Wales fans’ brilliant new version of Don’t Take Me Home


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Matt Hagerty and Chris Bennett / Cardinal Black singer Tom Hollister

It’s the song that became synonymous with Wales football fans during qualification for Euro 2016.

Don’t Take Me Home was a song that had its roots in Brussels on that momentous night in November 2014 when Wales held Belgium and for the first time many believed that the Welsh team’s qualifying hoodoo was finally going to be laid to rest.

Sung throughout France in that glorious summer of 2016, the words of the song neatly encapsulated every fan’s thoughts about those heady weeks at a first major international tournament since 1958.

‘Don’t take me home, please don’t take me home, I just don’t want to go to work, I want to stay here, and drink all your beer, please don’t, please don’t take me home,’ we all sang as Wales sent us into dreamland by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament.

Since then the song has been a staple of the Red Wall. And now, ironically, the song has had something of a marked makeover thanks to a group of Welsh musicians calling themselves The Red Wall.

Their track ‘The Grass Is Greener (Don’t Take Me Home)’ has been written in honour of Wales qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.

Gareth Bale (centre) celebrates with team-mates and staff after qualifying for the Qatar World Cup. Picture by David Davies / PA Wire.

The hook laden, lilting folk anthem is a tribute to the players and managers – past and present – who have propelled the Wales side to hitherto uncharted heights.

Created by three friends from Balckwood – Jon Maguire, Chris Bennett and Matt Hagerty – the song has now been reinvented with some superbly written choruses as well as that familiar refrain of the distinctive chorus.

“We are all football fans and have followed Wales since as long as we can remember,” said Chris. “Me and Matt started going to away games in 2014 and have followed the team all over Europe.

“Jon is a successful songwriter by trade and after the World Cup qualification thought it would be amazing to put something together to mark the occasion.”

Verses

Chris said it was the song that united everyone and quickly became a fan favourite.

“Don’t Take Me Home was adopted by Welsh fans prior to Euro 2016 and singing it brought a huge connection between us all when we cheered on the team.

“This was a lightbulb moment for us and the opportunity to make this our own song. Why don’t we take something made by fans and turn it into something that can be enjoyed at home when you’re not able to make games or in the pub during the build up. It just made sense to us.”

The song now has added verses which celebrate the incredible story of Welsh football during the last decade.

“Getting content for the verses wasn’t too much of a challenge because there’s been so many key figures to Wales’s success in recent times that obviously needed a mention as well acknowledging the fans, the red wall, and what it means to everyone to be Welsh,” said Chris.

Cardinal Black

The song is actually sung by Tom Hollister (of fast rising Welsh band Cardinal Black) who does a beautiful job of projecting the thoughts and emotions of every Wales fan.

“The track itself was recorded at Jon’s studio in Newport and as we’re not a band as such we got singer Tom to come in and sing it. The whole project is more about identity and what it means to be a Wales fan. We’re all a part of the band.”

Ultimately the friends wanted to mark Wales’ long awaited arrival at a World Cup with all the excitement and hope that brings.

“For us this was about marking the occasion of Wales first World Cup in 64 years and trying to make something that represents us all,” said Chris. “In years to come we hope we can all look back and remember a successfulI tournament. If we do manage to get a few plays, any proceeds will be going to local charities in Wales including supporting grassroots football.”

The Grass Is Greener (Don’t Take Me Home)

Sixty years, sixty years of waiting
We’ve still been singing and we’ve been patient
But now we’re here and we’re here to stay
What a time to be alive
So drink it up and keep it going
Cause thanks to Speed and Page and Coleman
That other place across the bridge looking over here tonight

Because the grass is greener on the other side
And if we win or if we lose tonight
We’ll be singing

Don’t take me home please don’t take me home
I just don’t wanna go to work
I wanna stay here and drink all your beer
So please don’t, please don’t take me home

Let out the dragon and set him free yeah
Let the world hear Yma o Hyd
Sing it loud make history
Let’s raise the roof tonight

Cause the grass is greener on the other side
And if we win or if we lose tonight
We’ll be singing

Don’t take me home please don’t take me home
I just don’t wanna go to work
I wanna stay here and drink all your beer
So please don’t, please don’t take me home

The red wall’s living brighter days
So god bless Mr Gareth bale
Cause we’re Cymru and we’re here to stay
We are Wales until we die
We’ll be singing

Don’t take me home please don’t take me home
I just don’t wanna go to work
I wanna stay here and drink all your beer
So please don’t, please don’t take me home


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