No one likes us, we don't care

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At the parade celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl victory today, Eagles center Jason Kelce (decked out in a Mummer suit) led the crowd in a rousing chant that fits the team's underdog mentality:

No one likes us, no one likes us
No one likes us, we don't care
We're from Philly, fucking Philly
No one likes us, we don't care

It was the capper to an amazing five-minute rant, which should be enjoyed in its entirety (uncensored video here, transcript here). Kelce also sang the chant with fans on the sidelines of the parade.

As SB Nation explains, the chant was borrowed from the Sons of Ben, supporters of Philly's Major League Soccer team, the Philadelphia Union. There is in fact an entire Wikipedia page devoted to "No one likes us, we don't care" as a soccer chant, originating with southeast London's Millwall Football Club in the late 1970s.

No one likes us, no one likes us
No one likes us, we don't care
We are Millwall, super Millwall
We are Millwall from The Den

(The Den is Millwall's stadium.)

The original Millwall version of the chant was sung to the tune of "Sailing," first performed by the Sutherland Brothers in 1972 before becoming a hit for Rod Stewart in 1975.

But somewhere on the way to Philadelphia, the chant not only got more profane, it also changed its tune. Now it's sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine," which has also served as the basis for the children's song "Found a Peanut" and variations thereof.

The transatlantic circulation of the chant, with lyrics and melody morphing along the way, would make a fascinating case study in cultural transmission.

(Hat tip, Cynthia McLemore.)

Update: Here's the missing link, the appropriation of "No one likes us, we don't care" by Philadelphia Union fans, from 2015. (Reddit was not amused.)


  1. Ben Yagoda said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 8:17 pm

    Reminds me of the opening lines of Randy Newman's 1972 song "Political Science" (which the current occupant of the White House seems to have taken to heart):

    No one likes us
    I don't know why
    We may not be perfect
    But heaven knows we try
    But all around
    Even our old friends put us down
    Let's drop the big one
    And see what happens

  2. AntC said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 11:50 pm

    I'm relieved to see the Mummer costume no longer involves blackface.

    Otherwise the whole brouhaha seems a mystery (play). The coverage I've seen is like Ben's piece in not mentioning which sport the Philadelphia Eagles play. (I'm BrE so "Super Bowl" means nothing to me.)

  3. cameron said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 11:56 pm

    The chant is pretty good. But it's a shame they had to co-opt Millwall's chant, there're so many anti-Philly-fan cultural references they could have made reference to.

    The late 60s booing-Santa-Claus incident is well known. But it is of Philly fans (of all sports) and no other fans that it is said that they'd "boo the blind kid at an Easter-egg hunt". Likewise the line "on off days they go to the airport and boo bad landings" is only said of Philly fans.

  4. Keith said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 3:24 am

    I remember learning a similar song in primary school in the UK, known as "the worm song". There's some discussion on Wikipedia about it:

  5. Phil Ramsden said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 6:32 pm

    Philadelphia MLS fans nick a chant from the Millwall (though they get the tune wrong). Eagles fans then take it up in their turn.

    You know, I think soccer's place in US sports is now pretty secure. Nothing remotely like this could have happened twenty years ago.

  6. Mark Liberman said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 10:51 pm

    The real original:

  7. J.W. Brewer said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 11:04 pm

    I don't know about the soccer origins, but it has been expanded to encompass the entire country wherein the Milwall team is situated and the whole sweep of its history and culture.

    It's still England, it's still England
    No one likes us, we don't care
    It's still England, it's still England
    Syrup and figs and apples and pears

    (Most of the rest of the song is a magnificent Homeric catalog of a very wide array of English personages, groups, events, institutions, vulgarities etc that would make a pretty demanding cultural literacy test.)

  8. J.W. Brewer said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 11:06 pm

    Make that "syrup of figs" not "and." A damnyouautocorrect problem caused by insufficient exposure of the software to cockney rhyming slang.

  9. Terence Weik said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 11:24 pm

    Cameron, your post is the funniest thing I've ever read & it captures the kernal of the stereotype/caricature of Philly fans–but they are only the minority base/knuckleheads. OMG, ROFLMAO at the thought of the blind kid being booed by Birds fans, but it could happen, lol. Also funny is the booing of bad airport landings, too freaking funny & I'm a lifeling Philly born & bred fan: thanks for a great belly laugh!

  10. Pflaumbaum said,

    February 10, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

    The amazing thing about this story is that no English club, to my knowledge, thought to substitute “fucking” for “super” or the various other adjectives that can appear in line 3.

    Also of linguistic note, “super” in the South London accent of Millwall fans can optionally take the glottal stop for /p/, though I believe there is still some lip-rounding.

  11. Andrew Usher said,

    February 10, 2018 @ 8:25 pm

    J.W. Brewer:

    What rhyming slang is at issue here? Surely you shouldn't expect us to be familiar with it?

  12. Richard Hershberger said,

    February 10, 2018 @ 9:54 pm

    Phil Ramsden:

    "Nothing remotely like this could have happened twenty years ago."

    Oddly enough, something very much like this happened in 1889. "We are the people" was associated with the baseball New York Giants, who won the championship that year. It also was (and still is) the chant of the Glasgow Rangers football club. A plausible vector is that two baseball teams made a world tour 1888/1889, including visiting Britain. The borrowing is not ironclad. It could have been a coincidence. But I think the connection more likely than not.

  13. J.W. Brewer said,

    February 11, 2018 @ 11:50 am

    Andrew Usher: I'm not personally familiar with it, but the internet sez that

    "syrup of figs" = wig(s) &
    "apples and pears" = stairs

    How familiar the ordinary BrEng speaker would be with this particular pair I don't know, but they work in the context of a song aimed at celebrating the virtues of an (extremely internally varied) idiosyncratic Englishness. There are certainly other bits of rhyming slang I have learned over the course of my AmEng-native-speaker life in the context of interpreting otherwise cryptic lyrics by English rock songwriters (e.g. "Harry Rag" = fag in the sense of cigarette, in a song by Ray Davies, and "butcher's" as clipped for "butcher's hook" = "look", in a song by Robyn Hitchcock.) And again I don't know how transparent those usages would be to the average BrEng-native-speaker listener although it's unsurprising they're opaque to the average AmEng ear.

    You can now sometime find internet websites that annotate potentially cryptic lyrics, so that instance of "butcher's" is annotated here: But in olden times figuring this stuff out from the left side of the Atlantic could be a challenging endeavor.

  14. Andrew Usher said,

    February 13, 2018 @ 7:17 pm

    Thanks. I knew the latter one, at least. But I might add that the rhyming slang is not actually being used in the 'song' – it's either being mentioned (as an example of rhyming slang) or it's used with the literal meaning as with most of the words.

    I believe there's at least one common AmE word or expression that comes from rhyming slang, but I can't remember right now – of course, we would have no idea that's the origin. Indeed, Brits may not be sure, either, once a phrase becomes idiomatic enough!

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