Audere Est Facere, Kenny Foster, and Singing In A Bar
I promise. I won’t start too many of my blogs with a Latin phrase. Honest.
Audere Est Facere is the motto of Tottenham Hotspur, a football club in North London, England. It means “To Dare Is To Do,” which is a pretty good motto to have—not just for an English football team.
By the way, I’m going to call it “football” instead of “soccer” because soccer has always seemed a strange word to me.
I really came late to football—late seventies or early eighties if I recall correctly. The first team I saw playing was Tottenham Hotspur (also known simply as Spurs). Back then, there was really no way for fans around the world to connect with each other..until the nineties came along. Then we could connect via (a very slow) internet, and connect I did! In the old days, the Spurs List would arrive in my inbox and I could talk to other Spurs fans around the world. I made some very good friends around the world from the Spurs list—friends I still have today. And in the late nineties, I founded the Spurs Supporters Club of Canada in Toronto.
In 2001, I made the move to England and, despite living in different cities and towns around the country, I was able to make the trip to North London and see many matches over the years. It was at White Hart Lane, where Spurs play their home games, that I really came to understand the idea of singing during the games. It’s one thing to see on TV, but quite another to experience live. Tens of thousands of fans singing songs adapted to encourage their team or insult the other team; songs adapted to encourage certain players or, again, to insult other players; some songs are steeped in tradition (Glory, glory, Tottenham Hotspur—to the tune of Glory, glory, Hallelujah) or more recent (Here we are, rock you like Harry Kane—to the tune of Rock You Like A Hurricane). Sometimes fans in the stands will sing songs insulting each other. It’s all good fun.
After returning to the US in 2011, I didn’t see many games on tv. Sports channels don’t carry every team every game, and with a six hour time difference between Nashville and London, most games are shown early on a Saturday morning. Still a Spurs supporter, I sort of drifted away from the game.
That was, until I interviewed a singer/songwriter named Kenny Foster for Nashville Access. Kenny is from Missouri and now lives in Nashville when he’s not on the road. In the interview, it came up that Kenny was not only a Spurs supporter like me, but that he had a connection with the team: he had been chosen by Tottenham Hotspur management to perform at a team dinner. Now, Kenny is no slouch. A really talented singer and songwriter, he had been picked by Rolling Stone Country as one of their “Artists To Watch.” There are some pretty famous Spurs supporters, too. Rumor has it that Bob Marley, Shania Twain, Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton, Phil Collins and Bryan Adams are/were all Tottenham Hotspur fans.
In our interview, Kenny mentioned that Nashville has a Spurs Supporters club, called Nashville Spurs, and he invited me to come out some time. Now, that’s where you can find me most Saturday mornings: with the other Spurs supporters in Nashville, watching a match from the other side of the Atlantic. I let the others sing—no one deserves to hear me do that. In fact, some Spurs supporters have suggest that I join an Arsenal (Spurs arch-rivals) club and sing for them. Anyway, I’d rather sit and absorb the environment.
Singing has long been a tradition in football. And I’m happy to see it continued here. Especially in Music City.
I’ll leave you this week, with this quote—and it applies whether you’re business is music, football, or anything else for that matter: "It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory." - Bill Nicholson
Thanks for reading.