The Pretenders, ‘I’ll Stand By You’ and Hate Will Never Win

Gardening, The Royal Family, Weddings, Royal Weddings, Eurovision and Football. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you get to know the subject matter that’s best to avoid, as it really doesn’t resonate with your readership. The aforementioned topics are the ones I now try and avoid, but this blog is primarily my web-diary, so last week it felt necessary to write about football, and more specifically the Euro 2020 final that was going to be held on the Sunday. I focussed on the happy memories I had of watching past tournaments with my dad, and of populating large wallcharts with scorelines which would eventually lead to a winner. I am a Scot, but I would be supporting England, a home nation who for the first time in 55 years had made it to the final of a big tournament.

Like most of us, I had hoped that with so many fans of all ages and backgrounds hooked on the tournament, the negative and ugly side of football would be kept at bay. Sadly this wasn’t to be and after the final, when a penalty shoot-out didn’t go their way, a minority took to social media spouting vile abuse, aimed at the players whose penalties had been very unluckily saved. But…, it only took around 24 hours for all that negativity to be swept aside ten times over, by the positive and supportive comments left by the vast majority who were proud of their team and all they had achieved. The black players who had been the target of some horrific trolling only a day earlier, were now swathed in love and support. Closer to home, some of my middle-aged, white, female ‘Facebook friends’ even popped their heads above the parapet for the first time in ages, and posted their support for these young, black, English players. If you are a mum there is nothing that raises your hackles more than the bullying and abuse of someone’s child, whatever their age, and these ladies were having none of it.

A hug from someone who knows exactly how it feels – and he’s not done too badly for himself

I really need to start posting more regularly around here as I love researching and finding out so much more about the songs I grew up listening to, but the web-diary element has taken over at the moment it seems. Last week I focused on the build up to the football final and now it has been its aftermath. I think we can all agree it’s not the game itself that’s particularly to blame for all the hate and ugliness, but rather that something has gone terribly wrong in society as a whole to make such behaviour even possible. We all have our theories but probably too big a topic for this little blog. Best to simply share an appropriate song that champions looking out for each other when life gets tough. What comes to mind is this one – I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders from 1994.

I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders:

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – I promise to get back to the music and memories aspect of this blog soon, but sometimes there is just so much going on in the country as a whole that it’s hard to focus on anything else. The football tournament gave many of us a lift, just when we needed it, but sadly the bad behaviour of a minority ultimately soured the whole experience. It soon became clear however that social media can also be a force for good, and I hope the players who subsequently received a deluge of caring messages from both supporters and non-supporters alike, have been heartened by them.

I will leave you with a happier image of Bukayo Saka having a bit of R&R ahead of the big final last Sunday. Let’s hope he gets that same smile back on his lovely face soon.

Until next time…

I’ll Stand By You
(Song by Chrissie Hynde/Tom Kelly/Billy Steinberg)

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now

Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

So if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now

Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you
When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you

And when…
When the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you


It didn’t seem appropriate to include my only Chrissie Hynde anecdote in the main body of this latest post, but in case anyone hasn’t seen it already, here it is again, cut and paste from an earlier post.

From July 2017:

Our mini Glastonbury is called the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and looking at the line-up, the band that jumps out at me first is the Pretenders. That would be because they appeared at our Students’ Union in 1979, the week they were at No.1 in the UK Singles Chart with Brass In Pocket. A fortuitous booking had obviously been made some time before by the incumbent Union President – Oh yes, that would have been Sky News reporter Glen Oglaza. Back then however he looked a bit like a bearded Frank Zappa. What happened to the hair Glen?

My friend Stuart worked on our student newspaper, The Gaudie, which is the oldest in the UK apparently, and got the sought after gig of interviewing Ms Hynde before she went on stage. Chrissie Hynde is one of those timeless looking ladies, a rock chick whose style has changed very little over the decades. Sadly that evening she had decided to cut her trademark long fringe and it had all gone horribly wrong – She was not in the best of moods and the interview was not quite as exciting for the interviewer, as it should have been. A lesson was obviously learnt that night as I don’t remember ever seeing her with anything other the style shown below – She found her look early on and decided to stick with it.

Chrissie Hynde with her trademark long fringe

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.

4 thoughts on “The Pretenders, ‘I’ll Stand By You’ and Hate Will Never Win”

  1. It makes me so angry but, above all, just so sad. I struggle to understand why/how there is so much hatred in these people, how they get through life without knowing compassion or empathy. I wonder how they would have reacted had the final score tipped the other way, which it could so easily have done? Would they have put their abhorrent racist views conveniently aside so they could boast about “their” team? But so heartened at the positive response which was so much greater than the original negativity. It helps to reassure me that the majority of people, who are also often the ones who don’t feel the need to make a big song and dance about their views, are good and kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by C as I know football isn’t your thing but it’s all got a bit bigger than just the game now. It isn’t new to have an unsavoury element attached to football, but with social media they now have an unfettered platform to spout their vile abuse should they feel inclined. What really reassured me was that so many people from all walks of life and backgrounds took to social media for the first time in ages this week to show that most people are, as you say, good and kind.

      What prompted the above post was this – I don’t know if you remember but a few years ago I wrote a tribute post for my friend’s brother who had died suddenly and was a well-known Scottish footballer and manager. She never takes to social media but I think the memories of what she and her mum had to endure when going to watch matches back in the day all came back to her, and she became incensed by what was going on. If the scorelines didn’t go the right way, the players and manager were sometimes subject to the most awful abuse and as a sister and mother it was hard to take. Now with social media it is so much worse. I don’t suppose the players will ever see her personal message of support, but as I say, because there were just so many, they must be reassured that the vast majority of people are proud of what they achieved – The best set of results for 55 years.

      Time to move on now – I think I need a return to a bit of calmer music blogging but wait a minute, what’s happening tomorrow? Oh yes, Freedom Day. Argh…, I dread to think what that will bring.


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