Friday, November 19, 2010

GRIMSBY! "Up the Mariners" by PISCES

Around the world, say "Grimsby" and hear "huh?" At best, some know that "Grimsby" is a song by Elton John, one with a silly, almost nelly melody and lyrics that seem to be about a boat? A grim bee? A school? Some asshole named Grimsby? Or Grimsby's asshole??

In "Grimsby," Elton's lyricist Bernie Taupin was actually babbling about a port city in England. At the time he wrote it, there were still fish in the nearby waters. Now that most fish is farm-raised, Grimsby's in decline. Despite the poverty and the abandoned buildings that make the song "Grimsby" nostalgia only, the people of the town still have an anthem to sing: "Up the Mariners!" The Mariners is their football (soccer) team, one that has NOT suffered a decline in the past 30 years. No, it's maintained the same level of mediocrity by never winning a championship.

Grimsby seems to be a strangely mis-managed place, one that did not move toward fish-farming (plenty of room for it, and lots of empty areas that could've been filled with tanks). They also failed to maintain tourist interest (actually destroying some beloved landmarks that were in need of minor repair). They also…well, you can read more on the miseries of the town via:

Over here, you merely get a copy of "Up the Mariners," because it's such a fine example of fan folly and boisterous hooligan-logic. What puts it ahead of various other cheers and anthems for pro or even college or high school teams, is a) they haven't given up singing it despite 30 years of failure, and b) the singers are ignoring a very obvious double meaning. And how could they, when they live in the very country that gave us "Up the Khyber" (a ribald "Carry On" movie) and "Up Je T'aime" (a ribald Frankie Howerd parody of the Gainsbourg-Birkin groan single). Most anyone hearing "Up the Mariners" would get a mental picture that, well, might look like the Photoshop job above (half-hearted apologies to Beckham and Devitt).

Yes, these days the only "mariners" in Grimsby are guys who trip over themselves on a dirt field. But keep on singing, guys, and never give up! Although the group Pisces, who recorded this thing, apparently did. Too bad, 'cause they're not so terrible, and sound a bit like some 3rd rate British invasion band with some guy named Freddie or Gerry or Deezy or Dozy singing lead…although I think these guys shagged more fish than they did birds.

UP THE MARINERS! The (craphouse) Grimsby football anthem! For more on them, and their town, check Listen on line or download. No wait time, capcha codes, porn ads, or demands to pay a premium to the download service that hasn't licensed the music and laughs all the way to the bank about it.

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