I'm trying to help search for an old Everton song that was set to the Irish National Anthem, A Soldier's Song:
It was from the pubs and travelling to the away grounds rather than from the match itself, and would date back to the '60s.
The original version started "Soldiers are we whose lives are pledged to Ireland, we have come from the land beyond the wave". Would anybody remember an Everton take on this?
Reader Comments (28)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 18/03/2020 at 14:55:12
Everton were known as the Catholic Irish club in the 50's & 60's and I think the club have neglected their ties with Ireland in recent years.
The support is still there and Everton should ensure they play a match in Ireland every year, especially now as Liverpool have moved in on our old hunting ground.
You only have to watch Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk to know there are some very promising players in Ireland.
Everton recently turned down a request from Drogheda to play a friendly. Sending over the U23's wouldn't have done any harm at all.
Enhancing Everton's ties with Ireland should be a priority for the club.
I would also be interested in finding out what the words to the song were.
2 Posted 19/03/2020 at 10:37:12
We were just Evertonians.
3 Posted 19/03/2020 at 12:20:12
4 Posted 19/03/2020 at 13:20:04
Everton were just happy to sign Irish Catholics all those years ago and I think that is why a lot of Catholics attached themselves to the club.
And if you supported Everton you generally supported Celtic.
It's the way I remember it anyway.
My general point is that Everton do not do enough to promote the club in Ireland and right now there is massive player potential there that they could tap into. It would save them a fortune.
5 Posted 19/03/2020 at 13:23:42
6 Posted 19/03/2020 at 13:42:42
The City of Liverpool had a history of sectarianism, which had all but disappeared by the end of the fifties, and totally disappeared shortly after that. Its pretty well documented. It is possible that it spilled over into local football to some degree, but a long way back.
My own view is that most people of my generation ended up supporting their ‘family team in my case Everton, like my Dad, as he did like his dad. My Dad was Catholic his Dad was not, but his Mum was. My best mates family, next door, supported Liverpool, always had done. So did he and his brothers.They were Protestants, his dad had no such allegiance, plus he was a Londoner, so no axe to grind. I never heard any mention of football and religion other than from gnarly old Irish priests. My sons and my grandson now support Everton, because of me, and are atheist, not to say heathens, and Ive never even mentioned religion in this context.
So it may have been an influence at one stage but had died out quite a long time ago.
Try reading, Liverpool Sectarianism: its Rise and Demise by a guy called Roberts. Sorry cant recall his name
7 Posted 19/03/2020 at 14:11:39
Wonder why we kicked this into touch as it must have cost us per annum the equivalent of a fortnight wages for Morgan S.
For my two cents worth there's never been a Glasgow style sectarian divide. Thank God.
8 Posted 19/03/2020 at 14:28:36
I recall stones being thrown in Shaw street at the annual Orange lodge parade and Catholics having their windows smashed on St Pats day. Thankfully all that nonsense came to a halt.
As far as the football goes there was a suggestion by some supporters at the time that Everton were a Catholic club but the club never went down that path.
As for the song Derek, as a member of the Gladys street choir at the time, I don't recall it at all.
9 Posted 19/03/2020 at 15:36:37
There's no doubt that sectarianism was going on in the city of Liverpool as late as the 50s, but there has never been a Catholic/Protestant divide between Everton or Liverpool. Everton's origin was from a Methodist Chapel, and Liverpool's origin from Everton, following a dispute with John Houlding.
Everton had a contingent of Irish players in the late 40s and early 50s which led to them being considered a Catholic club by some, but as you have suggested, boys and girls appear, in general, to have followed in the footsteps of their families but, as you'll also know, many siblings straddle the Blue and Red divide.
10 Posted 19/03/2020 at 16:16:17
Good to hear from you.You are the font of nostalgic knowledge.
I hope youre taking good care of yourself in these difficult times.
11 Posted 19/03/2020 at 16:59:32
John, your post is exactly how I recall things. My Dad was a staunch Protestant and, indeed, I have very early memories of watching Orange Lodge Parades from sitting on his shoulders, but he never tried to push any sort of religious beliefs on to any of us kids. Maybe thats why I have no religious beliefs at all. He watched Everton one week and Liverpool the next, just to watch a game of football, and for a time so did I, going with my mates to Anfield and theyd come to Goodison with me. (They were in the second Division then.) When I could afford it I went to away games instead. Religion never played any part in our football world.
12 Posted 19/03/2020 at 17:03:27
13 Posted 20/03/2020 at 06:21:58
14 Posted 20/03/2020 at 06:29:15
The Old Firm: The sectarian roots of Everton and Liverpool.
As a kid I used to go with my mate and his family to the Orange parade along Netherfield Road. I thought it was a good day out. I never thought about the religious aspects of it, and it didnt bother my very Catholic parents, who were close friends with their next door neighbours, my mates parents.
In common with many fans in those days, wed go to Goodison one week, and then slum it at Anfield the next.
Were still best mates now. I gave him a copy of that book for his birthday, a few years ago.
15 Posted 20/03/2020 at 15:51:46
16 Posted 20/03/2020 at 16:17:48
My family happened to be Catholic and I went to SFX but my school year was 50% blue and 50% red so I completely agree that the idea there was a sectarian affiliation between the clubs is wrong.
However, I also remember the Orange parades and the occasional outbreaks of sectarianism in the 50s and 60s. They happened, but they werent football related.
I have pasted a link to the David Kennedy article here http://ToffeeWeb.com/season/09-10/comment/fan/RedBlueGreenOrange.pdf
There was also a very good summary of it written by Bob Waterhouse on ToffeeWeb a few years back, but it seems to have disappeared from the archive.
17 Posted 20/03/2020 at 22:54:54
If one partner was Green and t'other Orange it was called a mixed marriage.
Based on religious grounds there was strict demarcation lines with Catholic and Protestant specific zones. Similar to the festering problems at that time in Northern Ireland.
When Liverpool city council began its mammoth post war task of urban renewal it took that opportunity to deliberately solve those problems.
As a result lifelong neighbours found themselves placed in among strangers with different cultures. The same can be said from both sides. The elderly were suddenly cut off from friends and family and that created its own problems.
As for the two clubs
I do remember seeing large numbers of mostly Irish priests in the Gwladys street stand, each it seemed with a small flask of the hard stuff. A regular on the tannoys was 'The Holy Ground '
I cannot say how it was at Mordor because I would only use its outside toilet that was open to the public on non match days.
18 Posted 21/03/2020 at 01:23:38
19 Posted 21/03/2020 at 05:04:45
Down the Brow towards the Friary, Four Squares, Scotty Road etc tended to be more Catholic.
The Lodge marched along Netherfield Roadand I remember as a kid going up the Brow with others to give them a bit of stick, not that I knew what I was doing or what it was all about, just we did it.
Regarding the footy no way do I ever remember in any way shape or form sectarianism being involved in either club.
I went to all Catholic schools and it was a straight mix.
20 Posted 21/03/2020 at 18:05:01
Personally myself I have no interest in any other football club other than Everton and never invested in those half and half hats they used to sell outside the ground.
21 Posted 21/03/2020 at 19:25:03
Whilst historically Irish people moved and settled in Liverpool and across the northwest, this made areas traditionally staunch Catholic or a Protestant.
Fountains Road was Catholic but there was a mixture of Everton and Liverpool supporters. Orange Day and St Patricks day, were often all dayers, in the pubs, and church clubs,, and as in any time could lead to incidents as people have referenced.
In the early 80s there was a few bad winters and many Scottish fans regularly came to matches and this was consistent for a few years.
Times have changed again since them days.
22 Posted 24/03/2020 at 12:24:34
I think at one time they used to march from Liverpool over to New Brighton, Im sure they did after the war, they got barred from there, for a variety of reasons then started going to Southport. Where they continued their mischief, we Catholic boys always behaved perfectly, wherever we went.
23 Posted 24/03/2020 at 12:41:35
24 Posted 24/03/2020 at 14:26:05
I lived in Everton Brow and around there it was mainly a Catholic area, with Salisbury St, COE, in the middle and Steer St, also further up a COE school but the lad who was one of the main reasons, a bit older than me, I follow Everton went to Salisbury St.school, he lived next door to my nin, and there was never any problems over religion with them or any other Protestants I knew, growing up and later in life.
One thing that intrigued me was some of them would be called “ George Wise so and sos” never knew why until it was explained to me that George Wise was a well know Protestant Counciller and fought the local elections under that banner.
25 Posted 24/03/2020 at 15:14:49
Growing up I never paid any attention to the religious beliefs of my mates who attended Heyworth Street, and they were equally disinterested in my beliefs. My brother and sister who were older than myself and younger sister attended SFX. My mother was in and out of hospital at that time, this resulted in our moving for a period to my Grandmas in Anfield.
My elder brother and sister transferred to All Saints R.C. school in Anfield, joined later by myself and younger sister, and although we returned to Everton Road for a couple of years, we continued to travel to All Saints. On my mothers death it was back to Grandma's, where we spent what was left of our childhood, and like yourself I didn't experience any hint of religious enmity, the big question was "Are you Blue or Red" ?
26 Posted 25/03/2020 at 20:41:52
I think George Wise was also a bible bashing Protestant minister of one of those churches that were more anti-Catholic than pro anything else. If you get my meaning. We had family in the Netherfield Road area and I found, years ago, a bible, awarded to some distant great aunt, with an inscription from the bigot himself.
Thankfully those days are long gone.
27 Posted 25/03/2020 at 20:45:45
28 Posted 30/03/2020 at 11:54:52
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.