Colin Payne on why his arms will no doubt remain goosebump-free for the foreseeable future
Of course, it’s all meant with the best of intentions, these things always are. It’s a noble quest, one that attempts to highlight the best of us, whilst recognising Sir Elton’s ties to this club of ours. It’s a bit of a no-brainer really, Your Song, our very own anthem, it would be belted out – eventually unprompted – scarves aloft as we sing as one entity when the Golden Boys emerge from the tunnel, with but a single common purpose others will only admire. The thought of such a thing done properly is goosebump-inducing, I can envisage it. It’s about joy, fraternity/sorority, love. What’s not to like about it?
But… I can’t help but feeling that this particular paper kite just ain’t going to fly in today’s rainy environment.
Somewhere during those dark days of Covid things changed, the essence that bound us as a positive entity has been replaced with something altogether less appealing. Patience, understanding and optimism lost on the end of a snotty Q-tip doused in saline liquid, replaced by the need to listen to the loudest voices, the naysayers, miseries and prophets of doom. Maybe if Elton added a couple of bonus lines to his masterpiece it would fit in with the new mood better, something along the lines of ‘How wonderful life is, when you hate the Scum. We hate Luton, stinky…!’ Do some of our fans really want to tell the world how wonderful life really is, when they can continue to get their joy by peddling their hate and bile instead?
Perhaps I’m just an old git, lost in my own Shangri-La of nice memories, happy thoughts and an outdated idyllic view that not hating anyone and enjoying a game of football (sometimes even one we don’t win – yes it can be done) is what I love doing on my Saturdays – adrift from those who, week-in week-out, spend the match oblivious to events on the field, instead lambasting ‘them from up the road’, not with banter or good-natured rivalry, but pure hatred and racial slurs. I know quite a few Luton fans, some are in-laws (well I do live in Bedfordshire), and I don’t hate any of them. I like to think they don’t hate me, at least not because of the football team I choose to support. Thankfully we’re still able to share jokes, mock and occasionally begrudgingly congratulate each other, because that’s what rivalry is. And it saddens me others have such a different, toxic outlook, because it’s all I hear from my seat in the Rookery for much of a game and it’s tiresome.
However, I digress. Your Song, maybe it will take off, who knows, I may be wrong. I certainly was twenty-odd years ago when championing Coldplay’s Yellow, but such things tend to be related to tradition, developed over time and naturally adopted and built upon over the years, you can’t ‘introduce’ anthems, any more than you can just take Z-Cars away. They have to mean something, even if that something is just that it’s always been there, but it needs to be something more than a nice tune and sweet lyrics.