By Stephen Mayne
We had a strong response to the call for some chants that the
Australians can sing against Japan on Monday, but this call for better
singing is not new. Michael Bachelard made a similar call in The
Australian back in 1999 when he summarised the Barmy Army’s
Their four main tactics are
wit, irony, musicianship and cruelty.
Example one: Wit.
dollar’s worth f. . . all, doo-da, doo-da.
Also: God save your gracious
Queen, Long live your noble Queen etc
Example two: Irony, on the
fall of an English wicket.
We are the England, The mighty, mighty
Example three: Musicianship.
Precision accelerating chant
with hand-clap accompaniment: Barmy Army, Barmy Army, Barmy Army et
cetera, ad nauseam.
Example four: Cruelty.
He’s fat, he’s round, He
bounces on the ground Shane Warne, Shane Warne.
Meanwhile, the best
riposte the ill-disciplined Australian supporters have mustered is a
witless corruption of a Welsh football chant: “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi,
Oi, Oi!” We are out of practice. The last time Australia made any attempt
at synchronised chanting was with “Lill-ee, Lill-ee”. We must organise and
strike back with some battle hymns of our own.
Some will say it can’t
be done -the necessary discipline cannot be mustered in Australian
But any group of supporters able to organise precision
vandalism on the scale of the Melbourne Mexican wave can surely get a few
Here are some suggestions.