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
Cove Rangers/Berwick Rangers
Nickname: The Wee Rangers
Ground: Balmoral Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 2600
We’ve tried fan forums (couldn’t find one), emailed supporters (no one answered), checked fan chant websites (all listed ‘zero songs’), and we’ve begged online for leads, but we’ve drawn a blank. Cove Rangers, one of Scotland’s newest clubs, having joined the league in 2018 after a 7 – 0 aggregate playoff victory against Berwick Rangers, has no songs. Please let us know if you know a Cove Rangers fan or have ever heard them sing. Instead, let’s look at the team they replaced: Berwick Rangers, though their musical legacy is not much stronger.
Berwick Rovers was one of the few clubs in the SPFL that neither played music when the team walked out or after the team scored, and we’re indebted to the Berwick Supporters Trust for confirming that there’s no official song for Berwick Rangers, saving many hours looking for pieces that don’t exist.
It’s not surprising that Berwick Rangers has no official song when you learn that its hometown of Berwick-upon-Tweed is still at war with Russia – or, at least, it is, according to local legend and its unique position near the border between Scotland and England.
Berwick-upon-Tweed is located in England, just two and a half miles from the border with Scotland, yet, Berwick Rangers play in the Scottish Professional Football League. A discrepancy came about due to a lack of local English teams to play against, leading to it facing teams in the Scottish borders instead.
The fact that Berwick-upon-Tweed is in England meant Berwick Rangers was the only team in the Scottish leagues required to implement the Taylor report in 1989, which followed the Hillsborough disaster. The report required all clubs in England & Wales to have all-seated stadiums. As Berwick-upon-Tweed is an English town, the club had to comply even though Rovers play in Scotland.
The town has had an equally confusing history, being, at times, either English or Scottish depending on where the border between the two countries was drawn. The Treaty of Everlasting Peace (between Scotland and England in 1502) stated that Berwick-upon-Tweed was ‘of England’ but not ‘in England’. This led to Berwick-upon-Tweed being mentioned separately from Scotland and England in Acts of Parliament. A separation that led to its continuing war with Russia.
In 1853, Britain’s declared war against Russia. The declaration referred to England, Scotland and Berwick-upon-Tweed. However, the 1856 Treaty of Paris that ended hostilities never mentioned Berwick-upon-Tweed. Because Berwick-upon-Tweed wasn’t mentioned, locals say that the market town of 25,000 people must still be at war with Russia as it never declared a ceasefire. And, as we know what Russia thinks of musicians, following its treatment of Pussy Riot, perhaps Berwick Rangers is playing it safe and not choosing any music in case it offends Vladimir Putin, and he decides to invade?
Berwick does have unofficial songs. Berwick supporter Michael Smyth provided us with lyrics to two songs that celebrate the club’s stadium and surrounding streets. We include both songs below. In the first song, “The Grove” and “The Harrow” are pubs that flank Shielfield Park. While, in the second, the reference to “Shielfield Road” is a bit of artistic licence – Berwick’s ground is actually off Shielfied Terrace. Perhaps this is an attempt to confuse Vladamir Putin if he ever restarts hostilities?
To the tune of Molly Malone:
“In Berwick’s fair city
Where the girls are so s***y
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
From The Grove to The Harrow
To the tune of Blaydon Races (see Newcastle United)
“Aw me lads, you ought tae see them gannin’
Gannin’ along the Shieifield Road
Just as we were stannin’
All the lads and lasses there
See their smilin’ faces
Gannin’ alang the Shielfield Road
… Tae see the BERWICK RANGERS!”
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