You'll Never Walk Alone

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"You'll Never Walk Alone"
Introduced in the 1945 musical, Carousel
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Language English
Original artist Christine Johnson
Recorded by Judy Garland
Doris Day
Mahalia Jackson
Billy Eckstine
Gerry & The Pacemakers
Perry Como
Roy Hamilton
Frank Sinatra
Barbra Streisand
Patti LaBelle
Bernadette Peters
Louis Armstrong
Elvis Presely
Ben Stern
Performed by

Jerry Lewis in the annual MDA Telethon also Louis Armstrong on The Tonight Show (TV)

October 11, 1967, New York, NY

"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. In the second act of the musical, Nettie Fowler, the cousin of the female protagonist Julie Jordan, sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" to comfort and encourage Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, kills himself to avoid capture during a failed robbery. It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (Billy and Julie's daughter) is a member. The now invisible Billy, who has been granted the chance to return to Earth for one day in order to redeem himself, watches the ceremony and is able to silently motivate the unhappy Louise to join in the song.

The song is also sung at association football clubs around the world, where it is performed by a mass chorus of supporters on match day; this tradition began at Liverpool Football Club in the early 1960s and has continued to be a signature tradition.[1]

Background[edit]

Christine Johnson, who created the role of Nettie Fowler, introduced the song in the original Broadway production.[2] Later in the show Jan Clayton, as Julie Jordan, reprised it, with the chorus joining in.

In the film, it is first sung by Claramae Turner as Nettie. The weeping Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones) tries to sing it but cannot; it is later reprised by Julie and those attending the graduation.

Subsequent history[edit]

Besides the recordings of the song on the Carousel cast albums and the film soundtrack, the song has been recorded by many artists, with notable hit versions made by Roy Hamilton,[3] Frank Sinatra, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, and Doris Day. Progressive rock group Pink Floyd took a recording by the Liverpool Kop choir, and "interpolated" it into their own song, "Fearless", on their 1971 album Meddle.

From 1964 through 2010, Jerry Lewis concluded the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon by singing the song.[4] After the end of a concert by the rock group Queen, the audience spontaneously sang this song, according to guitarist Brian May,[5] and this helped to inspire the creation of their songs "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You". Italian-American tenor Sergio Franchi sang a notable version accompanied by the Welsh Men's Choir on the June 9, 1968 telecast of The Ed Sullivan Show.[6] He also covered this song in his 1964 RCA Victor album The Exciting Voice of Sergio Franchi.[7] American singer and songwriter Barbra Streisand sang this song in a surprise appearance at the close of the 2001 Emmy Awards, in honor of the victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.[8]

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the onboard computer Eddie sings this song in an attempt to calm the crew of the Heart of Gold as their imminent destruction approaches in the form of a missile.[9]

Renée Fleming sang the song at the Concert for America, which marked the first anniversary of 9/11,[10][better source needed] and for the Inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.[11]

In 2010, this was sung during the festivities of the Last Night of the Proms, with the choir at the Royal Albert Hall joined by crowds of the public from Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland; Caird Hall, Dundee; Hyde Park, London; Salford, Greater Manchester; and Wales, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Oscar Hammerstein II.[citation needed]

Sporting anthem[edit]

"You'll Never Walk Alone"
Single by Gerry and the Pacemakers
from the album How Do You Like It
Released October 1963
Recorded July 2, 1963, Abbey Road Studios[12]
Length 2:40
Label Columbia (EMI) (UK)
Laurie Records (US)
Producer(s) George Martin
Gerry and the Pacemakers singles chronology
"I Like It"
(1963)
"You'll Never Walk Alone"
(1963)
"I'm the One"
(1964)
The 'Shankly Gates' entrance to Liverpool's home stadium Anfield

In the United Kingdom, the song's most successful cover was released by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963, after the band's producer George Martin suggested that they record it as a follow up to their hit "I Like It," peaking at number one in the singles chart for four consecutive weeks.

The song quickly became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game.[13] The words "You'll Never Walk Alone" also feature in the club crest and on the Shankly Gate entrance to Anfield, their home stadium.

According to former player Tommy Smith, lead vocalist Gerry Marsden presented Liverpool manager Bill Shankly with a recording of his forthcoming cover single during a pre-season coach trip in the summer of 1963. "Shanks was in awe of what he heard. ... Football writers from the local newspapers were travelling with our party and, thirsty for a story of any kind between games, filed copy back to their editors to the effect that we had adopted Gerry Marsden's forthcoming single as the club song."[14] Shankly later picked the song as his eighth and final selection for Desert Island Discs on the eve of the 1965 FA Cup Final.[15]

Marsden himself told BBC Radio how, in the 1960s, the disc jockey at Anfield would play the top-ten commercial records in ascending order, with the number one single transmitted last, shortly before kickoff. Spectators would sing along, but unlike with other hit singles, once "You'll Never Walk Alone" dropped out of the top-ten, instead of disregarding the song, supporters continued to sing it.[16][17]

The song was later adopted by Scottish team Celtic F.C.,[13] Dutch teams Feyenoord, FC Twente and SC Cambuur,[18] Germany's Borussia Dortmund, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Mainz 05, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Alemannia Aachen, FC St Pauli, SV Darmstadt 98 Eintracht Braunschweig,[19] Belgium's Club Brugge, Japan's F.C. Tokyo,[20] Spain's CD Lugo.[21] and the Marist St. Pats MSP 80/80 Blues. In Ice Hockey, the song has been adopted by German Deutsche Eishockey Liga side Krefeld Pinguine.

A special recording of the song was made in solidarity with Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire in 1985, when 56 spectators died and many more were seriously injured. The song was performed by The Crowd, featuring Gerry Marsden and Paul McCartney, among others.

Some years later, after witnessing a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" at Anfield in 2007, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, said he felt inspired to seek lyrics to his country's wordless national anthem, the Marcha Real, ahead of Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.[22][23]

The song is also the corps song for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps of Madison, Wisconsin.

During the 2014 Hong Kong protests, legislator Tam Yiu Chung quoted the song during a Legislative Council of Hong Kong meeting, to salute the Hong Kong Police,[24] who had widespread criticism for using excessive force against pro-democracy protesters. More than 2000 Liverpool Football Club fans in Hong Kong condemned his inappropriate use of the song, comparing his support of the police action to the police actions in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, where British Police were found to have distorted facts relating to the accidental death of 96 Liverpool supporters.[25] [26]

Recorded versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liverpool vs. Leeds United on YouTube, F.A. Cup Final, BBC, 1965. "The song was covered by Liverpool group Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963. At this time, supporters standing on the Spion Kop terrace at Anfield began singing popular chart songs of the day. The mood was captured on camera by a BBC Panorama camera crew in 1964. One year later, when Liverpool faced Leeds in the cup final, the travelling Kop sang the same song and match commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme commended the 'Liverpool signature tune'." Paul Coslett, You'll Never Walk Alone BBC Online. June 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "You'll Never Walk Alone (original version 1945)". Youtube. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  3. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 3 - The Tribal Drum: The rise of rhythm and blues. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  4. ^ "Milestones: Retiring: Jerry Lewis", Time magazine, May 30, 2011, p. 17
  5. ^ Interview with Tom Browne for BBC Radio One, broadcast Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 1977
  6. ^ DVD is not dated
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Streisand's stage fright spiked with thought of terror, By Edna Gundersen, USA Today, 12 12 2001
  9. ^ "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy – Character Guide – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ Gallo, Phil (2009-01-18). "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration". Variety. RBI. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  12. ^ Gerry and the Pacemakers diary
  13. ^ a b Aldred, Jessica. Liverpool or Celtic: who Walked Alone first? The Guardian. March 12, 2003.
  14. ^ Smith, Tommy. Anfield Iron, Bantam Press, p. 68-69
  15. ^ Bill Shankly, Desert island Discs BBC, Mon 26 Apr 1965.
  16. ^ Cavanagh, John. "The History of You'll Never Walk Alone", BBC Songlines, 2006.
  17. ^ Morgan, John. "The Other Mersey Sound", BBC Panorama, 1964.
  18. ^ Whyatt, Chris. McClaren's new charges BBC. August 13, 2008.
  19. ^ a b Bela B. & The Tikiwolves feat. Gary 'O' Wolf: You'll Never Walk Alone (FC St. Pauli hymn) at Discogs (list of releases)
  20. ^ Nagatomo tells Japan "You'll never walk alone", The mainichi Daily News. March 2011.
  21. ^ "You´ll never walk alone" in Anxo Carro. Punto Pelota TV Programm
  22. ^ Liverpool fans inspire Spain to write words to anthem, Reuters. June 5, 2005
  23. ^ Spain to add lyrics to wordless national anthem, MSNBC. June 26, 2007.
  24. ^ Legistrative Council Record. Event occurs at 08:07:18 - 08:07:35. 
  25. ^ Yahoo News
  26. ^ [2]Hong Kong Legislative Council Record 08:07:20 - 08:07:35
  27. ^ John The Punk. "Welcome to The Adicts Official Website!". Adicts.us. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  28. ^ "Cilla Black Discography: You'll Never Walk Alone (duet with Barry Manilow) – Single". Retrieved May 21, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Richard Rogers: You'll Never Walk Alone - Last Night of the BBC Proms 2012". BBC YouTube channel. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  30. ^ "Joyce contributes to highly anticipated new recording: Rogers & Hammerstein at the Movies". .joycedidonato.com. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  31. ^ Recorded for Capitol Records Judy Garland with Orchestra conducted, by Norrie Paramor, August 3, 1960.
  32. ^ It's Raining In My Heart (LP/MC) (Goud & Platina) 1976
  33. ^ "You'll Never Walk Alone". Thelettermen.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  34. ^ Columbia Catalog Number DB4816"
  35. ^ "You'll Never Walk Alone". Youtube.com (Liverpool FC's Channel). Retrieved 2011-12-27.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Things That I Used to Do" by Guitar Slim and His Band
Billboard R&B Best Sellers in Stores number-one single (Roy Hamilton version)
March 27, 1954 – May 15, 1954
Succeeded by
"Work With Me Annie" by The Midnighters
Preceded by
"Do You Love Me" by Brian Poole and The Tremeloes
UK number-one single
(Gerry & The Pacemakers version)

October 31, 1963 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"She Loves You" by The Beatles
Preceded by
"19" by Paul Hardcastle
UK number-one single (The Crowd version)
June 9, 1985 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Frankie" by Sister Sledge
Preceded by
"Say You'll Be There" by Spice Girls
UK number-one single (Robson & Jerome version)
("What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" / "Saturday Night at the Movies" / "You'll Never Walk Alone")

November 3, 1996 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Breathe" by The Prodigy