Singing isn’t necessarily associated with cricket: Many feel that it’s more a football type of thing but there have been some classics and here are ten of the best.
Best England Cricket Songs
10. Convict Colony
A number of the songs on this list have gained notoriety thanks to England’s Barmy Army – the group of travelling supporters who follow the team on overseas tours. This is one of theirs and it harks back to Australia’s past.
Sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, it refers to Australians living in a convict colony and makes reference to all the misdemeanors that got them there. Let’s hope that the Aussies have enough of a sense of humour to allow Convict Colony to continue.
9. We are the Army
The tune to this anthem comes from the song ‘You are my Sunshine’. It’s another tune that’s been adapted by many sports and there are a number of rather derogatory football chants that have evolved from it.
We are the Army is a rather more innocent chant and it refers to the madness within the travelling group. They may be bonkers and they may be mad but they are also loyal and the song acknowledges that point too.
8. The Ashes Song (1971)
If you’ve not come across this song before then you can certainly be forgiven. It was released by the England squad who were touring Australia for the 1970/71 Ashes and it failed to register much interest in the music buying public.
It’s worth a listen because it is truly awful. Don’t just take my word for it – it is reported that the Ashes Song made just £53.86 in royalties which had to be split between 17 players.
7. When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease – Roy Harper
Roy Harper is a renowned folk artist and it’s no surprise that he released this tune which covers one of the most quintessential areas of English life. It’s a very moving song and, without wanting to get too morbid, it could also be about the time when we leave the earth as well as the crease.
The lyrics are beautiful and I prefer to focus on its literal meaning – the time when we have to face up to playing our last ever game of cricket.
6. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
The rise of T20 cricket has brought a number of old classic songs back to prominence. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond is sung in other sports but cricket fans would like to claim this as their own.
The final few lines are sung ahead of a rousing chorus and this is the one song where most, if not all fans will get involved. Expect to hear it at the end of a game when everyone is in a party mood.
5. Mambo No.5 – Lou Bega
Unless you’re aware of the association, this 1999 hit by Lou Bega isn’t an obvious cricket song. It was, however, a big hit for the artist at a time when Channel 4 took over live cricket coverage in the UK and they adopted it as their theme tune.
You may not hear it too much at the cricket these days and it’s difficult to remember all the names within the verses. It certainly wasn’t what Lou Bega intended but Mambo No.5 is now synonymous with cricket.
4. Tom Hark – The Piranhas
You’ll hear this annoyingly catchy tune in a number of sports and it’s particularly prevalent during English limited overs cricket matches. It was a hit in 1980 for The Piranhas – a short lived punk band from Brighton.
There are lyrics but don’t worry if you don’t know them: All we ever here at cricket matches is the intro which is generally played when a wicket falls or a batsman hits a six.
3. Hey Hey Ricky
A lot of the Barmy Army’s songs are intended to wind up Australian fans and this is no exception. Hey Hey Ricky was released as a single and there’s a video to back it up. If you know some of the ‘Barmies’ then you’ll recognise them in the footage.
It came along after the end of the Ashes series of 2009 when Andrew Flintoff inspired England to a 2-1 win in his final series while Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, was left to lament what might have been. The lyrics will be unfamiliar but you might recognise the tune from Soul Limbo – another great cricket song – in the background.
2. Everywhere We Go
This is another Barmy Army song that makes reference to their many travels around the world. I must say that I don’t know where the tune derives from so you may want to give it a listen and see if you can identify it.
Everywhere We Go requires one ‘singer’ to start the chanting while the rest of the Barmy Army respond. Travelling supporters apparently want to know who they are and where they come from. Quite simply, they are the Barmy Army and they follow the mighty, mighty England.
Jerusalem is the most popular English cricket song for many and it’s a particular favourite of the Barmy Army. Anyone who follows English cricket will know this very well and it’s also been adopted as the official hymn of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The story of Jerusalem is an interesting one and it tells the apocryphal tale of a young Jesus Christ travelling to England. It stems from an original poem by William Blake with a tune added later by Sir Hubert Parry. It’s a favourite at weddings and funerals these days but Jerusalem also has a special place in the cricket world.