The Sound of Football: Bristol City (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

Bristol City

Nickname: The Robins

Ground: Ashton Gate

Stadium Capacity: 21,804

Song: One For The Bristol City

Most teams have just one song. Bristol City has two: one that celebrates the club and one that celebrates the fan’s favourite drink – cider.

Bristol City is one of two football league clubs in Bristol; the other is Bristol Rovers. Although the clubs are rivals, they have rarely played each other as they’ve seldom played in the same division. The last time they played each other in the league was in 2001 – and the less said about the last time they met in a cup, the better. That was in 2013 in the first round of the Johnston’s Paint Trophy. The match was overshadowed by a pitch invasion that left 50 arrested, many police officers injured, and a result that no one remembers as every supporter has, your honour, a cast-iron alibi that they were somewhere else that day…

Bristol’s the sixth biggest city in England, but the two sides have always underachieved. During seven years from 2006, there wasn’t a single weekend in which both football teams and the city’s only other team (a rugby side) all won a game. It should not be a surprise that when City do win a match, they like to celebrate with a drink and a drinking song – ‘Drink Up Thee Zyder’ by the Wurzels.

The Wurzels were originally known as Adge Cutler and The Wurzels until Adge was killed in a car crash. The other band members recorded under their shortened name and had several hits. Their songs have a unique style because they’re all sung in an exaggerated West Country accent, even though one of the Wurzels was Scottish.

The club plays in red shirts, giving them their original nickname ‘The Garabaldians’, on account of the red shirts worn by the followers of the Italian revolutionary Garibaldi. This makes them the second club linked to Italian revolutionaries after Nottingham Forrest.

With a red shirt on the player’s chests, Bristol City is now known as The Robins, and you can hear ‘When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along)’ at Ashton Gate.

The club’s second song is ‘One For The Bristol City’ (described on the single sleeve as ‘the official Bristol City FC song’).

‘One For The Bristol City’ was also recorded by The Wurzels and was released in 1977, the year after Bristol City had been promoted to the first division. The song is based on the Wurzel’s 1976 single ‘Morning Glory’.

The song was re-recorded by the Wurzels and re-issued to celebrate The Robins’ promotion from the First Division to the Championship in 2007. It charted at number 66. Although it didn’t crack the Top 40, it was a huge achievement for the band as it was the first time they had two songs in the charts in the same year since 1976. Earlier in the year, they also charted with ‘I Am A Cider Drinker’, which they had re-recorded with DJ Tony Blackburn to raise money for charity.

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