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
Nickname: The Blue Brazil
Ground: Central Park
Stadium Capacity: 4,309
Song: The Coo (Cow) Song
Cowdenbeath’s nickname is the Blue Brazil. It’s an unusual name, and its origin can be traced back to a Scottish Cup tie against Stranraer.
Usually, Cowdenbeath plays in blue strips. Typically, it’s known more for hitting and hoofing than step-overs and intricate passing. However, according to fans at the match, the team that day was playing some “silky stuff“. One fan was so impressed he shouted out, “C’mon the silky blues“. Another shouted out “C’mon the super blues” before a third added “C’MON THE BLUE BRAZIL!” A stunned silence followed – earth-shattering hyperbole can do that to a stadium – along with a 3 – 1 victory, and the nickname’s stuck ever since.
Cowdenbeath was formed in 1880 by James and John Pollock, who had one claim to fame: they had the only football in Cowdenbeath. As the official history notes: the brothers were originally from Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland, and had learnt to play football there. When they moved to Cowdenbeath on the east coast, they discovered no one played football. Their mother went to Glasgow to buy them a ball, so they could keep playing.
The official history of Cowdenbeath records that her son Davie said in 1952:
“Mither decided that we’d got tae hae a ba’ so she went tae Glesgae and brocht ane back. That ba’ was really the start o’ footba’ here.”
(Mother decided that’s we had to have a ball, so she went to Glasgow and brought one back. That ball was really the start of football here.)
Sadly, Mrs Pollock didn’t also bring another part of their Ayrshire heritage: classic poetry. The most famous son of Ayr is Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Instead, Cowdenbeath fans sing a song based on Scotland’s other national poet, William Topaz McGonagall, considered the worst poet in the world.
McGonagall was born in 1825 and wrote almost 200 poems, all of them awful. He was such a poor poet; audiences would throw rotten fish at him as he performed. But, despite dying penniless in 1902, his poems have become celebrated, if not for the right reasons.
At Cowdenbeath, in Central Park, fans sing one poem in particular – ‘The Coo Song’ (The Cow Song).
“There was a coo, on yonder hill.
There was a coo, on yonder hill.
It’s not there, it must’ve shifted.
There was a coo on yonder hill.“
(Source: terrace chant)
Robbie Burns, it is not.
It’s worth noting that William McGonagall was a teetotaller and a great supporter of the temperance movement. Robbie Burns loved drinking. So, if you want to write poetry, better order a double.
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