Manic Street Preachers have revealed that they actually started writing their new football anthem ‘Together Stronger (C’Mon Wales)’ over a decade ago.
Singer/guitarist James Dean Bradfield said the trio’s inspiration for writing a Welsh football anthem began when manager Mark Hughes was in charge of the national anthem at the start of the 2000s.
Bradfield also revealed that the song’s first incarnation came about in 2003 when Wales lost 4-0 in Italy. The band completed the song to mark the first time Wales have qualified for a major tournament since reaching the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.
Bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire told The Quietus: ‘The song had been around for a while. Not fully-formed, but I’d always had the genesis of a lyric which went through all the fucking tragedy of being a Welsh football fan; the play-off cock-ups, and so on.”
Wire said Welsh near-misses including losing to Scotland in 1986 and Romania in 1994 helped to inspire the song, which the band finished once Wales qualified for this summer’s European Championships in France.
Wire revealed he wanted the song to have the anthemic feel of past Manic Street Preachers albums ‘Send Away The Tigers’ and ‘Postcards From A Young Man’, saying the band felt “if it wasn’t good enough to be on one of those albums, then let’s not do it”.
The song features members of the current Wales squad on backing vocals and name-checks the national team’s late manager Gary Speed as well as current players Ashley Williams and Gareth Bale.
The single was released last Friday (May 20) with proceeds going to charities Princes Gate Trust and Tenovus Cancer Care.
The same date saw the release of a new box-set edition of Manics album ‘Everything Must Go’ to mark its 20th anniversary, which coincided with a tour where the trio played the album in full.