Footy: a soundtrack to our lives

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” – Plato.

Music provides a soundtrack to the most poignant and trivial of life’s many moments. For me, to imagine a world without music, would be well, the equivalent of imagining the world without football. And bloody hell, I don’t like the sound of either scenario. Music imitates football in a sense as it can be celebratory, reflective, angst-ridden, theatrical or wistful. Every footy fan can place themselves in a situation from the past where their mood may have reflected such feelings. Whether it be a tune that provokes memories of past glories, or a current piece that you have only recently had the joy of discovering, music and song play a major role in the imagery of a footy follower’s mind. Ever prominent in my mind, blissful memories of my childhood trips to the SCG are littered with The Kinks’ greatest hits.

As a football community, we must surely have reached our allotted quota of football programs on the box. As soon as somebody as rigid as Wayne Carey got a regular gig, I reached the conclusion that yes, we have reached saturation point. However, the emergence of such shows has meant a decided increase in the most classical of sporting visual art forms, the ‘montage’. In what has to be the most coveted position in the television industry, the ‘montage man’ holds great responsibility. Interconnecting music and football for a living, must be both satisfying and challenging. Alright, it’s probably just bloody good fun! As much as I would like to ponder a career change into such a gratifying role, I think it is one best left to the experts. But, it doesn’t mean that I can’t reminisce over my favourite footy memories, creating a soundtrack of my own.

The 2012 AFL Grand Final is my most cherished day ever spent at the footy. Everything fell into place that day. To add to the ecstasy and alleviation, one of my favourite bands of the time were the headline act on footy’s greatest stage. The Temper Trap had emerged that year as one of Australia’s coolest Indie-rock groups. Perhaps their most engaging composition, ‘Sweet Disposition’ dominates my own personal footy soundtrack, as the musical accompaniment to such a momentous day in my club’s history. Whilst the pubs and bars of Melbourne impressed in their endeavour to add their own flavour to my soundtrack that evening, it won’t be surprising to learn that the raw emotion (and the numerous ales consumed in utter merriment), rendered their efforts superfluous to requirements.

Some of our game’s past greats promote thoughts and images which are synonymous with certain styles of musical endeavour. Dermott Brereton is the epitome of 1980’s pub-rock. The flowing mullet, the stonewash jeans and snakeskin leather jacket combine to produce a haunting image to some. For those who didn’t live through fashion’s most forgettable decade, yes this was real. The hulking figure of Dermie strutting down Glenferrie Road to the Twisted Sister’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, creates a scene that most Aussie men of that era, could most certainly either relate to, prefer to forget or perhaps fantasise about. The great Plugger even had a song written about him in the nineties. ‘One Tony Lockett’ was performed live at the SCG by the late James Freud in 1999. When I recall the great career of T.Lockett, I now instantly picture how the ‘Harbour lights of Sydney took him in and called him son’ leaving behind the bitterness of those ‘cold and frosty morns’.

Likewise, a collection of today’s footy icons conjure a likeness to certain strains of music. A standout for me is ‘Son of the West’ Bob Murphy. Bob provides the catalyst for this article, as the quintessential inner-city Melbournite. Easily, I can picture Bob in his most prized of hideaways, enjoying a double espresso, flanked by an Alain de Botton novel soaking in some soulful beats. Maybe something along the lines of Al Green’s ‘Love and Happiness’. Another of the present crop who identifies with a musical genre is the Boy from Broken Hill, Tex Walker. He is a throwback to men from another generation. That is what I like about the Crows’ full-forward. No fuss, no crap. Tex would surely return to his home-town, jump in his imposing F1000 Pickup-Truck, cruising the main drag, with windows down and some of Jonny Bon Jovi’s greatest work, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ blaring through the speakers. No pomp and ceremony here, ladies and gentlemen.

Lovers of Australian Rules Football are an eclectic mix of essentially like-minded folk. The notion that art imitates life, is particularly relevant amongst us lot. I am sure that all students of our great game could immediately compile a list of favourite players, moments and matches to which a whole album (or playlist these days), could be composed. Footy provides us with a reason to feel certain emotions. Music provides the accompanying lyrics, rhythm and harmony that moulds these emotions into wonderful, heartwarming and everlasting memories. Long may this continue.


About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  2. Some nice connections Joe. Like everything in life, football has a soundtrack. I reckon Bob Murphy fits well with Miles Davis, probably his iconic 1959 recording, Kind Of Blue, while Jonathan Brown is C & W.

    Thanks for that.

  3. Thanks Mickey. Agree, Jono Brown is definitely C & W.

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