Thought to be the first ever recorded united song, the Calypso is one of the club's most-loved chants, and is still sung from the stands nearly sixty years after it was first written.Its lyrics celebrating "a bunch of bouncing Busby Babes" perfectly sums up the Manchester United way,and the sentiments of "if ever they're playing in your town, you must get to that football ground" captured the pull of that famous team, and could be considered a forerunner to the (admittedly slightly more arrogant) modern-day chant "You only come to see United!"
The Manchester United Calypso was originally recorded in 1955 by Edric Connor, one of the trailblazers of the West Indian calypso musical genre.Trinidadian Connor moved to the UK in 1944 and became a pioneering figure in the arts of Great Britain, setting up the Negro Theatre Workshop, one of the UK's first black theatre companies.The Manchester Calypso was the second of three calypso songs to take football as its subject matter, capitalising on the trend for that genre in the UK in the 1950s.
The first one,Exotic Football Calypso was released in 1953 by Edmundo Rios, and has singer helping to settle a pub argument between a group of friends as to who supported the best football team(options were Arsenal, Spurs, Blackpool, Portsmouth,or Newcastle).In 1956 Manchester was celebrating a football double, with United winning the league and City lifting the Cup,and another Trinidadian calypso king Lord Kitchener United 1956-The Manchester Football Double, lauding the star players and successes of both teams.
A number of other teams released calypso songs over the years -Leeds and Ipswich among them -but the most enduring of the lot remains the Manchester United Calypso.Poignantly, the recorded version of the songs first entered the Melody Maker charts (the forerunner to today,s top 40) in march 1958 in the aftermath of the Munich disaster."Take a lesson you will see ,football taught by Matt Busby"-something we're all reaping the benefits of to this day.