The Melbourne Rules : An Esoteric History compiled by Brian Membrey
Once A Jolly Ruckman …
Very old Fitzroy supporters would turn in their graves, not so old would shake their heads at disbelief, and Brisbane Lions supporters would probably wonder what all the fuss was about when the Fitzroy Football Club in 1962 moved to change the traditional club theme song.
The kerfuffle first came to light on 13 June when the Wednesday Sporting Globe devoted a front page column to a move by the club secretary, Ward Stuchbery to change the tune of the song from "La Marseillaise" at the request of the French Consulate in Melbourne who considered the use of their country's National Anthem by a sporting club as offensive to the French nation.
Stuchbery had agreed, suggesting that he personally preferred retaining the words, but somehow adopting them to the tune of Waltzing Matilda (perhaps "Walt-
The Globe reporter issued an appeal for fans, Fitzroy or otherwise, to come up with a different tune, either using the existing wording or a completely new song, and the following week suggested a "terrific" response to Stuchbery's request.
Amongst the well-
The most popular suggestion retained a French flavour, The Gendarme's Duet (chorus "we'll run them in, we'll run them in)".
Forgetting the policeman's tap on the shoulder and perhaps the lilting tones of Lilli Marlene as a little out-
The idea of a change fell flat -
The Globe did, however, reveal that the song originated in 1952 and was the work of two players, former captain Bill Stephen and Stan Vandersluys (who seems to have never played a senior game), the pair penning the words while on an end-
(According to Adam Muyt's 2006 publication, "Maroon and Blue", Stephen chose the "French" tune on a Fitzroy trip to Perth in 1952, while travelling to Perth by train over 2 nights and 3 days. The lyrics took about 10 minutes to create, with Stephen choosing the first line-
The "Pink Paper With a Punch" also laid out the words as they were at the time -
"We are the team from old Fitzroy, my lads",
"We wear the colours, maroon and blue",
"We have always fought for victory",
"And we always see it through",
"Win or lose, we do or die",
"And in defeat we always try",
"The club we love so dear",
"Premiers we will be this year"
Perhaps the Consulate was being a little, well, overly-
The table below compares the lyrics of the club song with the first verse of the original French and its English translation and there is a substantial difference in the number of lines, even ignoring the six-
With the dual limitation of absolutely zilch musical knowledge and a cloth ear, the lines of the club song appear to match the musical meter per the table below (based on a one minute and sixteen second version included on the Wikipedia page, the full version is about four and a half minutes ).
Lines 10 to 15 in italics comprise the reprise for the complete six-
Regarded by many (and me) as perhaps the most powerful movie scene ever -
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