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  • Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.

  • I'm Dan.

  • And I'm Neil.

  • Now, Neil,

  • do you like going to live football matches?

  • Oh yes, I love it.

  • Is it better than watching them on TV?

  • Well, you don't really see as much as you

  • do on TV,

  • but then on TV you don't really feel the atmosphere.

  • You can't sing along

  • with the chants and songs at home.

  • Well, it's good you mentioned the songs and

  • chants because that is today's topic.

  • It seems that for some football clubs, the atmosphere

  • in the stadiums is becoming a bit 'quiet'.

  • Now, before we look at this topic in more

  • detail, here is today's quiz.

  • As we are talking about football, in which decade was

  • the first ever international football match played?

  • Is it a) in the 1870s

  • b) in the 1890s

  • or c) in the 1910s

  • I could be wrong but I think it was before

  • the turn of the century, so I'll say the 1890s.

  • Well, we'll see if you're right or not later in the show.

  • Now, songs and chants are part of the experience

  • of football matches.

  • But where do they come from? What are they about?

  • Here's Joe Wilson from BBC Sport.

  • Which team name does he mention?

  • Some songs can be witty, honed specifically

  • to celebrate a certain player or

  • moment in a club's history.

  • Others rely more on a hypnotic repetition of syllables.

  • U-NI-TED, for example.

  • So, which team does he mention?

  • Well, he used the syllables from United.

  • This isn't one team as there are quite a few professional

  • teams in Britain that have United

  • in their names, in fact there are over a dozen.

  • Perhaps the most well-known though would be

  • Manchester United.

  • I think fans of Welling United might argue

  • with you about that! Anyway, what did Wilson say

  • about the nature of football songs?

  • He said they could be witty. Witty means

  • funny but in a clever way.

  • He also said that they could be honed.

  • Honed is an interesting word here.

  • Something that is honed is carefully crafted,

  • skilfully created and developed over a period of time.

  • When it comes to witty football songs Wilson

  • describes them as being honed to be about a particular

  • player, or a moment in a club's history.

  • But these aren't the only kinds of songs.

  • Another kind of song he describes

  • is the hypnotic repetition of syllables.

  • Something that is hypnotic repeats again and again

  • like a magical spell or chant.

  • What's interesting is that in football songs words

  • can have more syllables than you would expect.

  • Oh yes, for example, let's take England.

  • Two syllables, right?

  • Right!

  • Wrong!

  • At least in a football stadium it becomes

  • three syllables.

  • Enggerland, Enggerland

  • Alright! Thank you! Let's listen to Mr Wilson again.

  • Some songs can be witty, honed specifically

  • to celebrate a certain player or moment

  • in a club's history.

  • Others rely more on a

  • hypnotic repetition of syllables.

  • U-NI-TED, for example.

  • Now, apparently, in many stadiums, the crowds

  • aren't singing as much as they used to.

  • Some managers have complained that the fans

  • are too quiet and that this has a negative effect

  • on the players.

  • So what are some of the reasons for this?

  • Here's BBC Sport's Joe Wilson again.

  • How many reasons does he mention?

  • The decline in singing may be explained by

  • changing demographics in football attendance.

  • Older supporters, more expensive tickets.

  • Or by stadium design.

  • All-seater arenas may discourage the instinct

  • to stand up and sing.

  • So, what reasons did he give for the decline

  • in singing, for the fact that singing

  • is getting less common.

  • He gave a number of reasons.

  • He talked about the change in demographics.

  • Demographics refers to a section of the population

  • that do a particular thing.

  • It can refer to age groups or wealth, for example.

  • What Wilson says is that the members that

  • make up a football crowd are changing.

  • They are older and wealthier, and perhaps that

  • is a demographic or group that is less likely

  • to sing in public.

  • Another reason he gives is that sitting down

  • might also discourage people from singing.

  • If something discourages you, it makes you

  • not want to do it.

  • Most stadiums in the UK have to have seats and maybe

  • singing is something that people feel happier doing

  • when they are standing up.

  • Well, the final whistle is about to blow on

  • today's programme.

  • Before that though,

  • here's the answer to our quiz question.

  • I asked you

  • when the first international football match took place.

  • And I took a guess with the 1890s.

  • And that's a red card, I'm afraid, Neil.

  • The first international football match took place in the

  • 1870s between England and Scotland.

  • Oh, come on ref!

  • And now, to take us to the whistle, let's

  • review today's vocabulary.

  • The first word we had was witty.

  • A kind of humour that is smart and clever.

  • Then we had honed for something that is crafted

  • and improved over time.

  • A bit like my physique.

  • I've been honing my body in the gym.

  • Really?

  • Are you being witty?

  • I wasn't trying to!

  • Anyhow, we then heard about hypnotic repetition

  • to describe the effect of thousands of people repeating

  • the syllables of a football team over and over

  • and over and over and over and over and over

  • OK, Dan! OK, Dan!

  • We use the phrase a decline in

  • to say that something is getting less.

  • Demographics refers to a group or section

  • of the population that is involved a particular activity.

  • And finally we had the verb discourage for

  • something that makes us less likely to do something.

  • Well, that is it for this programme.

  • If you're not interested in football,

  • I hope we didn't discourage you from listening again!

  • Indeed, I hope it doesn't lead to a decline

  • in our audience.

  • We want to have as wide a demographic as possible.

  • So with that in mind, don't forget to find

  • us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube,

  • and of course, on our websitebbclearninenglish.com!

  • Bye!

  • Goodbye!

Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.

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Talk about football songs in 6 minutes!

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    Evangeline posted on 2018/05/29
Video vocabulary