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"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. In the second act of the musical, 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, kills himself to avoid capture during a failed robbery. It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (Billy and Julie's daughter) is a member. The now invisible Billy, who has been granted the chance to return to Earth for one day in order to redeem himself, watches the ceremony and is able to silently motivate the unhappy Louise to join in the song.

The song is also sung at association football clubs around the world, where it is performed by a mass chorus of supporters on match day; this tradition began at Liverpool Football Club in the early 1960s and has continued to be a signature tradition to present day.[1]

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Background

Background[edit]Edit

Christine Johnson, who created the role of Nettie Fowler, introduced the song in the original Broadway production.[2] Later in the show Jan Clayton, as Julie Jordan, reprised it, with the chorus joining in.

In the film, it is first sung by Claramae Turner as Nettie. The weeping Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones) tries to sing it but cannot; it is later reprised by Julie and those attending the graduation.

Subsequent history[edit]Edit

Besides the recordings of the song on the Carousel cast albums and the film soundtrack, the song has been recorded by many artists, with notable hit versions made by Roy Hamilton,[3] Frank SinatraGerry & the PacemakersJudy GarlandElvis PresleyAndy Williams, and Doris Day. Progressive rock group Pink Floyd took a recording by the Liverpool Kop choir, and "interpolated" it into their own song, "Fearless", on their 1971 album Meddle.

From 1964 through 2010, Jerry Lewis concluded the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon by singing the song.[4] After the end of a concert by the rock group Queen, the audience spontaneously sang this song, according to guitarist Brian May,[5] and this helped to inspire the creation of their songs "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You". Italian-American tenor Sergio Franchi sang a notable version accompanied by the Welsh Men's Choir on the June 9, 1968 telecast of The Ed Sullivan Show.[6] He also covered this song in his 1964 RCA Victor album The Exciting Voice of Sergio Franchi.[7] American singer and songwriter 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.[8]

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the onboard computer Eddie sings this song in an attempt to calm the crew of the Heart of Gold as their imminent destruction approaches in the form of a missile.[9]

Renée Fleming sang the song at the Concert for America, which marked the first anniversary of 9/11,[10][better source needed] and for the Inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.[11]

In 2010, this was sung during the festivities of the Last Night of the Proms, with the choir at the Royal Albert Hall joined by crowds of the public from Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland; Caird Hall, Dundee; Hyde Park, London; Salford, Greater Manchester; and Wales, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Oscar Hammerstein II.[citation needed]

Sporting anthem[edit]Edit

"You'll Never Walk Alone"
Single by Gerry and the Pacemakers
from the album How Do You Like It
Released October 1963
Recorded July 2, 1963, Abbey Road Studios[12]
Length 2:40
Label Columbia (EMI) (UK)

Laurie Records (US)

Producer(s) George Martin
Gerry and the Pacemakers singles chronology
"I Like It"

(1963)

"You'll Never Walk Alone"

(1963)

"I'm the One"

(1964)

[1][2]The 'Shankly Gates' entrance to Liverpool's home stadium Anfield

In the United Kingdom, the song's most successful cover was released by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963, after the band's producer George Martin suggested that they record it as a follow up to their hit "I Like It," peaking at number one in the singles chart for four consecutive weeks.

The song quickly became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game.[13] The words "You'll Never Walk Alone" also feature in the club crest and on the Shankly Gate entrance to Anfield, their home stadium.

According to former player Tommy Smith, lead vocalist Gerry Marsden presented Liverpool manager Bill Shanklywith a recording of his forthcoming cover single during a pre-season coach trip in the summer of 1963. "Shanks was in awe of what he 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."[14] Shankly later picked the song as his eighth and final selection for Desert Island Discs on the eve of the 1965 FA Cup Final.[15]

Marsden himself told BBC Radio how, in the 1960s, the disc jockey at Anfield would play the top-ten commercial records in ascending order, with the number one single transmitted last, shortly before kickoff. Spectators would sing along, but unlike with other hit singles, once "You'll Never Walk Alone" dropped out of the top-ten, instead of disregarding the song, supporters continued to sing it.[16][17]

The song was later adopted by Scottish team Celtic F.C.,[13] Dutch teams FeyenoordFC Twente and SC Cambuur,[18] Germany's Borussia DortmundTSG 1899 HoffenheimMainz 051. FC KaiserslauternBorussia MönchengladbachAlemannia AachenFC St PauliSV Darmstadt 98 Eintracht Braunschweig,[19] Belgium's Club Brugge, Japan's F.C. Tokyo,[20]Spain's CD Lugo.[21] and the Marist St. Pats MSP 80/80 Blues. In Ice Hockey, the song has been adopted by German Deutsche Eishockey Liga side Krefeld Pinguine.

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 byThe Crowd, featuring Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney and Rolf Harris, among others.

Some years later, after witnessing a 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 Marcha Real, ahead of Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.[22][23]

The song is also the corps song for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps of Madison, Wisconsin.

Recorded versions[edit]Edit

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