The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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A Musical Tour Through Euro 2008

The steady drumbeat of tension that fills the air in the build-up to Wednesday’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifying matches can only mean one thing…it’s time to get out your dancing shoes. Double-knot the laces, button up your karaoke sweater, and join us on a musical voyage through the best and worst of the competition so far.

RAY CHARLES | It Should Have Been Me
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REQUESTED BY: Belgium, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Scotland, Ukraine, Faroe Islands, Lithuania, Georgia, Malta, Moldova, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, San Marino, Israel, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Andorra, Iceland, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Albania, Belarus, and Luxembourg.
DEDICATED TO: Everyone else.
BECAUSE: The minimum standard for success in European competition should be outlasting the Faroe Islands. These are the teams that didn’t.
MESSAGE: What, you think we’re jealous? Pah! Is it our fault we live in a country the size of Roman Abramovich’s swim trunks? All right, maybe Ukraine ought to be a tiny bit deflated, but the rest of us? We’ll be fine. We know what we deserve. It’s better not to work in the summer anyway. You go play your big tournament, we’ll meet up in Albania and have a…great time.

DUKE ELLINGTON | I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So
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REQUESTED BY: Poland, Italy, France, Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Austria and Holland.
DEDICATED TO: Themselves.
IN HONOR OF: Their qualification for Euro 2008.
MESSAGE: Have you ever been to Salzburg in the summertime? The Weißbier, the schnitzel, the morning light on the Salzach…really a dream, don’t you know. We were just telling Lampsy the other day how simply delicious it is to sit and read all day in the gardens at the Mirabell Palace—positively decadent, you know. Well, we ought to enjoy it, really; we’ve earned it. Pull the Bentley round and let’s drive down to check the mail.

[music link expired]

REQUESTED BY: Portugal, Finland, Serbia, Turkey, Norway, England, Russia, Sweden, and Northern Ireland.
DEDICATED TO: Their fans.
BECAUSE: There are nine countries left vying for the four remaining spots in groups A, C, E and F. Tapping us softly on the shoulder and quietly clearing its throat, mathematics tentatively suggests that most of them will not be allowed to make it.
MESSAGE (ALSO FROM MATHEMATICS): Sweden? Turkey? Portugal? England? All here? Oh, yes. Good good. Well. I don’t like to say anything in front of the others, you see, but… Perhaps I will see you later. [Winking obviously, pointing three or four times at the door.]

STUFF SMITH | Here Comes the Man with the Jive
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REQUESTED BY: One Stephen “Steve” McClaren.
IN HONOR OF: His rather conveniently scoring for Israel in the final minute against Russia, thus doing more to buck up English hopes than anyone since George V changed the family name to Windsor.
MESSAGE: Omer, Omer, my boy! Rather a good turn you’ve done for me, don’t you know! Why, I wouldn’t half like to suit you up for England on Wednesday. I couldn’t play you, of course, but you’d make a fine backup for Lampard and Gerrard, Omer, a very fine backup indeed.

PELLE CARLBERG | I Love You, You Imbecile
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REQUESTED BY: The England team.
DEDICATED TO: Steve McClaren.
IN HONOR OF: Omer Golan’s rather conveniently scoring for Israel in the final minute against Russia, thus doing more to buck up English hopes than anyone since Tom Sayers licked the Tipton Slasher.
MESSAGE (SINGING ALONG): All we wantall we need…is you. We can live with all the stupid things you do.

FELT | I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You
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REQUESTED BY: Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez.
DEDICATED TO: The players and people of Scotland.
BECAUSE: A linesman is only a man, after all, and a man is fallible.
MESSAGE: Scotland, I’ve done you wrong. I’ve hurt you, Scotland. I know it. Scotland, you were right all along. That free kick should have gone the other way. It was Chiellini, not Hutton, who committed the foul, and you saw it from the beginning, Scotland, while I…I was a fool. I was a fool, Scotland, and for being a fool, I apologize. I only hope you can forgive me, Scotland. My sister’s getting married later this summer, and I was wondering if you would— Scotland? Where are you going, Scotland? Scotland?

Songs are listed for promotional purposes only. Music links expire in ten days. If you are a copyright holder and wish to have a work removed from this list, please email us here. If you have an idea for a future Musical Tour, please email us here. Yes, it’s the same email address.

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A Musical Tour Through Euro 2008

by Brian Phillips · November 19, 2007

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