The Sound of Football: Barnet (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Barnet

Nickname: The Hillmen

Ground: The Hive

Stadium Capacity: 6,500

Song: The Celery Song

A trawl through Barnet’s classic chants unearths another version of the famous football chant known as the ‘Celery Song.’ The song is derived from a nineteenth-century music hall song, ‘Ask Old Brown.’ The lyrics were:

Ask old brown for tea

and all the family

if he don’t come

we’ll tickle his bum

with a lump of celery.”

(Source: unknown)

‘Ask Old Brown’ became a football song after Chas Hodges (one half of Chas & Dave) recorded it in 1981. Micky Greenaway, a famous Chelsea fan (see Chelsea for more on Greenaway), is said to have picked up the cassette version during a Chelsea tour of Sweden in 1981. He played it over and over and the song transferred to the terraces, and at Barnet became:

My old mans a dustman, he wears a fireman’s hat, 

He’s killed ten thousand Germans, so what you think of that?

One way here, one way there, one way round the corner, 

Poor old soul, with a bullet up his hole is crying out for water.

Water water water, water came at last

I don’t want your water, so stick it up you’re a***

Come for tea, with all your family, 

If your s*** don’t come, tickle up your bum, with a stick of celery.

Celery, Celery, if your s*** don’t come, tickle up your bum, with a stick of celery

(Source: fan chant)

But while their chant is not unique and versions of the Celery Song can be heard in stadiums across the country, they have a special song as their entrance song: Guns & Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – the only club in the UK to use it. Guns & Roses is an apt choice – Barnet itself is the site of one of the biggest battles in the War of the Roses.

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