Our Local Boy Does Good, John Gordon Sinclair and ‘We Have A Dream’!

I come from a football loving family, and my dad played for our village team until he was in his thirties, but over the years I’ve kind of lost interest in following any particular team. Mr WIAA has never been a fan, and once DD’s boyfriend moved south, I stopped following the local side he used to work for.

I do enjoy the big tournaments however, like The World Cup and The Euros. Maybe it’s the geographer in me, but from a young age I was fascinated by this coming together of teams from around the world, with their different strips and flags. You could kind of work out a nation’s history from its football squad and the names were often so exotic sounding – Eusébio, Maradona and Jairzinho, so different from those of our homegrown players. Also, for a few weeks there is usually a frisson of excitement in the air, if one of our home nations is doing well. For once, there is something other than doom and gloom in the news.

Sadly, it’s been a long, long time since Scotland made it to the finals of a big tournament but on Thursday night, out in Belgrade, they did, and whether you’re a football fan or not it seems to have given our nation a bit of a lift in this last quarter of what has been a shitty year. Even better for us in the North of Scotland, the hero of the night was one of our own. Ryan Christie used to play for our local team, as did his dad Charlie, so his family are well known. The poor lad became visibly emotional when recounting his experience of the night and as I want to keep hold of this clip I’m going to shoehorn it in here.

There have been some truly terrible football songs written over the years but back in 1982 something a bit different was chosen as the official song to accompany Scotland’s World Cup campaign. It was written and produced by BA Robertson who was quite prolific in the late ’70s/early ’80s with hits such as Bang Bang and To Be Or Not To Be. Anyway, the masterstroke was choosing a youthful John Gordon Sinclair to take on the song’s ‘spoken word’ duties. He’d just made the wonderful coming-of-age film Gregory’s Girl and had become a bit of a star. The 1982 World Cup didn’t go that well for Scotland but the song did, reaching No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. (Scottish readers will spot the legend that is Christian amongst the players, in his kilt – Not quite sure how he ended up on the record but he certainly seems to be enjoying himself.)

We Have A Dream by BA Robertson, John Gordon Sinclair and The Scotland World Cup Squad:

So, ‘What’s it all about?’ – Of course the irony is that the tournament we’ve just qualified for is The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, which will now be held in 2021…, or will it? At the moment we can’t really predict that far ahead but with good news about possible vaccine breakthroughs coming this week too, let’s hope, nearly 40 years on, we yet again have a chance to dream.

Until next time….

We Have A Dream Lyrics
(Song by BA Robertson)

I awoke in the night with a fever and the sky was the darkest blue and a still voice was calling to me
“Your country is needing you” Aye just like that.
And away in the distance I can just make out this ball, coming in from the left, and I’m starting to run, to run like hell

and the voices are getting louder and louder and louder, crying,
“Hey big yin, gaun yersel'”

I have a dream (we have a dream)
If dreams come true (If dreams come true)
Then bonny Scotland (then bonny Scotland)
I will play for you. (we’ll play for you)
Now i hope and i pray (we hope and pray)
That if, if I do (that if we do)
Then bonny Scotland we’ll play for you

Now the next thing I know, someone’s gaun and tripped me and I’ve fallen just inside the box (that’s a penalty)
Now the ref he looks to his linesman and he’s pointing right at the spot! (that’s brilliant)
Now John Robertson, who normally takes them, is handing the ball to me (you don’t say)
and then I hear ma old lady screamin’ blue murder, she’s saying, “that’s no the ball yer kickin’ ya eejit, its me!”

I have a dream (we have a dream)
If dreams come true (If dreams come true)
Then bonny Scotland (then bonny Scotland)
I will play for you. (we’ll play for you)
Now i hope and i pray (we hope and pray)
That if, if I do (that if we do)
Then bonny Scotland we’ll play for you

We have a dream,
If dreams come true,
Then bonny Scotland,
We’ll play for you.
We hope and pray (we hope and pray)
That if we do (that if we do)
Then bonny Scotland we’ll play for you

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

13 thoughts on “Our Local Boy Does Good, John Gordon Sinclair and ‘We Have A Dream’!”

  1. Old song, dear, from the musical “South Pacific” called “Happy Talk.” One of the lines goes, “You’ve got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how ya gonna have a dream come true?”

    Dream often, and dream big, and may all your dreams come true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Happy Talk from South Pacific and it was successfully covered by Captain Sensible from The Damned in the early ’80s.

      This song is a totally different animal but yes, it pays to dream often and dream big. Let’s hope those dreams come true when The Euros kick off.


    1. I think I’ll have to add a postscript, but in the meantime to explain your comment, here is an excellent clip (best bit kicks in at 1:00). A bunch of millennial Scottish football players adopt a 1970s disco classic by a couple of Spanish girls! Social media has a lot to answer for.


  2. My god they put us through the wringer. I’d thought that in all the time I’d been watching Scotland destroy my nerves (1973 Czechoslovakia being my initiation) they’d surely exhausted all possible methods of torture but what did I know.
    Thursday night was shaping up, for the first 89ish minutes, to be one of our finest European displays….then BOOM…but we held out and showed great character to win the penalty shootout…..please please please stop doing this to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember well watching a penalty shoot out with my dad many years ago. All through it he kept saying it was a terrible way to decide a match. Truly terrible. Shouldn’t be allowed. When our team won he suddenly cheered up and said, “but it’s ok if your team wins.” Indeed dad, if he was still with us, he’d be chuffed to bits.


  3. Reblogged this on What's It All About? and commented:

    I’m currently on holiday and as it’s a lovely sunny day we’ve just been sunbathing on a beach in Sutherland. Being able to do this is a rare occurrence here in Scotland, as is being able to watch our national football team take part in a big tournament, but lo and behold, today seems to be the day for both of these wondrous happenings. Imagine my delight therefore when the first song that popped up on my music device earlier, after pressing shuffle, was this one! I really hope it’s a good omen for tonight’s big match – COME ON SCOTLAND.

    Liked by 1 person

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