Clash of derby songs

Tom Moriarty
Tom Moriarty
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FORGET the Steel City derby later in the month - it seems Owls and Blades fans are being put at the centre of another rivalry this season.

Two proto-pop stars are going head-to-head by releasing their versions of Singing The Blues and The Greasy Chip Butty Song.

Carla May

Carla May

And, because both singles are in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, the generosity of both sets of supporters is at stake.

Singer-songwriter Tom Moriarty is to put out the Wednesday number complete with reference to the (in)famous Boxing Day Massacre; while Doncaster-based schoolgirl Carla May is to offer up a classic version of Annie’s Song, the inspiration behind the Blades fabled chant.

“It’s a bit of fun but it’s being done for a serious cause,” says Tony McDonagh, director of Manilla, the music PR firm which has organised the pop derby.

“We’re releasing a series of these records around the country where up-and-coming stars sing local footy songs in aid of local charities.

“For us it’s just a great way of getting their names out there, while also doing something for a good cause.”

It may be about that for Tony but for Tom, it seems there’s serious rivalry at stake.

“Okay, first things first, I confess I’m from St Albans and I’ve never been to Hillsborough,” says the London-based singer-songwriter. “I chose the song because I’m a blues artist and I love the original.

“But I’m not even kidding that since I’ve been involved with this project I’m becoming obsessed with Wednesday.

“I’m finding myself on the website too much and I’ve been trying to get tickets for the derby. I was genuinely happy when United lost on Saturday and we moved to fourth.

“I’m coming to Sheffield to do promo duties so I’ll be trying to see a game.”

For Carla, meanwhile, it’s even more personal.

The 14-year-old is something of a regular at Bramall Lane, when she’s not pursuing her starlet dream.

“I’d love the chance to sing the song live there,” says youngster of Sprotbrough. “I’ve changed the words back to the original Annie’s Song. We thought about keeping the Greasy Chip Butty lyrics but I think the original will have wider appeal - and, after all, the main point is beating Wednesday.

“Well...the main point is doing something for Sheffield Children’s Hospital but beating Wednesday would be sweet.”

Around the country, nine other songs have been recorded for different sides with Quadrophenia legend Phil Daniels singing Chelsea number The Cockney Alarm.

Manchester City obsessives The Travelling Band are also performing Blue Moon.

But with 90 per cent of money made by the Sheffield songs going to the children’s hospital, it seems here, at least, chart positions as well as league positions are up for grabs this year.

n The songs are available as digital download from November 7.