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Round 7 – Sydney v North Melbourne: Opposition songs should never be heard at the SCG

Join in the (bloody) chorus……..I loathe that song. Always have. Well, almost always.


When it rang out at the SCG on Saturday night, I felt a sharp tingle in my spine, so sharp to be almost painful. The hippocampus then sprung to life. It took me back almost 22 years, to that last day in September 1996. That day of vivid memories: memories of joy at making our first grand final appearance since 1945, and those of extreme sadness at having failed. Memories of being hit on the head with an umbrella by a scary looking maniacal North supporter the day before at the grand final parade, and memories of me driving back to Brisbane, where we lived at the time, sobbing and distraught and having to stop numerous times to ensure the safety of the car’s passengers. Days of sadness, indeed.


And then 19 years later, in 2015, memories of the same song being played at ANZ stadium after our loss in the first semi final to that same team. A game that will forever be remembered as Adam Goodes’ final appearance in the red and white, and a game that was marred by the continual vitriolic abuse that the anal amongst the North supporters thrust upon him throughout the night.


That memory is deeply etched, and comes to the surface whenever racism rears its ugly head. Shame, shame!


It is now just 12 hours since that bloody chorus played its final notes, and I’m still an unhappy Jan!


Why are we losing games at home? It was unheard of once. Three this year: three of four, and games when we were expected to win. Ok, Adelaide, I admit, is a good team, and we weren’t too disgraced, but Port and North?!


There weren’t too many Swans’ highlights from this one. Joey Kennedy had his usual number of possessions, Will Hayward, improving all the time, was the best of the small fleet-footed forwards, Callum Sinclair was impressive, despite his shocking blunder in the second term, Jarrad McVeigh continued his good form, and Kieren Jack, despite missing four shots on goal, was in amongst it.


Inaccuracy from both teams was crucial in the end. The score-review system again failed miserably, allowing Hartung’s goal in the first quarter when the screen clearly showed the ball was touched by Jarrad McVeigh. The umps, however, refused to review the incident, and the goal was awarded. And speaking of umps! Need I say more? I rarely apportion blame to umpiring, but from where I was sitting, they certainly had forgotten the basic rules of the game. The 16-23 frees tell a story.


We simply did not play well tonight, and despite more tackles, clearances and inside 50’s, we made too many errors and turnovers, we left too many opponents lose, and our forward line didn’t function – which isn’t that surprising, given most of the guys are young and inexperienced, and despite their heroics the week before against Geelong, it was highly unlikely they would repeat it again on Saturday night.


We need our stars back. We need Buddy and Hanners and we need Melican. We need Sam Reid, and I would like to see Nic Newman back in the seniors. Also Allir when he’s back in form. We need Gary Rohan back to his best. We need Isaac Heeney to kick straight! We need Sam Naismith, but we can’t have him. We need Georgie Hewitt firing again, and we need to stop kicking out on the full. We need lots, especially before we meet our (my) despised rival next Friday night – that nasty team from Hawthorn!


And maybe, just maybe, we can add to our perfect score of three-from-three away wins this year.


At least it’s not the 1-6 ratio that we faced this time last year, so there’s hope yet!


After an almost sleepless night, I’ve now vented some of my frustration, and am just beginning to treat the day-after as just another day. The memories of a one-point loss to the younger boys in the NEAFL before the main game, followed by the two-point affair with the big boys, will surely fade as the day progresses, but that bloody song is still there!


It lingers like a bad smell, infiltrating my bones, and getting the hippocampus all excited once more. STOP IT, JANET, IT’S NOT A BENEFICIAL THOUGHT, GET RID OF IT!


That’s better! Just positive thoughts from now on, thoughts of a win next week against Hawthorn, with Buddy back, kicking 10 goals (?!?!). And I won’t have to face more of those horrible memories of We’re a happy team at Hawthorn


Ps I was hoping that the five newly-born cygnets at Kippax Lake, outside the SCG, would have spurred on the Bloods this weekend, but as they were only hatched on Thursday, the team may not have known of their little brothers. Maybe the omen will carry on to next week?


About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Ahhhh – the ups and downs of footy – Sure glad I don’t ride the roller coaster anymore. But it was a very frustrating game to watch.

    Sure do love the pic of the cygnets though! They don’t seem to get distressed by very large muscly bipeds running around on grass, falling over, hitting one another, grabbing one another in odd looking embraces, jumping up high into the air, and kicking the shit out of some quadraped’s dried out skin that’s been made to look like an oversized browny pink ostrich egg!

    I think I’ll be a bird in the next life….


  2. Be careful what you wish for, Jude!

    Great response. Thanks

  3. Marie Teague says

    It’s crazy Jan. You were on a high last week after your little visit to Geelong and Ocean Grove and we were on a downer. This week it’s the opposite. I reckon life is all about balance – so we should all be feeling great! If only!! Marie.

  4. Let me sing it for you in full, Jan:
    “Hearts to hearts and hands to hands…”

    Seriously, it was a game which could have gone either way.

  5. Yes, Marie, was only talking about the difference in last week’s emotions and this! Absolutely ridiculous how we let the result of our footy team’s performance affect us so much! Can’t speak for you of course, as you’re able to simply let it be! Wish I could be more like you!

    Thanks, Smokie, but the first line of the third stanza is quite enough for me! Yes it could have gone either way, but we didn’t play well enough.

  6. It’s amazing how you get your stories together. All fitting in. Excellent, Jan.

  7. When writing about the Swans, it’s all about passion, Julie. So it comes quite naturally! Thanks.

  8. E.regnans says

    Ahh, Jan.
    But where would you be (where would any of us be) without an opposition?
    Join in the chorus.

  9. Opposition is fine, David, just not their bloody songs – especially at home!

  10. Dave Brown says

    I always marvel at the whole ‘playing the club song’ thing as a very recent tradition. In my early 40s I’m old enough to remember when they didn’t always consistently play the home team’s song and they most certainly did not play the away team’s. The Crows didn’t even have a proper song until something like 1994 (the more unkind might suggest they still don’t). The AFL is as good at inventing tradition as any tinpot dictatorship.

  11. Interesting observation, Dave. I actually don’t know when the songs were introduced after the game, but the song itself is deeply embedded.

    You’ve now got me thinking. Back to the old google!


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