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"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel.

In the musical, in the second act, Nettie Fowler, the cousin of the female protagonist Julie Jordan, sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" to comfort and encourage Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, has been killed during a failed robbery. It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (their daughter) is a member, underscoring the songs' religious undertones. Billy attends this ceremony during his return to earth and inspires them with his words of encouragement to assure them of his love.

The song is also sung at football clubs around the world, where it is performed by a massed chorus of supporters on matchday; this tradition began at Liverpool FC in the early 1960s and later spread to several other clubs.

Background

Christine Johnson, who created the role of Nettie first introduced the song in the original Broadwaymarker production, and later Jan Clayton as Julie Jordan reprises it at the end with the chorus joining in. In the film it is sung by Claramae Turner as Nettie (although the weeping Shirley Jones (as Julie) first tries to sing it, but cannot), and later reprised by Ms. Jones and a chorus.

Because the song is included during the graduation finale of the musical, it has become a standard, sung by graduation classes in the United Statesmarker.

Besides the recordings of the song on the Carousel cast albums and the film soundtrack, the song has been recorded by many artists as listed below, with notable hit versions made by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Elvis Presley, Doris Day, Roy Hamilton, Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles, Johnny Cash, Tom Jones and Renée Fleming.

Since 1964 Jerry Lewis has concluded the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon with an emotional version of You'll Never Walk Alone. Lewis said at the end of the 2007 telethon that the song was suggested to him in 1964 by a disabled child.

Legendary performer Barbra Streisand sang this song in a surprise appearance at the close of the 2001 Emmy Awards, in honor of the victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Sporting anthem

Shankly Gates
In England, the song's most successful performance was recorded in 1963 by the Liverpudlianmarker Merseybeat group Gerry & The Pacemakers (peaking at number one in the singles chart for four consecutive weeks). It quickly became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game. The words "You'll Never Walk Alone" also feature in the club crest and on the Shankly Gate entrance to the stadium.

According to former player Tommy Smith, Gerry Marsden presented Liverpool manager Bill Shankly with a recording of his upcoming cover single during a pre-season coach trip in the summer of 1963. "Shanks was in awe of what he [had] heard. [...] Football writers from the local newspapers were travelling with our party and, thirsty for a story of any kind between games, filed copy back to their editors to the effect that we had adopted Gerry Marsden's forthcoming single as the club song."

Marsden himself told BBC Radio how, in the 1960s, the deejay at Anfieldmarker would play the top-ten commercial records in ascending order, with the number one single transmitted last, shortly before kickoff. Supporters standing on the Spion Kop terrace would sing along, but once "You'll Never Walk Alone" dropped out of the top-ten, says Marsden, they continued to sing it. The song was later adopted by the Scottish teams Hibernian and Celtic, Dutch teams Feyenoord and FC Twente, the Belgium team Club Brugge, and Japan's F.C. Tokyo.

The Pink Floyd song "Fearless", from their 1971 Meddle album, includes a recording of the Liverpool Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone". The recording is repeated many times during the song and appears solely as a conclusion at the end of the track.

A special recording of the song was made in solidarity with Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire in 1985, when 56 spectators died and many more were seriously injured. The song was performed by The Crowd, featuring Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney and Rolf Harris, among others.

Some years later, after witnessing a rousing rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" at Anfield in 2007, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, said he felt inspired to seek lyrics to his country's wordless national anthem, the Royal March, ahead of Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The song was also performed at the funeral of German soccer star Robert Enke before 45,000 attendees in Hannover's AWD-Arenastadiummarker on November 15, 2009.

Recorded versions



References

  1. Liverpool vs. Leeds United, F.A. Cup Final, BBC, 1965. The song was covered by Liverpool group Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963. At this time, supporters standing on the Spion Kop terrace at Anfield began singing popular chart songs of the day. The mood was captured on camera by a BBC Panorama camera crew in 1964. One year later, when Liverpool faced Leeds in the cup final, the travelling Kop sang the same song and match commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme commended the "Liverpool signature tune".
  2. Liverpool vs. Chelsea, European Champions League, 2005.
  3. Aldred, Jessica. Liverpool or Celtic: who Walked Alone first? The Guardian. March 12, 2003.
  4. Smith, Tommy. Anfield Iron, Bantam Press, p. 68-69
  5. Cavanagh, John. "The History of You'll Never Walk Alone", BBC Songlines, 2006.
  6. Morgan, John. "The Other Mersey Sound", BBC Panorama, 1964.
  7. Whyatt, Chris. McClaren's new charges BBC. 13 August, 2008.
  8. Radnedge, Keir. Keeping the flame alive, SFC. April 2009.
  9. Liverpool fans inspire Spain to write words to anthem, Reuters. June 5, 2005
  10. Spain to add lyrics to wordless national anthem, MSNBC. June 26, 2007.
  11. http://adicts.us/adictsmusic.html
  12. Recorded for Capitol Records Judy Garland with Orchestra conducted, by Norrie Paramor, August 3, 1960.
  13. Columbia Catalog Number DB4816"
  14. You'll Never Walk Alone
  15. It's Raining In My Heart (LP/MC) (Goud & Platina) 1976



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