You’ll Never Walk Alone first appeared in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical ‘Carousel’ in 1945. This operatic version was much more about personal inspiration in the film, but the original take has long been surpassed as an anthemic song of solidarity by football clubs. Most notably, of course, by the fans of Liverpool FC, whose long walk to justice for the 96 killed in the Hillsborough disaster came a little closer with yesterday’s damning report into the crush and subsequent police cover-up.
Frank Sinatra was the first person to take the song into the charts, with his version peaking at #9 on the Billboard charts in 1945, but it was the Gerry & The Pacemakers version that took off as the definitive Mersey anthem. One such rumour, before a match would start, the DJ at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium would play the top ten in order, with the number one of the time playing last, right before kick off. The fans took to singing it even after the song dropped from the top ten, and it has stuck since.
The rousing song has become a post-tragedy anthem, and has been sung by everybody from AC Milan fans in solidarity with the Liverpool supporters that lost their lives at Hillsborough to an all-American rendition by Alicia Keys in tribute to the lives lost in Hurricane Katrina.
Here are five lump-in-throat renditions of the song over the years…
1. You’ll Never Walk Alone With Lyrics
2. AC Milan fans singing in tribute to the Liverpool supporters that lost their lives at Hillsborough. European Champions Cup Semi-Final, 19/04/1989
3. LFC-TV: Gerry Marsden sings “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Hillsborough 20-yr Memorial Service
4. Liverpool fans – You’ll never walk alone
5. Alicia Keys in tribute to the lives lost in Hurricane Katrina