Various Artists, On The Ball City

Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
It may not be a classic, but it does have the world’s oldest football song

Although not one of the powerhouses of English football past or present, this Norwich City tribute album contains a slice of football history in "On the Ball City," with its dated lyric, “On the ball city, never mind the danger/Steady on, now's your chance/Hurrah! We've scored a goal.” Although it lacks enduring musical appeal and demonstrates little charm, this terrace chant is believed to be the world's oldest football song and it deserves a place in every fan's collection for that reason! Already a favourite on the terraces by the year the club turned professional in 1905, the song is featured on this album in two versions, a crackly 1959 rendition and a more modern take by Johnny Cleveland. Like many albums of this kind, the collection is made up with fan tributes performed in a variety of styles, such as "Norwich City Calypso" and "The Canary Rock'n'Roll."