Joxer Goes to Stuttgart

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"Joxer Goes to Stuttgart" is a song by Irish folk singer Christy Moore. It is about a fan, named Joxer, who travels to the Irish football team's first major international tournament, Euro 1988, in West Germany. It is sung to the tune of the Match of the Day theme music, which although is a tune from British television, would have been popular and well known in Ireland at the time and broadcast to Irish homes throughout the island via BBC Northern Ireland.

The song is as much a comical social commentary on Ireland in the late 1980s as it is a celebration of the Irish team beating England at a major footballing tournament. The main focus of the song is the game that took place in Stuttgart's Neckarstadion against England on 12 June - a game which Ireland won by a 1-0 score-line, thanks to a sixth-minute goal from Ray Houghton. However, the song also documents the lives of those following the team and the impact of the tournament, and especially the England match, a time when the country was largely unprosperous, religiously devout and somewhat insular in out-look. For large numbers of the followers, many of whom would have been what was perceived as working class, the adventure was a totally new experience and their first time abroad. Virtually all would have been illiterate in the languages of continental Europe.

Some fans of the Irish football team later, more romantically than accurately, attributed the economic development that followed the success of the team in the tournament, and the 1990 World Cup two years later, to that very success itself along with the 'feel good' factor the performances of the side helped foster throughout the country.


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