Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

'It can go for me; I hate it': Ex-England hooker Brian Moore weighs in on Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ban debate

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Allsport/Getty Images)

Former England hooker and media pundit Brian Moore has weighed in heavily on the heated Swing Low, Sweet Chariot debate, claiming that “it’s crap as a national song” because it has no relevance to the English and should no longer be sung at matches. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Written in the mid-19th century by Wallace Willis, who was a black American slave, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is an anthem for England rugby fans, but the RFU now wants to help raise awareness and educate fans about the song’s origins.

It comes following the growing awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement in UK sports in recent weeks. After the RFU admitted the song was now under review, a lively discussion has ensued about whether it should be banned from being sung at Twickenham. 

Video Spacer

Premiership referee JP Doyle guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

Video Spacer

Premiership referee JP Doyle guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

Moore, whose 64-cap England career stretched from 1987 to 1995, outlined his thoughts about Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on Twitter, addressing what he believes to be the apocryphal story about the song.

It is commonly believed that that the use of the song at Twickenham relates to Chris Oti, a black ex-England player who scored a Five Nations try hat-trick in 1988, or Martin Offiah’s appearance at the Middlesex Sevens in 1987, as a play on his nickname ‘Chariots Offiah’.  

Moore concluded that his preference would be for the RFU to ban the song. “It can go for me; I hate it,” he said.

Offiah also commented on the debate when speaking to BBC 5 Live, saying: “I champion the RFU reviewing it, I wouldn’t support the banning of such a song. When you do try to ban things like that it just makes the song more divisive.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If this review leads to the RFU putting a positive spin on this song, engaging with ethnic communities, looking at the rooms where decisions are made in the RFU and addressing those issues, that’s what we actually want.”

The debate went right to the top politically in England on Friday with Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating people should not be prohibited from singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot at England rugby matches.

He said: “I certainly don’t think there should be any prohibition on singing that song.” He explained that people from ethnic minority backgrounds should not face “unfairness” in any area of life, but that there should be less focus on “the symbols of discrimination”.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

T
Tim 12 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

2 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Ciaran Frawley's career now hanging 'in the balance' Ciaran Frawley's career now hanging in the balance claims Ireland star
Search