Footballer ballads: a new micro-genre

Through the miracle of the Anorak forum I have just discovered ‘The Ballad of Paul Tierney‘ by Lonely Tourist. It’s a pretty nice song. And it’s about a footballer.

As some of you will know, I wrote and released ‘The Ballad of Phil Jevons‘ a few years ago. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether it, also, is a pretty nice song. But it is definitely, also, about a footballer. (He scored a gem at Liverpool.)

In turn, I was inspired to write the Jevons song when I heard about ‘The Ballad of Wade Elliot‘. Mine doesn’t sound anything like this one, but I liked the idea of a song about a not very well-known footballer, with the player’s name in the title, just after ‘The Ballad of’.

Once I like something, I tend to keep liking it. So I like the new Lonely Tourist/Tierney contribution to this micro-genre. Like the Jevons tune, its subject is a player who began at the top but slipped down the leagues and never quite fulfilled his potential. There’s a nice folky rawness about this one too.

Whether Lonely Tourist are aware of the two previous footballer Ballads Of, I don’t know. (Phil Jevons is aware of his, because he tweeted me about it in 2011.) But I’m quite excited by the idea that a mini musical meme might be emerging.

Away from the boring big clubs – and it’s telling that none of the three heroes in these songs are ‘household names’ – football is rich with motifs that anyone can relate to. Regret. Bathos. Humility. Ambiguity. Underachievement. Small dramas and tiny acts of heroism. These all make great subject matter. The possibilities must be boundless.

So off you go, musicians. Get on it. Who wants to start by writing ‘The Ballad of Peter Odemwingie‘?

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