South Sydney Rabbitohs - Players Song

There is a song that pans the history of the club and is sung after every victory by the players of South Sydney. It has been passed down by generation to generation but the words when it was first penned echo true to this day. It is sung loud and fast. Here are the words of that famous song as it is sung today -

And now that we're all round the bar
and the captain's declared it a quorum
we're drinking our way through the night
and we're having the time of our lives
throw the empties away, start again - start again
for the boys of South Sydney are together
and we'll drink till dawn breaks again
and may the sessions of South Sydney last forever.

Up the Rabbitohs!

Players remind us that the song has been around a long time. It would be sung on the team bus, at the old end of season South Sydney annual balls. Not just after the game. Today the song is sung loud and fast. But that wasn't always the case. Here are the lyrics when it was sung back in the 1970s.

And now that we're all round the bar
and the captain's declared it a quorum
we're drinking our way through the night
and we're having the time of our life
throw the empties away, start again
for the boys of South Sydney are together
and we'll drink till dawn breaks again
and may the sessions of South Sydney last forever.

And now that the beer has all gone
and we're wending our way slowly homeward
we're singing this happy refrain
to the girls that we'll meet once again
for we know that we always can go
to the club where the good beer's always flowing
and we'll drink till the dawn breaks again
and may the sessions of South Sydney last forever.

Up the Rabbitohs!

Here John Sattler sings the song to its original tune.

The song had evolved over the years and had a number of verses.

And now that we're all round the bar
and the captain's declared it a quorum
we're drinking our way through the night
and we're having the time of our lives
throw the empties away, start again - start again
for the boys of South Sydney are together
and we'll drink till dawn breaks again
and may the sessions of South Sydney last forever.

Oh! we never stagger, never fall
We sober up on pure alcohol
Our royal sons go marching up for more

We'll guzzle, guzzle, guzzle and we'll tip it down our muzzle
And we'll sing out the order loud and clear: More beer!
And we'll drink all night until we're very tight
At the shades of wherever we are

Six hefty forwards and seven greasy backs
And plenty rabbit barrackers to keep the bludgers back
When the skin and hair is flying and the slaughter has begun
Three cheers for the good, old Rabbitohs
For the victory we have won

Up the Rabbitohs!

But what is the history of the players song ?

Talking to former players, you quickly find out that it pre-dates the modern era and goes before the 70's era as players from the 1950's would sing it with the young players of the 60's. The tune and original words pre-date World War II and also predate World War I.

The tune gives us a guide to the age of the origins of the song. The melody was a popular melody in British pubs at the turn of 18th-century. It was based upon a tune from Anacreonicty Society, a 18th-century club of amateur musicians in London. That society was dedicated to ancient Greek poet Anacreon, who was renowned for his drinking songs and odes to love. This society would meet and combine musical appreciation with eating and drinking.

The melody came to Australia with the early settlers and convicts and sung on many occassions at the bars around Sydney. With the famous drinking melody being picked up by many it was no surprise to see the South Sydney club also pick up this melody for its song during the celebration of a win.

The melody became famous when the tune was also picked up and used by Francis Scott Key in his famous 1776 poem "Defence of Fort McHenry". It is then ironic that a British pub melody and the words by Key became known as the "The Star-Spangled Banner" and were adopted as the national anthem of the United States in 1931.


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