I won’t soon forget, being with a crowd
In a pub, watching England, it was really quite loud
I’m no diehard fan, but it was difficult to frown
On so many jumping for joy up and down
They whooped and they shouted, then did so some more
I was shocked that more beer wasn’t knocked on the floor
It’s a remarkable thing, this national obsession
A lightning rod for so much delight – and aggression
So much devotion for these heroes adored
So much emotion when one of them’s scored
It’s an art, a kind of worship, it’s been called a religion
Overstatement? – you think so, but that’s for the pigeons
There’s simply nothing else that arouses such passion
I used to think there was, but that view’s out of fashion;
But the question that I really want to ask here today
Is where do we turn, when it’s all gone away
This grappling with overblown hope, or despair
What do we do when it’s no longer there?
Here’s a little insight, a hunch, just a feeling:
I’m not sure that football’s got a high enough ceiling
To let the human spirit fully flourish and soar
I suspect that we’ll always well, want something more
Is there a bigger purpose, where we’re called to take part
A more ‘beautiful game’, a kind of ‘life work of art’
When the stadiums clear and the shouts fade away
Is there something that can help you in the mere day to day?
There’s a beautiful word, do you know it, called ‘grace’
It’s from God, it’s for each of us, it can light up a face
And I hold out the hope that every person, each nation
Is invited, one day, to a bigger celebration.
It mightn’t have escaped your attention
If it has then it frankly ain’t right
Either way it behoves me to mention
A footie game happening tonight.
There’s simply no rivalry longer
In the history & span of the sport
That rivalry’s never been stronger
Since brave Willie Wallace got caught.
Half a lifetime, it’s twenty-five years
Since these auld foes last had a clash
For one side, it must end in tears
Over beer, or some haggis n mash.
The last time they played, Sporty Spice
And her bandmates were up there, the tops
Oasis bashed Blur (never nice)
Well look at them now: moms n pops.
The ‘Auld Enemy’, it can get tribal
With face paint, aggressive songs too
And true Scots are often quite liable
To crack open cans of Irn Bru.
I hope that the atmosphere’s friendly,
And everyone has a good time
I’m watching with my good pal Wendy
(not true, but it’s tricky to rhyme).
So charge up your glass, hold your breath
Steel your nerves and hold onto your hat
As Bill Shankly said: “Life n death?
Nah, it’s far more important than that.”