The Roar
The Roar


18 footy theme songs in 18 days: #13 'It's A Grand Old Flag'

Aaron Davey (L) and Max Gawn of the Demons. Photo: Michael Willson
Roar Pro
15th September, 2013

When you take all 18 club songs as a whole package, Melbourne’s tune, like the Bulldogs’ one, just sort of makes up the numbers musically.

It’s based on ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’, a tune written in 1906 by George Cohan for his musical comedy ‘George Washington Jr’.

As you could guess by the titles of the tune and the musical, it’s a patriotic affair, where the lead character sings passionately above his love of flag and country.

It also happens to include in it’s lyrics a reference to Yankee Doodle Dandy, a song later appropriated by Hawthorn.

Perhaps this would have made the song-writing portion of the proposed merger between the two clubs in the ’96 season an easier task to manage? Thankfully we’ll never know.

So with it’s nationalistic enthusiastic gist, it’s not a bad choice in this respect for drumming up excitement for Demons fans.

Sadly though, it’s just not quite joyous or bombastic enough. It’s good, don’t get me, wrong, but doesn’t quite reach the heights of some of the others.

Humming the tune to myself I end up switching to the North Melbourne one half-way through.

The snippet from ‘Auld Lange Syne’ feels a bit odd, particularly as it sounds suspiciously like they’re imploring the football world to keep ours eyes on the red and blue in case we forget about them.


Not a very bold or confident move.

Other slightly too retrospective comments were made in the rarely-sung second verse, commenting on their premiership victories of 1926 and 1939.

This just to me feels like their song, despite references to hearts beating true and how high their flag flies, isn’t quite as inspiring – more a song to rally the faithful to weather the storm of mediocrity.

So, the song is good. Fine. No real complaints, but no real compliments.

It doesn’t offend or excite, and I would much prefer that any song, including club songs, get me amped up either way. Not much to write home about.