A Guest Writer says “Hullo Hullo”

One of the most rewarding experiences for any writer is when an article they have written becomes the catalyst for others to express their own thoughts. The following piece, written by “Bedlam” from Vanguard Bears, has particular resonance for me as it encapsulates the kind of spirit which has seen us through some very trying times as a support. Small wonder then that lifelong Celtic supporter Jim Kerr, paying tribute to our incredible support in a recent interview remarked that he couldn’t see any other fanbase support their club in the way Rangers fans have. So I’m delighted to feature John’s article which encompasses a spirit which does not acquiesce, submit or surrender.

To The Rangers Board and whomever else it may concern,

As of Monday the 28th of December 2015 the Rangers support has reclaimed our traditional anthem The Billy Boys’. We were told back in 2007 that UEFA had ‘banned’ the song, you’ll struggle to find anybody within UEFA or from the then regime who will ever be able to prove this – it wasn’t and can’t be banned without a major can of worms being opened. Just see what would happen if this ever went to The European Courts of Human Rights.

The length and breadth of the British Isles various football clubs and their supporters have their own version sung to the tune of ‘Marching Through Georgia’. Keeping it local, we have fans of Ayr United who are regularly ‘up to their knees in Killie blood; a reference to their rivalry with Kilmarnock F.C. Kilmarnock fans themselves have their own version as do fans of Dundee, Hearts and Morton. Why would any court ban our amended version?

Without question, no set of supporters have made more concessions and cleaned up its act than the massive and loyal Rangers support. Even though the offending word in ‘The Billy Boys’ is used by supporters of Glasgow’s east end team to refer to themselves, we’ve happily dropped the word as it’s not even what makes the song what it is to us. We await them doing the same with their religious slurs against Protestants.

We now have an amendment to The Billy Boys’

Hullo hullo we are the Billy Boys
Hullo hullo you’ll know us by our noise
We’re up to our knees in Celtic blood

You’ll see this keep us inline with the clubs, mentioned earlier, when their supporters sing their versions to ‘Marching Through Georgia’

With the unstinting loyalty the great Rangers support showed in getting the current regime into the boardroom we are going to assume the same backing is returned in relation to our anthem. We will no longer kowtow to haters and bigots who refuse to address far more pressing issues, but will tune into a Rangers game hoping to be offended and in many cases just making up stories for those who suffer from faux outrage. It is now time for the board to pay close attention to what the haters and bigots are really all about and be clear on their agenda and no longer pander to them. As a Club we make it easy for them to keep chipping away at our identity by not backing the life line of the greatest Club on earth,

The real problem non Rangers fans and players have with it is just how rousing it is, it’s all about that sudden outburst of “HULLO HULLO” it drives our players on and the opposition have no comeback to it.

It’s back, it’s amended, it’s ours’..”We are the Billy Boys”

The Billy Boys (Reprise)

It’s probably a good time to check the moral compass. Let’s be honest when a song about Glasgow gang culture from the 30’s is deemed more headline grabbing than chants celebrating an active and proscribed terrorist organisation responsible for the deaths of thousands ‘“ then quite simply you know the game is a bogey. And knowing the game is a bogey is the important benchmark for us as Rangers supporters.

If sectarianism is the Scottish government’s equivalent of a lucrative sex trade then quite simply Graham Spiers is its biggest whore. His lack of integrity was exposed on National Television by my fellow blogger Chris Graham, in a manner which was not only scrumptious but also unequivocal. Well’¦. to the best of my knowledge it was.

So we as Rangers will not be taking morality lessons from the morally bereft Spiers. Is that too ‘complicated’ for you Graham? If not ‘“ then quite simply ‘“ do one, you absolute weasel and charlatan.

They hate the Billy Boys, though I actually doubt however if the content and words is the primary motivating factor. As an anthem it is second to none in football, it is intimidating, it unites and reminds us that running through the very DNA of our football club is a refusal to acquiesce, a refusal to bow down on one knee, an utter revulsion at the prospect of surrendering. They don’t like that ‘“ a Rangers who refuse to give in, who triumph over adversity and after several years of being battered from pillar to post the mere prospect of such a mind-set returning terrifies them.

If you find yourself continually moved to apologise for what we are and what we believe in and cherish ‘“ then perhaps you ought to seek another club.

I don’t intend to spend time arguing over the linguistic history of the word ‘fenian’ ‘“ suffice to say its inclusion as a sectarian term is an utterly ridiculous notion proposed and championed by people with an utter hatred of our club, unfortunately aided by those who follow our club and are less than careful, lazy even, with their choice of language and its entailment and consequences.

But the loaded dice have been rolled and it’s in such an environment we now operate. Those on message forums who boldly tell you to sing the Billy Boys in its original form ‘“ will they pay your fine if you are arrested? Will they explain to your children why daddy has lost his job or is going to jail?

Time to box clever bears. The words need to be altered so that we can belt out one of our most enigmatic anthems without fear, without compromise and without damage to our beloved club. I’ll leave the revised version to the better qualified songsmiths out there.

A revised and revamped Billy Boys delivers a message to the world  – we will adapt and change as circumstances suit, but we will never, ever, go away.