Oggy Oggy Oggy
The Oggy Oggy Oggy chant (alternatively spelt Oggie Oggie Oggie), and its variations, are often heard at sporting events, political rallies and around numerous Scout and Guide campfires, primarily in Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth nations.
The usual form of the chant consists of two groups, one shouting the word "Oggy!" and the other group shouting the word "Oi!" Often a single individual will shout "Oggy" and everyone else will shout the reply, "Oi!". The words are shouted according to the following pattern.
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
One theory for the origin of the chant stems from Cornwall – or rather Devonport just the other side of the River Tamar. "Oggy" is a slang term for a Cornish pasty, derived from its Cornish name, "hoggan", and was used by local Devon and Cornish sailors at the Devonport Dockyard in reference to pasty sellers who once stood outside the gates. The Devonport marines are still associated with the song which they generally sing at public displays.
Tin-miners' wives or pasty sellers supposedly shouted "Oggy Oggy Oggy" – the response from any hungry miner or labourer would be Oi!, Oi!, Oi!. The chant is also the chorus of a folk song and has always been heard at Cornish rugby matches so this seem another possible origin.
The Oxford English Dictionary (2004) entry for "Oggy" states: "Oggy, noun. West Country regional (orig. Cornwall) and Navy slang. A Cornish pasty. Probably an alteration of Cornish hoggan pastry, pie (18th century), perhaps cognate with Welsh chwiogen muffin, simnel cake (1562), of unknown origin."
Members of the Royal Navy claim to have used the chant, or a version of it, since the Second World War. The 'Oggie, Oggie, Oggie' chant was used by supporters of the Royal Navy's Devonport Field Gun Team. (The field gun competition was disbanded in 1999 after a hundred years of competition).
It was then adopted at a few British football grounds at some point during the postwar period, and was certainly in common use by the 1960s most notably at Home Park amongst the supporters of Plymouth Argyle.
In the 1970s the Welsh folk singer and comedian Max Boyce popularised the chant to excite the crowd at his concerts. Boyce was also a big rugby union fan, and through him it then began to be adopted by Welsh rugby union crowds at international matches. Soon it spread to rugby crowds at club level and eventually to many other sporting occasions at all levels.
The chant was also used by Coventry City football fans during the 1980s and 1990s in appreciation to then goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic who had been nicknamed 'Oggy'.
It is also often used at sideshows on rides such as the Heartbreaker and the Waltzers, where the rides controller says "oggie, oggie, oggie" and the people on the ride shout 'oi, oi, oi" to get the ride to speed up or get more spins etc.
Use within scouting and guiding
Oggy Oggy Oggy has long been a major chant within Scouting and Guiding, especially within the UK. "An Oggy" as it is termed within Troops and Units is usually used at Scouting events and as a way of expressing thanks to those within and outside Scouting.
Several variations of the "Oggy" chant have arisen as its cultural significance and recognition has grown. In the mid 1960s Hull City A.F.C. fans adapted it to "Waggy," to cheer for Ken Wagstaff and in the 1970s, Chelsea F.C. football fans changed it to "Ozzie," in honour of Peter Osgood, the footballer. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain in 1979 a variation of the chant ("Maggie Maggie Maggie, Out Out Out!") was adopted by some of her opponents.
The "Oggy" chant was quite popular in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the matches of North American Soccer League version of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Another variation is the "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi" chant. It had been heard at Australian sporting events as early as 1987. The chant had found widespread popularity by the time of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
At Arizona Diamondbacks games during the 2008–09 seasons, fans would shout "Augie Augie Augie, Oi Oi Oi" in reference to utility infielder Augie Ojeda. (In many dialects of American English, "Augie" and "Oggy" are homophones).
The chant has also been adopted by the fans of newly promoted English rugby union premiership side, the Exeter Chiefs. They use the same form, but replace the word Oi with the word Chiefs. The chant has been adapted by Wasps changing "Oggy" to "Allez" which is French for "go" and "Oi" to "Wasps".
The chant was also popular in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where a variation had fans of the Calgary Flames shout "Iggy, Iggy, Iggy, Oi Oi Oi" when Jarome Iginla fought or scored in a game. This was especially popular during his 50-goal season in the 2007–08 NHL season.
In Sweden a popular version of the chant is "Bira Bira Bira, Bärs Bärs Bärs". Both words are slang for beer. It is used mostly among students and young people.
In France, there is another version: "Atchik Atchik Atchik, Aie Aie Aie". It's usually played in football match. This Tchik-atchik-atchik-aï-aï-aï is reminiscent of the song La Belle de Cadix by Francis Lopez.
A more recent variant of the chant has been adopted by fans of the British male singer and former runner up of The X Factor, Olly Murs. Here, it is changed slightly so that the chant becomes "Olly, Olly, Olly, Oi Oi Oi", and it is often chanted at his live concert tours/public appearances or incited by Murs himself at such events as these.
- "Who invented the Cornish pasty? – Features, Food & Drink – Independent.co.uk". The Independent. 13 November 2006.
- "Tawney in Depth – The background to some of Cyril's classic songs". Cyriltawney.co.uk. 28 June 1977. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- The Cornish Oggy Song
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2004 edition.
- //myweb.tiscali.co.uk/navysong/Data/S0022.HTM Oggie Song
- Portsmouth Field Gun Crew, Whale Island
- Mike Downey, Hoisting a Few' Does Not Just Mean Raising the Sails, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday February 2, 1987
- Luba Vangelova, Oi, Oi, Oy, CNN Sports Illustrated, Wednesday 27 September 2000