When I learned that Gerry Marsden, lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers passed away I was intrigued that many of the tributes to him referenced the song, You’ll Never Walk Alone. While I remember the Pacemakers for their other big hit, Ferry Cross the Mersey, I didn’t realize that they covered the Rogers and Hammerstein classic from the musical Carousel.
Curious to learn more about this I found out that Marsden was so intrigued with this song that the Pacemakers recorded it in 1963 after which it quickly rose to the #1 single in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
As a result of this success the Liverpool Football Club (aka soccer) adopted the song as it official anthem which has since been followed by other clubs around the world doing likewise.
The song developed a new meaning and symbolism after two tragic fires in 1985 and 1989 in soccer stadiums that claimed the lives of more than 150 spectators.
Over the years the song has been sung around the world by Marsden and artists such as Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, The Three Tenors, Judy Garland, Renee Fleming and Pink Floyd just to mention a few.
More recently Dutch radio disc jockey Sander Hogendoorn called on radio stations throughout the country to air the song simultaneously in support of people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Stations from other European countries joined him with a total of 183 radio stations (and football stadium PA systems) playing You’ll Never Walk Alone simultaneously throughout Europe in support of individuals stricken with the disease and the essential workers who care for them.
While there are many recordings of this iconic anthem, I found this version performed by Andre Rieu and His Johann Straus Orchestra in Maastricht, Netherlands from November 2013 particularly moving. I challenge you to watch this 5-minute video without getting a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye. Enjoy!