs?

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  1. These idiots who think singing the Billy Boys is "claiming freedom of speech" are deluded morons. They are tarnishing our Club's reputation. We could also be fined or worse if it continues. Good article mate.

  2. I've been following this site for the last year there have been many enjoyable articles written defending the mighty Glasgow Rangers.I had a conversation with my son at the start of the season and with friends since.I believe there is a quiet revolution happening at Ibrox. We do indeed have a management team that has a vision which in turn will bring our own brand of expansive exciting football. The east end have also employed what may turn out to be a very exciting visionary also. I think it's time for us to move into the modern world.Scots are known worldwide for their friendliness. Why do we dislike each other so much it's pathetic.lets revel in what promises to be a really exciting football season where we will show everybody what football should be played like. Get behind our team no matter what ditch the vile sectarian nonsense show everyone the way by leading by example we are all people of all creeds football is entertainment not war. ☺☺☺

  3. Agree entirely with this article, however, disappointed to see that as many as 21%, at the time of writing, are still living in the past.

  4. Our club is not doing enough to purge us of the minority who spew hatred through offensive songs. I confess I sang all these songs myself in my youth – I think most supporters did – but now I know better. It is sectarian and has no place in 21st Century Scotland. I travel to games on the Underground and am appalled at the very vocal minority – mostly teenagers – who roar their songs aggressively at all passengers. Why are there no undercover officials to identify them? They should be allowed one warning, then banned from Ibrox if they offend a second time. Likewise at games – don't tell me stewards and CCTV can't identify the perpetrators, but we seem to do nothing. I wholeheartedly agree with the article – I hope Club 1982 takes this up.

  5. I love the song we are rangers super rangers and as a move forward simply change the words f*n**n b*st*rd to and Dundee United as a record of there attempt to destroy the mighty Glasgow Rangers.

  6. I am also a Rangers supporter who was at Barcelona. Firstly the Fianna (Fenian, lets use the name)is a legendary Irish warrior that dates far further back 1798 as you claim, there leader was in fact Finn Maccool (English spelling), he built The Giant Causeway in Antrim. I believe Maccool's father also led the Fianna or Fenians. if you're going to use history get it right.

    I also believe certain songs should be banned, the two I would start with is God Save The Queen and Rule Britannia, these are the very people who tried to destroy my football club, these songs offend me and I'm sure I'm not the only Rangers supporter offended by them and until they stop singing them I,m very much afraid I will not be going to Ibrox.

    Ross Dickson

    • we all know where it originates from but sadly 99.999999999999% of the people using that word are not calling them warriors

    • Agreed, how's about singing our actual national anthem Flower of Scotland?

      Finn Balor is named after Finn McCool, WWE trivia

    • Absolutely agree lads. God Save The Queen – given what 'loyalty' her Establishment showed us – should be binned forever. As for Rule Britannia…it might have been valid in the 18th and 19th centuries, but the lyrics are a joke today.

      I feel proud that there are more and more intelligent Gers fans out there.

  7. I agree 100% its time to move on .We know what our clubs stands for ,we have had great Catholics at our club who were every bit as passionate about our great club ,Albertz ,Amaroso all love our club with a passion .Let's move on before SFA and other really interfere and punish our great club

  8. Totally agree I long for the day when 50,000 Rangers scarves can be raised to an anthem of our own

  9. We are Rangers, in 2016 our agenda must be to become a family oriented globally attractive club which embraces all creeds and celebrates our team as upholders of the beautiful game – we cannot lead global audiences to believe that we are a parochial, bigoted, small minded, back water club characterised by verbal, cultural and physical violence . Hatred will not bring investment, nor top players. The Rangers family is world wide phenomenon , let,s make it one of people around the world joining us in the quest for entertaining attacking football with a bit of swagger to go. Oh and when we play Celtic and they start singing hate filled songs let, not respond at, silence and a pointed finger instead. Inevitably some thugs will still want to act the bigot so when they do blast out a high pitched frequency which will make them cease…………….

  10. I am a Rangers supporter and have been all my life, its just the way my brain is wired. I never want Celtic to win no matter who they are playing. I have read the stuff on this site for a good long while and I generally find myself in agreement with a great deal of what's said and I find the interjections by Celtic supporters annoying and wish they would concentrate on their own team and its issues which they seem blindly ignorant off.

    But to turn to this article – you don't know why people hate us? Let me give you a clue – 'absolutely pathetic and a vile way to behave'. You say this in response to Celtic supporters singing an inoffensive song just because it happened to be sung first by Liverpool supporters. Are you serious? This is just a ridiculously stupid statement.

  11. I am a Celtic find and I think this is, on the whole, a very good and well reasoned article. It gets to the nub of the whole question and would agree that both Celtic and Rangers need to clean up their song books. The millstones of sectarianism need to be removed from both clubs – and I say this as you do, having been attending Celtic Park from the early sixties. Just 2 points – firstly, I wouldn't be offended at being called a Fenian as I don't see this as a derogatory term. Secondly, you did let yourself down when describing singing YNWA as a "pathetic and vile way to behave". That, I don't understand; many fans sing songs taken or borrowed from other clubs, Rangers include, so perhaps you could elucidate on that point.

    • In 1945, Rogers & Hammerstein wrote , "You'll Never Walk Alone" as part of the musical Carousel. In 1963 Gerry & the Pacemakers recorded the hit song, and it quickly became the signature tune for Liverpool F C. I didn't say that the song was pathetic or vile, my point was well and truly that the song was so much an anthem for LIVERPOOL F C that for any other team to steal it and act as if it belonged to them was pathetic for Celtic fans to sing it as if it was their own song. I also don't appreciate Celtic fans coming on to an "all things about Rangers website". Why don't you stick to your own teams websites? I never go on to Celtic's as it doesn't interest me what they do – only what Rangers do!

  12. The challenge is that for many supporters the ethos and history of the club is about being Protestant, Pro-British and Anti-Irish. Part of football club culture across the world is the association to political, religious or nationalist causes. In Spain you have Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona representing their independence issues; in Argentina, River and Boca are divided over social class; and the list goes on. It is also common knowledge that the religious sectarian divide is not restricted to Rangers and Celtic but permeates across the Scottish football landscape.

    In my humble opinion it is going to be nigh impossible to change the history of the club. To change the imagery of club i.e. songs and flags etc is like asking Barcelona to give up their Catlonia heritage.

    I wish we could sing songs about our team/players rather than God Save the Queen or Born under a Union Jack.

  13. I have also supported the gers for more years than I care to remember and I admit to singing all the banned songs when youth was still with me…we sang them loudly on the way to Ibrox and at the game and then on the way home…Its time to stop…lets all sing songs that will inspire the team and bring praise and respect to Rangers football club…if we do so we will surely bring honour to the club and ourselves from the rest of Scotland…very thought provoking article Richard…club 1872 need to take this thing forward!!!

  14. Great article…there is no place for bigotry as the most successful football club in the world awakens.It's minorities on both sides of the divide that spoil it for the true fans.There's a blue tsunami about to hit the premier league..let it be for no other reasons than brilliant fans and magic football RTID !

  15. Excellent article. I couldn't agree more. And if we want to keep growing as a club we need to be friendly and welcoming to all who might think of supporting the Rangers.

  16. I meant to vote no sectarian songs but pressed wrong button. Can't we get different words for Billy boys ?

  17. I believe Club 1872 should be pushing this forward and demanding fans leave political and religious views at home. If a song is not encouraging Rangers – don't sing it! If a song does not mention Rangers – don't sing it! If a song mentions any other person/team – don't sing it! Flags and banners flown in Ibrox should only have official Rangers logos on them (flags endorsed by, and perhaps made and sold by, Club 1872 ie official supporters merchandise could be a possible future cash generator?). So as a true blue Ranger I want our fans to give our team all the support they can, without causing offence and to be proud of my fellow supporters no matter where we gather.

  18. I would like to know just how many of these fans who sing sectarian songs on either side of Glasgow actually attend church or are real christians,probably 0.5% if you are lucky,we dont need religion or bigotry in football,these is no proof of god whatsoever and to fight or hate someone because of a made up fairy story shows their mentality

  19. Im pround to be a rangers fan these people wanting us to stop singing god save our queen and rule Britannia no chance nothing wrong with these songs if you dont like them then go to celtic park or some other stadium

  20. Great article and I write that as someone who's hypercritical of this site at times. I am encouraged reading this, because sooner or later guys who think your way will win out over the nutters and bigots and you'll have your club freed from them.

    All of Scottish football would welcome them and respect you enormously for it.

    All the best with it. Great piece.

    • Agree 100% . Lets lose the sectarian baggage once and for all and concentrate on singing songs that support the team only . I think we'd actually win over new fans to the club and increase our fan base massively . Like others here i sang these songs when i was younger , but realised it was all crap many years ago . Well done with this article and it's encouraging to see how many support your views .

  21. Sorry don't see anything wrong with God Save The Queen and Rule Britannia we are after all British and this should not cause offence to anyone ,if it does then it's them that has a problem

    • so's every club in the land but i dont hear them singing them, plus am british but i don't belive we should have a queen chosen by some guy in the sky or atoll tbh! people change!!

  22. As a Rangers supporter for 77 years I can remember singing this song on many away trips. With Bobby Brown in goal, Young and Shaw as backs, the finest halfbacks in the land McColl, Woodburn and Cox, There's Willie Waddell, Willie Findlay, Willie Thornton too, Duncanson and Hubbard, The boys in Royal Blue.Let's have more of this Auld Blue Nose Tam

  23. Very well crafted article, apart from a few cheap digs ( banter of course ), you have pointed the way forward, but will the masses go for it ?

  24. I agree with the article as the time has come to rid our club of any sectarian influences and singing these lyrics only fans the flames of hatred against us. I do believe that as season ticket sales will probably break previous records the only real concern will be away games where Rangers have fewer controls in place to identify the culprits and have them banned. Ibrox will be filed by supporters who want to see their club prosper and will not risk the chance of being caught singing these songs. I like Penny Arcade and the Blue Sea of Ibrox and they have become synonymous with the 'Gerss. WATP

  25. Good piece but we wll never eradicate the eejits……… Once they have had a pint too many and the pack menality takes over then all their bile spills out ….. Sadly .
    We have a large minority who believe in that We Are The People and every one else is inferior.
    They are an embarrasment to our club. I too was at Barcelona where he police caused havoc but at Manchester there was no one to blame but ourselves and the amount of drink that was consumed

  26. I don't get offended when Celtic fans sign their songs because I choose not to be offended by it. People in society get offended way too easily. Try removing the word Fenian with Celtic in many of our songs and does it make it less offensive? I don't see how it does…?

    I agree sectarianism is abhorrent, but I don't view songs as being sectarian. Instead I would argue that discriminating against someone solely because of their religion would be sectarian.

    Its acceptable to sign songs about fat people, ginger people, etc but not people of a certain religious background? It's grey areas like these that give sectarianism a platform it really doesn't need or deserve…

  27. Ricard, the phrase you use is "pathetic and vile"; does that make Feynoord, Dortmund, FC Twente and many other fans of other clubs "pathetic and vile" for singing YNWA?

    I (like many others) look at a number of fan sites for other clubs, including Rangers because there are many articles (much like yours) that I find interesting and informative. It's in the public domain so I am entitled to read and comment on it. If you want it to be exclusively for Rangers fans I suggest that it goes on a closed forum.

    I am sure there are many Rangers fans who look at and comment upon articles written about Celtic and many other teams. It's about opinion and debate. If we don't have that then football (and society) would be much poorer!

  28. I'm absolutely shocked at the amount of comments being made regards the support stopping singing about The Queen & The Union Jack. Clearly lots of our support have absolutely no idea of our great clubs history. We are the establishment club. Rangers are a British Club, My club makes no apologese for that.

    God Save The Queen. Rule Britannia 🇬🇧

    • You've hit the nail on the head! Rangers are a great team but God Save the Queen and Rule Britania are HISTORY. In what way do these songs give the team encouragement? Move into the 21st century. Keep politics and religion out of football. Rangers need all the fans they can get regardless of their political or religious views.

  29. Why is it always the Rangers fans who get punished and slated,we all know the songs sung by the Celtic fans are provocative and sectarian so why is this never mentioned in the Scottish media

  30. thank god those brave men and women who gave their lives in defence of our protestant ulster scots heritage are not here to read the cowardly snivelling of so called rangers men
    get aff yer knees look them in the eye and tell them our land our people their problem is they left us with a pulse another failed rebellion by those who would drive us into the sea
    je maintendrai

  31. thank god those brave men and women who gave their lives in defence of our protestant ulster scots heritage are not here to read the cowardly snivelling of so called rangers men
    get aff yer knees look them in the eye and tell them our land our people their problem is they left us with a pulse another failed rebellion by those who would drive us into the sea
    je maintendrai

  32. Anonymous: Very well put, it seems like everything Rangers fans do or sing is a national debate, it IS our country as much as it belongs to them, more so actually. It's time we stopped behaving like we are the lodgers.

  33. Whatever non-sectarian songs are sung they will still find hidden sectarian meanings in the lyrics. We could all sing Candle in the Wind and they'd say it was because some catholic was stabbed with a candle on a blustery day 50 years ago!

    And to the guy who said we shouldn't sing God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia – Britannia was a mythical figure and when exactly did the Queen try to destroy Rangers? Was it in the news? I must have missed it.

    • First: why are you singing about some legend fairy and when did HRH ever buy a pie and Bovril in Ibrox (I don't think she's a Rangers fan)? Second: if we sing non-sectarian songs, any complaints from "them" will look petty and stupid which only puts the focus on "their" behaviour!

  34. It's nearly 2018 and you're both still singing sectarian Songs. It is the blight of Scottish football. The most effective way to stop it is for you all to police it yourselves. This is what Windsor Park supporters trust have done with great success.

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