Re-recordings of team songs by the AFL

The AFL has funded re-recordings of 15 team songs.


Reasons they give include fixing errors in lyrics, obtaining a ‘better sound’, and licensing fees.


The first two issues could’ve been fixed with modern digital sound editing technology, no problemo.


I can believe that maintaining licensing fees may be more of an issue for the financially struggling A-League…


oops AFL…


Needing to save money…






Must be for the new Tassie expansion team they’ve been mumbling about for the past 15 years.


How do the songs sound?


A certain national FM station that broadcasts sport along with ‘ROCK’ has kindly put them up for our listening pleasure


A note here: As a Victorian I love the Fable recordings of the VFL team songs from the 1970s. All themes used since, I feel, are at best indifferent and at worst disgusting (two exceptions: GWS, whose theme I think is really good, and Port Adelaide, which had a lot of charm and some glam rock claps).


I’m a Carlton fan and listening to the new theme song I could hear a slight but noticeable difference.


I don’t like the new one. The singers lack the gumption of the original and the recording is pretty bland. Drums are a bit louder. Harmonies are OK. Horns are still there. But it’s missing that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. Not terrible… but not as good.


They’ve decided to end the argument for Carlton fans about the lyrics after the line ‘With all the champions’ by making it conclusive that we are now to sing ‘they like to send US’ not up. There’s been lots of detective work about this issue on Carlton’s Blueseum and Talking Carlton forums without any consensus or evidence to show what the lyric is supposed to be. I am not fussed about the change and I don’t think it is a big deal to make a decision one way or the other.


Listening to some of the others, I am similarly not impressed. In most cases the originals were great. Why change them? I know a few teams have taken the chance to fiddle with their lyrics. I like how the Tigers got a couple of their ‘legends’ to have their vocals recorded and to fix a contentious lyric. Otherwise, why?


The teams that really missed an opportunity are the ones saddled with themes recorded in the 90s with their terrible synthesised horn and drum lines and generally lame sounding recordings (Adelaide, Brisbane, Bulldogs). These songs would have been wonderful given the proper ‘Fable’ treatment. Instead we have these re-dos which are OK compared to what their supporters have listened to for the past 20 or so years, but really not at the level they should be.


Some good articles about it here and here


I’d be really disappointed if the Blues used the new theme song this year.


What do you think, Almanackers?


About Alex Gionfriddo

Fat man, Carlton fan, up for a jam, my team I pan when necessary.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Malby,
    I can’t really tell the difference. Just tried to listen to both, the new one sounds a little more peppy but other than that, it has the riffs I like, lots of blokes singing, and drums. Would love to have some women’s voices but I’ll save that for when we have a women’s team in 2020. I will want what the Doggies have – a version with women singing.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Sorry Alex/Malby, I was talking about the St Kilda song!

  3. HI Yvette
    Fair call. I can’t really tell the difference between the two versions of the Saints songs. Both sound good to me.
    I agree with you that having some women’s voices would be great, especially for the women’s teams songs.

  4. Why?
    Why does the AFL do these things?
    Is it so that some jobsworth at AFL house can justify his/her position?

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’ve tweeted about this to death, along similar lines, but the real sinister part is seeing the AFL Media hacks (not you Sarah) come out immediately to defend this, without being able to coherently articulate why it was done.

    And, yes, there is a distinct flatness about the vocals on the new versions, similar to those Music For Pleasure knockoff compilations of the early 70s.

  6. Adam Muyt says

    First impression of the new version of the Brisbane Lions song is that it’s better than the old one. Which wouldn’t be hard.
    Sounds more like the Roys version, which was, as every footy lover knows, the greatest club song ever written prior to 1997. Even the French thought enough of it to rip it off as their National Anthem. Cheeky buggers.

  7. The Fitzroy Fable version is wonderful. I can hear a different drum pattern in it compared to the Brisbane versions.

  8. I listened to the Richmond song. From what I can tell the instrumentation and harmonies are identical to the Fable version and there is a very clear use of the word “shin” rather than “skin”. The vocals are OK but as others have noted, they lack the passion of the earlier version. Overall it’s like watching that scene-for-scene remake of “Psycho” – relief that they haven’t mucked around with it but like others, I’m wondering why have they bothered?

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