The tale behind the Liverpool song ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’

kop close up lots of flags and banners

One of the biggest clubs in world football has a wide array of iconic chants.

And the one I’ve selected to discuss is that of Poor Tommy Scouser.

It is a tale about a young man from Merseyside who is sent off to fight for his country.

His dying breathe was: ‘Oh I am a Liverpudlian,’ showing his love for his home town.

As is the case with football supporters, and ours at Liverpool, they turned the tale into a song.

They drew inspiration from the Bill Shankly era of the 1960s when the song was first heard.

The tune is split into two of ‘Red River Valley’

and ‘The Sash’.

And on the 6th November 1982, Liverpool shocked city rivals Everton 5-0 with the clinical Ian Rush plundering four goals.

This match saw the revolution of the song as new verses were added.

It goes like this…

Can I tell you the story of a poor boy

Who was sent far away from his home

To fight for his king and his country

And also, the old folks back home

Now they put him in a Highland division

Sent him off to a far foreign land

Where the flies flew around in their thousands

And there’s nothing to see but the sand

Well, the battle started next morning

Under the Libyan sun

I remember that poor Scouser Tommy

Who was shot by an old nazi gun

As he lay on the battle field dying, dying, dying

With blood gushing out of his head

As he lay on the battle field dying, dying, dying

These were the last words he said…

Oh… I am a Liverpudlian

I come from the Spion Kop

I like to sing, I like to shout

I go there quite a lot, every week

We support the team that’s dressed in Red

A team that you all know

A team that we call Liverpool

And to glory we will go

We’ve won the League, we’ve won the Cup

And we’ve been to Europe too

We played the Toffees for a laugh

And we left them feeling blue – Five Nil!

One two

One, two, three

One, two, three, four

Five nil!

Rush scored one

Rush scored two

Rush scored three

And Rush scored four

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na

All You Need Is Rush, de de de de de

All You Need Is Rush, de de de de de

All You Need Is Rush, Rush,

Rush Is All You Need.

flags on the kop

And so, it is an incredibly inspiring song due to its war roots.

But interestingly, other teams have adapted it and tried to make their own version of Liverpool’s famous chant.

Meanwhile, the ‘all you need is Rush’ element comes from the song ‘All you need is love’ by the world-famous hometown heroes, The Beatles.

The song has seen Liverpool conquer Europe, as well as produce memorable results, as well as being heard in cries of happiness during victory parades of the club’s trophy wins in recent years.

Let’s hope the song can be chanted with more celebrations of glory from Liverpool FC in memory of dear Tommy.

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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