West Ham United, despite their recent struggles, have a rich history and a passionate fan base. One of the most iconic aspects of being a West Ham supporter is singing the club’s anthem, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” But why do West Ham fans sing this particular song?
The origins of the chant can be traced back almost a century. The song was originally composed for the 1918 Broadway musical ‘The Passing Show’ by John Kellette and Jaan Kenbrovin, who used the collective pseudonym James Kendis, James Brockman, and Nat Vincent.
In the late 1920s, former West Ham manager Charlie Paynter introduced the song to the club. Paynter was friends with Cornelius Beal, the headmaster of Park School, which was located near Upton Park. At that time, schoolboy football was immensely popular, and one of the players at Park School was Billy J. Murray, who was nicknamed ‘Bubbles.’
Murray earned this nickname due to his resemblance to a figure in John Everett Millais’ painting ‘Bubbles,’ which was featured in a Pears soap advertisement. Beal, Murray’s headmaster, started singing the tune “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” but modified the lyrics to praise his school players when they performed well.
Murray eventually joined West Ham’s youth team, and many of his teammates also made it to the first team. The nickname ‘Bubbles’ became associated with this group of young Hammers stars, and the fans embraced the popular music hall tune as well.
The lyrics of the song are as follows:
“I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
They reach the sky,
And like my dreams, they fade and die!
Fortunes always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air!”
The song has become an integral part of West Ham’s identity, with fans singing it before every home game. It represents the loyalty and passion of the supporters, who continue to cheer on their team despite the challenges they face.
While West Ham may not have had much to celebrate recently, their fans remain dedicated and will undoubtedly continue to sing “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” with pride.
At West Ham United Football Club, one of the most popular and beloved English football clubs, the pre-game ritual of blowing bubbles is an iconic part of the match day experience. The tradition is so popular, it is seen as a symbol of West Ham’s unique identity.
But why is this club known for its bubble-blowing tradition? While the exact origin is unknown, the ritual is believed to have started during the 1980s, when it quickly became popular with West Ham fans. Since then, it has become synonymous with the club in a way that is both passionate and comforting. It is a way for supporters to show their loyalty to the team, as well as a way of ushering in the match in a celebratory fashion.
The anthem that West Ham fans typically recite during the bubble-blowing ritual is “I’m forever blowing bubbles.” The lyrics, as well as the song’s origins, are steeped in a fascinating bit of footballing history. The original version of the song was recorded by the American duo The Champs in 1919 to commemorate a newly formed football team, Leeds Town. The tune was adapted by West Ham fans in the 1980s, with the lyrics altered to reflect the club’s identity and history.
The chorus of the West Ham rendition, which has become the club’s official anthem, goes as follows: “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky then like my dreams, they fade and die. Fortune’s always hiding, I’ve looked everywhere. I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air.”
The combination of the bubble-blowing ritual and the accompanying anthem illustrate the passionate connection that West Ham’s fans have with their team. The tradition represents the club’s unique identity and has come to symbolize the fan base’s unwavering loyalty to West Ham United.