TOWNIES CLUB SONG
"STEP TO THE REAR"
I hear the crowd
Begin to cheer
Get on your knees now ’cause there is a Townie near
Will everyone here kindly step to the rear
And let a Townies lead the way,
We show other clubs how the game should be played,
The goals should be made
The teamwork really kills them,
Towns are the best
And unlike all the rest
Determination is our game,
The club men are great
Every fellows your mate
And we’d like you to join in and say,
Would everyone here kindly step to the rear
And let the Townies lead the way,
And let the Townies lead the way.
Tune: “Step To The Rear”
Year written: 1973
From the stage show: “How Now, Dow Jones”
Recorded by: Teresa Brewer on Festival Records (Featured on YouTube)
Arrangement: Bryan Craig (member)
Words to song/re-written by: B Craig, P Dabinett, J Leslie, I Carter and a couple of others.
History of The Townies Club Song
The music for our club song “Step To The Rear” is from a Broadway musical. It was published in 1973 and was featured in the musical “How Now, Dow Jones” a play based around the stock market in the USA.
In 1979 Ian Ridings brought his then boss, Bryan Craig to the club for a drink and Bryan made many friends across the club through business and socialising. The club had a piano at this time and Bryan performed for the members some of his renditions of “Three Blind Mice” and “Grandfathers Clock” using his classical training to great effect.
One night Bryan brought this song into the club and suggested that we look at it in order to have a Club Song. He had written some words to the music and asked for a group of players to have a look at making any improvements.
A panel including current board members Peter Dabinett, Ian Carter along with Jim Leslie and a couple of others, rewrote some of the lines, as Bryan was a Queenslander Rugby Lad whose ideas were a bit different. The lyrics were finally settled and a group of about 12 players were taken to Recording Studios at Somerton Park.
The owner of the studio then tested all players for voice. One or two were rejected for failing to obtain a pitch. Of course there was then some disappointment and dissent, but after quite a few takes, the song was acceptable for 1979 and the studios cut a number of 45’s of the song that were sold at the club.
Probably only 1 or 2 would exist now, but Peter Dabinett had recorded the song on a tape. It was taken into a studio and cleaned up through a computer programme.
Compared to AFL club songs, “Step To The Rear” is a comparatively young piece of music. For instance the Carlton Club Song is a “Lily of Laguna” and the other clubs have similar songs taken from the 1930’s or before.
During it’s early launch it was sneered at by rival clubs, but after «The Towns» had a few premierships behind them, especially during the SAFA era, it became hated by rivals. The club played it over the outside amplifier when we won and the district also knew the words.
Times change and players sing it differently, but the words stay intact. It is your song as a «Townie» to sing when we win and learning the tune and words are important, as is being a member. Be proud in being different from all the “copy clubs” of the other leagues.
Bryan Craig is alive and residing in the Adelaide metropolitan area. He still attends luncheons with his «Townie» friends.