Classic Football Songs: ‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart’ By Christy Moore, 1989 (Video)

Chris Wright

3rd, April 2019

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One of, it not the only popular song to name-check both Tony Cascarino and Niall Quinn, ‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart’ is tale of a Republic of Ireland fan (Joxer) who travels to Germany by van to watch the Boys In Green play at Euro 1988.

Sung in light-hearted fashion by legendary Irish folk star Christy Moore, the song takes in Ireland’s opening group match against England at the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart – a game settled by a single Ray Houghton goal scored inside the first ten minutes.

Viewers of ‘Match of the Day’ might just recognise the melody…

‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart’ lyrics in full…

It was in the year of eighty-eight, in the lovely month of June
When the gadflies were swarming and dogs howling at the moon
Ah with rosary beads and sandwiches for Stuttgart we began
Joxer packed his German phrase-book, and jump-leads for the van

Ah well some of the lads had never been away from home before
It was the first time Whacker put his foot outside of Inchicore
And before we left for Europe, we knew we’d need a plan
So we all agreed that Joxer was the man to drive the van

In Germany the Autobahn was like the Long Mile Road
There was every make of car and van, all carrying the full load
Ford Transits and Hiaces, and an old Bedford from Tralee
With the engine overheating from long-hauling duty free

There were fans from Ballyfermot, Ballybough and Ballymun
On the journey of a lifetime and the craic was ninety one
Joxer met a German’s daughter on the banks of the River Rhine
and he told her she’d be welcome in Ballyfermot anytime

And as soon as we found Stuttgart, we got the wagons in a ring
Sean óg got out the banjo and Peter played the mandolin.
Oh there were fans there from everywhere, attracted by the sound
At the first Fleadh Ceol in Europe and Joxer passed the flagon round

But the session it ended when we’d finished all the stout
The air mattresses inflated and the sleeping bags rolled out
As one by one we fell asleep, Joxer had a dream
He dreamt himself and Jack Charlton sat down to pick the team

Joxer dreamt they both agreed on Packie Bonner straight away
And that Moran, Whelan and McGrath were certainly to play
Ah but tempers they began to rise, patience wearing thin
Jack wanted Cascarino, but Joxer wanted Quinn

And the dream turned into a nightmare, Joxer stuck the head on Jack
Who wanted to bring Johnny Giles and Eamonn Dunphy back
Ah well the cock crew in the morning, it crew both loud and shrill
And Joxer woke up in his sleeping bag many miles from Arbour Hill

Ah next morning none of the experts gave us the slightest chance
They said that the English team would lead us on a merry dance
Ah with their union jacks all them English fans for victory they were set
Until Ray Houghton got the ball and he stuck it in the net

What happened next is history, brought tears to many eyes
Oh that day will be the highlight of many people’s lives
Well Joxer climbed right over the top and the last time he was seen
Was arm-in-arm with Jack Charlton, singing ‘Revenge for Skibbereen’

Ah now Whacker’s back in Inchicore, he’s living with his Mam
And Jack Charlton has been proclaimed an honorary Irishman
Listen do you remember that German’s daughter on the banks of the River Rhine
Ah jeez, well didn’t she show up in Ballyfermot last week

How do you even begin to write a song like that? Amazing stuff.