The way Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp explains it is, “It never stops giving you goosebumps,” The anthem of our team, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry and the Pacemakers, was not the reason why Klopp came to Liverpool, but he spoke about the moment he first heard it at the stadium and how it strengthened his conviction that he had made the right decision to come to Merseyside.
If the whole philosophy of Klopp could be summarized in one song – cohesion in tough times, confidence in others’ skill, the conviction that better days lie ahead – it would be You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Since it topped the British charts in 1963 and offered joy and consolation in triumphs and tragedies in the decades that followed, it has become the club’s anthem. Fans now mourn the death, at the age of 78, of the man who sang it, Gerry Marsden. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was not Marsden’s song – it started as a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel.”
As a child, Marsden fell in love with the song, and the timing couldn’t have been better for the local boys’ hit version. The lyrics about solidarity and unification – “when you’re going through a storm, hold your head high and don’t be afraid of the dark” – were a great match for a club that was being rebuilt by the legendary Bill Shankly based on socialist principles. No wonder it was embraced by other players, including Celtic, Feyenoord and, amusingly enough, Klopp’s two former German clubs, Borussia Dortmund and Mainz.
At home, before kickoff, the sounds.
At away games, it’s played to pull the team over the line when victory is within reach. The song is a myth: fans at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium sang an especially rousing version when Liverpool trailed AC Milan 0-3 at halftime in the 2005 Champions League final – all but losing a soccer match. It is easy to argue that “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is the link between Shankly, Dalglish, Benítez and Klopp, a kind of musical shoe-in which describes the Liverpool way: that the success of a team, no matter how audacious the style, is not just the product of signing outstanding talent, but rather the promotion of a harmonious sense of unity that runs through the whole club, from the players and the style. Although it does have a deeper meaning as well.
“walk on through the wind,”walk on through the wind,”walk on through the rain … and you’ll never walk alone.”walk on through the rain… and you’ll never walk alone.”move on.”move on.
Marsden himself led an emotional version of the song during the remembrance concert at Anfield in 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Shortly after the pandemic pushed the U.K. into 2020, Klopp talked in lockdown about how, while on duty, he heard NHS frontline workers singing the tune. “I was sent a video of people in the hospital outside the intensive care unit and when they started singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, I immediately started crying,” he said. “It is amazing.
“But it all goes to show that not only do these people work, but they have such a good spirit. “Maybe that’s the song’s ultimate magic – that it transcends its position as perhaps the most popular patio anthem in the world and provides warmth and solidarity to those facing adversity.
“As the lyrics promise, “At the end of the storm / There’s a golden sky / And the lark’s sweet silver album.” It’s a message that right now I’m sure we can all use.