October Fest!

The German football team is coming to Dublin tonight to take on their Irish counterparts as both countries take another step towards automatic qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Germany have won both their games so far and Ireland left it extremely late to take all three points in Kazakhstan in the only match they’ve played. The Germans have a stronger squad and a better qualifying record than Ireland and will start the game as favourites. The Irish team has been further weakened by injuries to some of our more experienced players and I think it’s safe to say that we’d be delighted with a point tonight. I’m making the trip to Dublin today to see the game and the picture above shows the t-shirt that I’ll be wearing at the match. The flags and numbers are attached by velcro strips and can be easily changed to match the score. Unfortunately, I lost some of the numbers on the previous occasion I wore the t-shirt, so I’ll have to use an upside-down seven if the score is 1-1 at any stage. The score of the four songs below sees Ireland comfortably winning by a margin of 3-1

Step on High by Dublin’s Revelino was a hit in Ireland in 1996 and it’s one of my favourite Irish singles. It was written and sung by Brendan Tallon who played football for Bohemians in Dublin before an injury put a stop to that career. The name of the band bears a strong resemblance to a Brazilian midfielder who scored three goals for his country on their way to winning the 1970 World Cup. John Peel was also a fan of the song and it was one of the 143 singles found in a wooden box of his favourites shortly after his death

The next song was one of Peel’s favourites from 1986 and comes from a session by a band from Munich. It’s quite a humorous number called I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch and chronicles a non-native speaker’s desire to speak the German language more fluently. The song seems to have been a German hit in the early eighties for an American country singer named Dave Dudley, though it may date back to the sixties. It’s quite a catchy number and I may have to exert some voluntary self-control to stop me from singing it at the match tonight

Dave Dudley was born in Wisconsin, but the two country singers involved in the next song both hail from Texas. Guy Clark is not as famous as some country stars, but he’s certainly appreciated as a singer and songwriter amongst his peers. Dublin Blues is the opening track of his 1995 album of the same name and was performed by his fellow Texan on the 2011 compilation, This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark. The blues that Joe Ely sings about below relate to a woman, but football can also be cruel and there’s a very strong chance that a lot of Irish fans will be drowning their sorrows after tonight’s game

Win, lose or draw, The Rocky Road to Dublin is a song that will surely be heard at some stage today. Its lyric was written in the 19th century by a guy named D.K. Gavan and it’s mainly known for the version by The Dubliners. The Pogues released it as part of a medley on If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1988 and it turned up on its own on their 2008 boxed set. However, MacGowan’s fresh-sounding voice suggests it may have been recorded in the eighties. My journey up to Dublin shouldn’t be too rocky as I’ll be travelling by train, but the journey down could be a bit hairy. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to hearing a few German and Irish songs at the match. And, with a bit of luck, we’ll be winning when we’re singing

Step on High – Revelino

I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch (Dave Dudley cover) – Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle

Dublin Blues (Guy Clark cover) – Joe Ely

The Rocky Road to Dublin – The Pogues


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