Good old Collingwood forever,
They know how to play the game.
Side by side we stick together,
To uphold the Magpies name.
See the barrackers a shouting,
As all barrackers should.
Oh, the premiership's a cakewalk,
For the good old Collingwood.
The Collingwood theme song had its origins in the United States of America during the Spanish-American War of 1898, when it was written by Will D. Cobb and Paul Barnes. Its popularity grew during the Boer War in South Africa, and it was Collingwood player Tom Nelson (3 games) who used the music of Goodbye Dolly Gray as the basis for Good Old Collingwood Forever in 1906.
The relevant lyrics adapted from Goodbye Dolly Gray are as follows:
Goodbye Dolly I must leave you,
Though it breaks my heart to go.
Something tells me I am needed,
At the front to fight the foe.
See – the boys in blue are marching,
And I can no longer stay.
Hark – I hear the bugle calling,
Goodbye Dolly Gray.
A ‘cakewalk’ is a dance that arose from a Black American contest in graceful walking. The winner’s prize was a cake. The term has been controversial during the post 1958 era, and its line was in fact changed to “There is just one team we favour” in 1983. It soon returned to its former guise.
An unofficial addition to the theme song is the line ‘Cor Blimey’, which has been sung by the players after the fourth line of the theme song since the 1920s, according to an interview with Collingwood legend Harry Collier in the 1996 documentary 100 Years of Australian Football. It is not included in the official recording.