1927: PITTODRIE EXPERIMENT Football spectators are a very vocal community, at and away from matches. The roars of approbation and disapprobation which accompany a goal or a missed shot are thrilling at a distance; slightly less thrilling is the running fire of comment and advice to which the players are subjected. Today at Pittodrie the spectators of the match with Rangers are being asked to try a form of vocalism unusual to Aberdeen's pitch - community singing. This is not a new matter in communal life. We sing together in church or at smoking concerts and on any other festive occasions. But these are either times when we are accustomed to concerted singing, or else the spirit of the gathering evokes the outburst naturally. Community singing as we are to know it today, however, is a post-war growth. It is undoubtedly a remnant of the Army days, when the men sang everywhere, on the march or in camps and billets. Its first appearance as it is was in organised concerts. Then it spread to the open air - Wembley heard some great displays of it. Its latest appearance has been in connection with football matches, and it has spread northwards like a wave from the pitches of the south.
The experiment has been a great success in other cities, and it is not for a moment to be expected that Aberdeen will lag behind its predecessors. Every inducement is being offered - the words of the tunes will be in everyone?s hands and there will be a band to give the lead. The singing, however, will be of no value as sound, and will bring none of the benefits which community singing is credited with unless every person sings or tries to do so. Part of the pleasure of community singing is that you have the pleasure of doing your bit and at the same time being thrilled by the effect as a whole. The benefits come out of the sense of having helped towards the effect aimed at, a feeling of comradeship and general goodwill - everyone is in the same tune if not in the same key. All of these feelings are good personally, communally, and nationally, and needed badly in these days. Those who attend at Pittodrie must remember that it is they who are on trial. The singing, if it is what it ought to be, cannot be hid under the grandstand, behind the gas-tank, or even fail to cross the Broadhill. It will go forth into all the adjoining wards and will be judged, not on its vocal quality, but on the distance of penetration. There will no doubt be many who go to listen, but, again, if the experiment is of any account, they will remain to sing. Community singing at its best is epidemic and worth while catching.
Source : Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday, 16th February 1927