Songs and chants
According to some fans of the Seattle Sounders, the
stadium-wide call and response chant (In their case: “Seattle”…..”Sounders”)
was invented in the Pacific Northwest.
We in Chicago know better. If you’ve been to a Fire game, wherever you’ve sat in the
stadium, I hope you yelled back “FIRE!” as loud as you could in response to the
call you heard blasted out from Section 8 in the Harlem End of the stadium at
some point in the game: “Who’s the best?” “Who??”
In Section 8, we try to get the rest of the stadium involved
as much as we can in vocal support for the team. We don’t really expect the
entire stadium to start singing with us for 90 minutes. But as we look to
expand across the Harlem End, we’d like to get more people joining in more of our
songs and chants more often.
Most of them are simple. It can’t get much easier than:
Your two year-old can join in on that one! Sometimes the short chants go on for a
while – the rhythm builds up, the drums bang on, a kind of hypnosis sweeps over
Section 8. A few people don’t like
this style: for me, though, it builds a drumbeat of support for the team that
has an inbuilt defiance to it. Whatever’s happening, support for the Fire goes
on and on, loud and proud.
Some of the songs are longer and more complex. There’s “Hot
Time In the Old Town Tonight”, for example, referencing the origins of the
(actual) Chicago Fire, sung to the Bessie Smith tune:
Late last night
While we were all in bed
Miss O’Leary left a lantern in the shed
When the cow tipped it over
She winked her eye and said
“It will be a hot time
in the old town
FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
Some songs are spontaneous: yet another good save from our
goalkeeper on Wednesday generated two competing Sean Johnson chants in Section
8. At the front, the old standard “SE-AN JOHN-SON”. At the back, a group
belting out (to
the RUN DMC call and response) “Who’s house? SEAN’S HOUSE!”
The latter, I think, will win out for future Sean saves.
We’ll certainly be chanting it for Sean during warm-ups in Philadelphia
tomorrow (we have about 100 folks headed out east for the game). In general,
the songs we sing are determined by the “Capo” – the song leader you see on the
big red stand in front of Section 8. Sometimes he or she will pick-up on songs
spontaneously springing up in the section, but either way, following
the Capo has long been a key tenet of Section 8 to avoid the disorganized
mess most other MLS supporters’ areas have in trying to coordinate chants.
Over in section 101 at the south end of the stadium, meanwhile,
Sector Latino has their own repertoire of songs, mostly in Spanish – we might
have to steal one or two, because the passion and noise they have going on
during their chants is impressive.
Of course, we have a couple of Spanish tunes in Section 8 too.
Sometimes I still stumble over the pronunciation, but they work well:
La maquina roja...
Tenemos que ganar...
We even have a video-game inspired tune – when our trumpeter plays the Tetris
theme song, it gets you dancing in the stands pretty easily.
All in all, if you want to join in and help us make some
noise for the Fire, buy
a ticket in Section 8 and join us any game. Or even
better, if you sit elsewhere every game at Toyota Park, get the fans around you
singing along and get the whole stadium rocking – print out our
songsheet and share it around!
Who’s the best??