Hibs-Hearts Scottish Cup final: Rival fans compose cup final odes

Norval Barclay, left, and Mike Mulgrew. Picture: Jayne Wright
Norval Barclay, left, and Mike Mulgrew. Picture: Jayne Wright
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CUP final anthems in honour of both Capital teams have been released, ahead of the Edinburgh “derby of the century” at Hampden next Saturday.

Two songwriters from either side of the city’s footballing divide have written odes to their beloved clubs which they hope could be a hit with fans at the post-victory bash in Easter Road or Tynecastle.

Norval Barclay, left, and Mike Mulgrew. Picture: Jayne Wright

Norval Barclay, left, and Mike Mulgrew. Picture: Jayne Wright

Hearts-daft musician Mike Mulgrew, 49, was inspired to score his upbeat offering with a rousing refrain after the Gorgie club’s semi-final win over Celtic.

The track, On The March With the Heart of Midlothian, has attracted 1600 hits online but provoked a lukewarm response from the Tynecastle faithful.

“I started the ball rolling after the semis to see if I could get the song sung at the final – which would be great,” he said. “So far there’s been a mixed reaction because a lot of the supporters don’t really like change.”

“Some people have said it’s a bit too modern and they would prefer more a traditional tune.”

Across the city, seasoned performer Norval Barclay penned a ballad to his boyhood heroes in an evening but later invited around 10 professional musicians to help record the piece.

The song, Back Home to Leith, which features the stirring chorus “First to wear green, We never give up, We’ll fight to the end, To bring home the cup,” has been well received by the online Hibs fraternity.

“The reason I created the Hibs song was that I listened to the Hearts one by Michael and thought it is dreadful,” quipped the 42-year-old. “So I thought I’ll write one and it’ll at least be in tune.”

In a whirlwind weekend of recording, Norval then presented the anthem to Hibs chiefs ahead of the relegation dogfight with Dunfermline on Monday evening – and was amazed to hear it playing over the PA at half-time.

“It was great fun watching all the faces in the crowd wondering what the song was,” he said. “We’ve got a few nice comments on the Hibs forums and it’s been really well received.”

Asked for a critique of the Leith ballad, Hearts fan Mike said: “I told Norval ‘You can’t dance to that one!’ but he’s a good songwriter and it’s a good song.

“I suppose we are coming at it from a different angle. His is perhaps a bit more traditional whereas mine is more modern with a catchy chorus.”

A Hearts spokesman said the club could not rule out playing Mike’s single at the stadium victory party, should they take home the cup.

“I hope it hits the high notes with Hearts supporters,” he added.

Both city composers have been life-long devotees of their respective clubs.

• Norval Barclay’s track “Back Home to Leith” is available online for £1 with the proceeds of all downloads before May 19 being donated to a local children’s charity. Find it at: norvalbarclay.bandcamp.com

• Mike Mulgrew’s single “On the March With the Heart of Midlothian” can be downloaded at soundcloud.com/the-maroon-six/the-maroon-6-on-the-march-with

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com