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Songs: The Fair Play Trophy (again)

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World Cup 1998:
England are a team of virtuous Saints
They exercise super-human restraint
Their gentlemanly conduct leaves the opposition feeling moved
They'll never swear and they'll never frown
They'll never ever claim that they were wrongly taken down
And maybe you might say that that's the reason they always lose.

But we'll win the Fair Play Trophy once again.
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again, and face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin.

I really hope that we get through the groups
If they manage that i don't care what they do
If we get beat by Mozambique then you won't see me cry
We could get thrashed by Holland or Spain
Or get knocked out on penalties by Germany again
But as long as we keep that stiff upper lip flying high

We'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again.
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again, and face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin.

And if we get to the final and win
No matter what terrible drunken state we're in
We will take back the Jules Rimet
And as a Nation we will say:

We want the Fair Play Trophy once again.
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
Give us the Fair Play Trophy once again, and we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

World Cup 2002:
England are a team of virtuous Saints
They exercise super-human restraint
Their gentlemanly conduct leaves the opposition feeling moved
They'll never swear and they'll never frown
They'll never ever claim that they were wrongly taken down
And maybe you might say that's the reason they always lose.

But we'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again.
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin.

Losing in the last sixteen's all right with me But I'd be perturbed if we came third behind the Swedes If we get as far as Niggata you won't see me cry
If we're beaten by the Belgians or the Argentine Decide to make us look like regulars in Sunday five-a-side As long as we keep that stiff upper lip flying high

We'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again.
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin.

If we get to the final and win
No matter what terrible drunken state we're in
We will take back the Jules Rimet (or whatever it's called these days)
And as a Nation we will say:

Give us the Fair Play Trophy once again
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again, and we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

So don't you worry about Beckham's foot
Our boys are gonna play it by the book
It doesn't matter who's in bed with Sven
We're gonna get the Fair Play Trophy again

Fair Play Trophy once again
Because it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

June 13th 2004:
Alan Hansen says we'll make the last 8 teams
I've got Switzerland to win it in the Office Sweep
And it seems the portugese reserve goalkeeper's name is really Quim
Sven appears to be a fan of Diamond Lights
So all in all it makes it hard to stay polite
But I know that that's a competition Eng-er-land are there to win

But we'll get the fair play trophy once again
Because it's the team that's the nicest
That's the one that actually wins
We want the fair play trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

The good news for tonight is that I hear the French
Will be acting quite distracted and be slightly tense
They've been banned from va-va-voom before the match by Jacques Santini
They'll be scanning round the ground for any belle madames
Un jolie femme'll catch his eye and so distract ZIDANE
But David Beckham, as we know, will be behaving impeccably

And we'll get the fair play trophy once again
Because it's the team that's the nicest
That's the one that actually wins
We want the fair play trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

And if we can't get the french to concede
Or if we bottle it, like the Portugese
If commentators get to say when we play the Swiss (in their post match analaysis)
A load of jokes about defensive holes, I'll still tell you this

We'll get the fair play trophy once again
Because it's the team that's the nicest
That's the one that actually wins
We want the fair play trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

We'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin
June 20th 2004:
So, i was sitting all agog watching Croatia France
Scribbling on a bit of paper working out the maths
Calculating different ways the game'd go and therefore what we need (to proceed)
It's something I'm well used to from supporting the Posh
When we're 2/3rds through the season hanging over the drop
At least its nice to know the nation as a whole will now know how we feel

When we win the Fair Play Trophy once again
When it's the team that's the nicest that's the one who actually wins
We'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

For instance Chelsea fans who in the 89th
Were winning by a goal would think that they would be all right
They must have been surprised to find we're Derby County in disguise
Still, we beat the Swiss although it must be said
That it was more a rainy Friday night in Birkenhead
Than anything to keep the Greeks from getting any sleep at night

Still, we'll get the Fair Play Trophy once again
Cos it's the team that's the nicest that's the one who actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

And Scholes, Rooney, James and Lampard
Have all been shown the Yellow Card
Which doesn't help us in our quest (to be the nicest if not the best)
But if we're lovely to Croatia, we might still get

To win the fair play trophy once again
Cos it's the team that's the nicest that's the one who actually wins
We want the Fair Play Trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin
We'll face the final in the pub with Francesco Totti and a cheesy grin June 27th 2004:
Well, it might not have been the best idea of Sven's
To spend 87 minutes playing in defence
Due to Irish Blood, English Heart with Broken Meta-Tarsal, AND
Like a compilation tape made in English Hell
Add to Waddle Pierce and Southgate, Darius Vassell
Sol Campbell robbed again and Beckham beaten by a pile of sand

It was the same old story once again
And if we're honest we were beaten by eleven slightly better men
It was the same old story once again
And we'll watch the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

Still we weren't the only ones, cos Italy
Fell to Eurovision hands across the Kattegak Sea
The Acropolis Apocalypse means Santini can visit Mrs Ledley King (in the maternity wing)
And with the Germans gone here's a happy thought
We'll be spoilt for choice for teams that we can still support
I like the Czechs, cos Nedved looks the sort to wear his mittens on a piece of string (you know what i mean)

And it's the same old story once again
Choosing new nations we can cheer on so we've got an interest in the way the final's played
Email me photoshopped pictures of that game
And we'll watch the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin

And as the football powers of Europe all change
And we learn to pronounce a new range of names
The English team could still win it, in 2006
Unless the referee is Swiss

Then we'll get the Fairplay Trophy once again
Cos it's the team that's the nicest that's the one who actually win
Give us the Fairplay Trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin
We'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin
July 4th 2004:
Well it's all nearly over, it's been bloody GRATE
I've enjoyed it even though we only made the last eight
Unlike Wimbledon it's watchable without having to shout for Tim
But when Alan, Gary, Motty and Ian Wright go home
We'll be left with disappointment cos we'll always know
That there's one trophy that we'd hoped for that we thought that we were going to win

They gave the Fairplay Trophy to the Dutch
But UEFA made an error in their judgement as I see it because
Dick Advacaat said "No Thank you very much"
Which I don't think's very sporting, no, they should have given it to us

Well there's been a lot to love since we were mugged by France
Like Collina's smiling face and Phil Scolari's dance
Rooney running down the middle and Bobby Robson getting all confused (come on lad, what are you going to do?)
Maniche scoring from the corner and poor Italy
The Czechs against the Dutch, the French losing to Greece
Now my evenings will be free and I don't know what I am going to do

Don't make me watch Big Brother yet again
Don't make me try to watch the cricket and pretend I even care who wins
The Olympics will not be the same
But we'll watch the synchrosed swimming with a pint and a cheesy grin

Here's my prediction for tonight
Nuno Gomes will turn out to be Milan Baros in disguise
The winners' gonna win it in the final minute of the night
And the first half will be... not as good as the second

Give us the Fair Play Trophy once again
Cos it's the team that's the nicest that's the one that actually wins
Give us the fair play trophy once again
And we'll face the final in the pub with a pint and a cheesy grin
We'll face the final in the pub confused by the Portugese cameramen with a cheesy grin


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

One afternoon in 1998 Sean from Fortuna Pop! emailed me with a GRATE Popm Idea to do an EP of unofficial World Cup anthems. I said it was a brilliant idea, which it is, wrote the song on the way home from work, then sorted out the chords and middle-eight a couple of days later so that when, as hoped, he told me to write it I already had.

It was mostly recorded in my attic with the trumpet and wobbly alien vocals being done at Frankie Machine's house. The backing vocals were recorded in The Durham Ox with the core of the group that would very soon become The Durham Ox Singers.

This version got played on John Peel, which was my first proper radio play. To celebrate me and Tim went to the pub where I listened to him talk about Power Stations. It wasn't quite what I'd expected National Fame to be like. We were also asked to appear on the "Under the Moon" TV Programme singing it, but we were booked to play the day after The England vs. Argentina game, and once David Beckham had got sent off nobody felt like listening to a song about Fair Play anymore.

Four years later I decided to re-record it in time for the 2002 World Cup, this time as an Internet single as it'd be cheaper. It all ended up being rather rushed, especially the mixing. We were trying to get it finished in time to send in to the Simon Mayo show, where there was a competition for World Cup Sings. What with one thing and another it ended up being mixed the day before the deadline with me about to head of to Tunisia in the morning, and discovered that twits at the studio had never passed the booking on to Kev, so he ended up doing it in about thirty minutes flat whilst another band waited on the sofa, trying not to be annoyed.

It didn't win or even get mentioned - i guess it must have got lost in the post.

In December 2003 I got a call from Steve Lamacq's producer, asking me to take part in their New Year's Day show, where they'd be playing songs from the year ahead. "We thought you could do something for around June time," he said, "Maybe something about the European Championship and all those awful football songs?" "I've got one of them!" i said, and so a few weeks later I went into Broadcasting House with a motley crew of pals to do a new version.

It was such a lot of fun we decided to have another go at it, a bit more lavishly this time, with full strings, a lovely intro, a RAMPANT organ solo and most excitingly of all backing vocals by Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey and - finally on one of our records - Mr Kev Reverb. As with Milk and Baubles we hedged our bets, putting out novelty "hit" on with a song from the album, and of it went into the media.

It didn't do hugely well I must admit, but I did get asked back onto Steve Lamacq's show... four times, in fact. They asked me to come in every Sunday during the championship and sing a new version of the song describing the events of the week. This was IMMENSE fun, and I loved popping into the BBC every week to play it.

It did, however, make me pretty determined not to release it again - seven different versions of the same song is ENOUGH!


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