Club songs are a peculiarity of Australian Rules Football. With their stirring melodies, bold assertions, and atonal reproductions in the locker room, they are known and loved across the land. They are ingrained in us from birth, so much so that we may not realise exactly what they are claiming. For that reason, ThermoCow has ranked all 17* club songs in order of their ambition and the extravagance of their claims.
* the Fremantle Dockers club song was disqualified for being fundamentally rubbish.
17. St Kilda
The St Kilda football club aims only to accompany the St Kilda football club. They literally could not fail to achieve this if they tried.
The Demons’ main concerns are the colour, height and general grandness of their flag. No aspiration is evident whatsoever.
Their primary ambitions are to be the only team in Carlton, and for their opposition to know that they are playing against Carlton. With the AFL’s current expansion strategy and the thorough mid-week preparation of modern football clubs, these do not seem overly ambitious goals.
14. GWS Giants
The Giants aim only to be physically larger than their opposition. With an appropriate recruitment policy, this seems entirely achievable.
13. Brisbane Lions
Brisbane’s bold claim that they will ‘kick the winning score’ is cancelled out by their incompatible desire to be similar to Fitzroy and the Bears.
Happiness is the primary concern for the boys from Glenferrie. Other than that, their claims are quite modest, extending only so far as to take the field with the intention of winning.
11. Gold Coast Suns
The Suns want to win a premiership eventually, and they’re going to try really hard until that happens. As a supporter, you can’t ask for more than that.
10. West Coast Eagles
The vast majority of this song is dedicated to informing the listener of the club’s mascot (eagles, in case you weren’t clear). In the remaining five words, they claim to be “kings of the big game”, which is at least something, whatever it means.
9. North Melbourne
North Melbourne’s claim to be “champions” is the only the only reason this song appears so high in the list. The rest of the song is about having fun, and repeated injunctions to sing along.
8. Adelaide Crows
The only quantifiable claim made in this song is that Adelaide are stronger and faster than their opposition. This was in fact the case, until the departure of Paddy Dangerfield. The rest of song is irrelevant narcissism about admiration and pride.
With its nuanced lyrics, this song is brave enough to admit that while the club desires to win the premiership flag, individual players are competing solely for their own glory and fame. Could explain the recent departures of Jakes Carlisle and Melksham.
The claim that “the premiership’s a cakewalk” is wildly boastful, and historically inaccurate (Collingwood has lost more grand finals than any other team). The rest of the song, however, is exceedingly modest, namely that their players know the rules of the sport, and that their supporters shout.
5. Western Bulldogs
This song begins in an unassuming (if somewhat alarming) fashion, being chiefly concerned with animal noises and biting. Then you reach the line “You can't beat the boys of the Bulldogs breed”. While Collingwood claim to be able to win the premiership, perhaps with a few character-building losses along the way, the Doggies claim to be invincible. (Note: the song does allow for the possibility of a draw.)
A string of lofty claims culminates in the assertion that the Tigers will win every single match, no matter how far behind they may find themselves. They also boast of superhuman physical endurance, meaning all their interchanges are for purely tactical reasons.
In the very first line they claim to be “the greatest team of all”. That’s a big claim, but the Cats aren’t done yet. Even if the umpires have them losing on the scoreboard, Geelong still plays the game “as it should be played”, ensuring that any result is a Geelong victory by definition. The fact that they can do this at home or far away boggles the mind.
2. Sydney Swans
Showing an absolute disregard for the profession of bookmaking, this song claims that the Swans will win no matter the odds. Furthermore, they claim to possess the power to summon thunder from the skies, an ability usually reserved for supreme gods in polytheistic religions.
1. Port Adelaide
To the casual listener, this is a song about trying hard and giving your all. Yet this propaganda anthem claims that Port Adelaide has the “power to rule”. Rule what? The lyrics state that this is about “more than a sport”, meaning they are not content to simply rule the AFL. They want to make “history”, and what better way than to be the first VFL/AFL/SANFL team to depose an elected government and seize control of an entire nation. Knowing this, the rest of the song suddenly makes sense. They want to “take” Australia’s “flag”, and their battle cry of “aggression” indicates a willingness to use force to achieve this objective. They will not stop. They will not give in. By the time you read this, it may already be too late.
As the only club song celebrating a forthcoming violent coup of a peaceful and well-established democracy, Port Adelaide clearly tops the list.
Honourable mention: Adelaide Crows club song from 1993
Their only goal at this point in time was to die and be reincarnated as a Toyota Camry. Depending on your beliefs, this may be impossible.