The Lily of Laguna!

Club Song

We are the Navy Blues
We are the Old Dark Navy Blues
We're the team that never lets you down
We're the only team old Carlton knows
With all the champions
They like to send us (up - see below)
We'll keep our end up
And they will know that they've been playing
Against the famous Old Dark Blues

Carlton's theme song has several different people who claim to have written the song. The one arguably with the strongest claim is that it was written by Agnes Wright and her cousin Irene McEldrew (Agnes mother was Dan's Minogue sister Dorrie, so her uncle was Dan Minogue) the then coach of Carlton (1929-1934) and was written around 1929 to 1931 when Lily of Laguna was again a popular song in Australia. Agnes lived in Middle Park/Albert Park and did have several Carlton players boarding with them like Soapy Vallence and Eric Huxtable etc. One day after training/or a good win these Carlton players "demoaned the fact that Carlton didn't have a theme song". So Agnes and Irene composed the Old Dark Navy Blues (with these players?). Another claim is it was written by Jeffrey and Anne Hales.

The football Record in 2004 went with the Dan Minogue's link.

Us vs Up Controversy
There is some controversy with regards to the use of the word 'up' or 'us' in the line 'They like to send ..'.

Items of memorabilia from as early as the 1960's have both us and up as options. Also, before the 2003 season at an open day at Princes Park, they had music sheets with Carlton theme song words and again it was "With all the champions they like to send us". Us is also the option written in the wall in the players change rooms at Princes Park.

However, many other items including records and annual reports have 'up' as the option.

Lily of Laguna
Lily of Laguna is a song written in 1898 by Leslie Stuart and performed by Eugene Stratton. It was a popular tune in the early part of the century and was even said to be on the playing list of the band on the Titanic.

Click Here to Hear a 1920's version of Lily of Laguna

Listen to the Club Song
Click Here to listen to a 1967 version of the CFC club song
- Carlton Club Song sung by Smacka Fitzgibbon, produced in the studios of 3DB for The Herald, 1967.
Click Here to listen to the more familiar 'Fable' version of the CFC club song
- Carlton Football Club Song sung by The Fable Singers at Bill Armstrong Studios.


The Melbourne Punch September 29 p9 (& May 25 1893 p10) writing on Carlton winning the 1887 premiership and the previous week's win against Fitzroy reported;
"Last Saturday was looked forward to as being likely to afford a keen contest; but from the jump the issue was never in doubt.
In the words of the old Carlton War Song: -

"The whole club worked like one vast machine.

With it's cogs well oiled, and it's fly-wheel clean.

And must never forget, in triumphant hour,

That their worthy Sec. is the motive power."


In Round 9, 1899 Carlton played Geelong at the Corio Oval
The Herald Friday July 14 said;
"The Carlton chorus of 1887, 'Cheer Boys, Cheer,' has been revived and floated over easy-going Geelong last week."


"It's not beneath my station
To give you information
I tipped the Carlton lads before
And tipped them very true,
If the red and white are daisies
And worthy of all the praises,
They'll have to fight, with all their might,
To beat the White and Blue."

This is the chorus a Carlton song (sung to the tune of Killaloe), it was found in the Herald August 12 (p13) 1927 in an article on former Carlton footballer Alf West
Here is the Royal Irish Regiment playing Killaloe, courtesy of youtube.
Perhaps someone can put these lyrics to this tune?


There was an Old Players' Match played on the MCG on June 12.
This was a match between former Carlton and Geelong veterans to raise money for charity.
The players were entertained after the game at Clement's Cafe, Swanston Street..
Carlton identity George H. Ievers composed and sung the song for the occasion..


Air: "Sailing"

With joy, dear friends, we greet with cheers,
Those football heroes of bygone years;
Their day is past, but their hearts are true
To their dear old colors, the White and the Blue.
They meet today as they did in days of yore,
In Charity's cause, may they do so over more;
Then here's to the Captains Jimmy Wilson and Jack Gardiner too,
Who have play'd in the days of yore for the dashing White and Blue.
Football! Football! Our National game so grand,
When play'd not for gain, but for honor and fame,
'Tis the noblest game in the land.
Football! Football! for Charity's sake 'tis devine;
May we meet each year for a cause so dear,
And for Auld Lang Syne.

We see here again Newton, Smith and Frayne,
Jack Donovan, Goer, and Dedman live again,
Wilson, Crohan (?), Spear and Guy
Who could mark (?), dodge, and fly;
And Lanty O'Brien, who'd have his kick or die,
Murphy, Collins, Woods, and Johnson and Coventry so fast;
Jack Healy, McGill, and Bowen, and all heroes of the past.
Then three cheers for the Old Warriors of the dashing White and Blue,
Who play'd the game in Charity's name -- a cause so true.
Chorus Football!, Football! &c.

Note: the microfisch film was difficut to read in parts, hence the (?)
Reproduced from the Carlton Gazette June 1891 (SLV.)


A report of the VFL Grand Final in the Referee (Sydney) newspaper September 26 (p10) said at the completion of the match;
"At the finish of the game the delighted Carlton contingent swarmed over the fence and through the opening, and chaired all the available Dark Blue players, carrying them shoulder high to their dressing room. Bearing blue and white banners of varying size and shape, the barrackers chanted the Carlton anthem in strident tones that made up in volume what the war strain lacked in harmony."


The Hamilton Spectator's article on football barrackers (May 19 p2) mentions the 'war cries' of some of the teams.
"The melodious or would-be melodious, strain of the Essendon. 'Heave O, heave, same old Essen-don', is responded to by the Carltonian's rapturous explosion, 'Roll 'em up, Carlton; oh you beauties,' and so on."


In The Argus' review (August 5, p7) of last Saturday's match against Collingwood.
"... but, considering that Carlton's pace was at least equal to their's, that their rivals had the advantage in height and weight, the beaten side did remarkably well, and both teams came out with full honours.
To quote from an old Carlton football song:-

"Where all are so good be it understood

It's rather hard on the best to pick."

So what is the rest of this old song? If anybody knows please contact the Blueseum.


Found in a scrapbook belonging to past player Albert De Luca who played in 1934-35 was this piece of carbon copy paper which is what we believe to be the earliest known representation of the Carlton club song. Notice the slight variance in lyrics. This evidence lends credence to the theory for the song being created in the early 1930s.

Other Club Songs


The match report in The Argus of the Carlton - Essendon game on June 27, during the half time interval when the Blues were leading; "At this time the supporters of the Carlton were naturally jubilant, and flags were waved, and football song to the air of "Little Annie Rooney," was sung by an ethusiastic crowd."
Little Annie Rooney was an English music hall tune made popular in 1890.
Hear Little Annie Rooney; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgE9le0Sf50

Blue is the Colour
In the late 1970's, early 1980's an alternative club song was used, namely 'Blue is the Colour'
(The Chelsea (UK soccer) theme song).
The words were rewritten for Carlton, and it was released on cassette sung by the players.
Click Here to listen to this version of the CFC club song

How Blue are you
This is a song written and performed by Oscar Swarv. It was distributed to the members in 1991 on Cassette. It was an attempt to help the membership drive, as the membership was declining.

A Karaoke version of this song is on Youtube

We are the Navy Blues
"We are the Navy Blues" was released in 1994, but we have not been able to locate a copy.

Well, now we have, for your pleasure in all it's glory
Click Here to listen to We Are The Navy Blues


The Old Blues

Two other versions that while they are not necessarily official team songs, were almost certainly sung by players and fans in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The first was called "The Old Blues" and it's discovery is explained in this article.

If you would like to hear a "karaoke" version of the song please download the following carlton-song-and-lyrics1929.kar.

NOTE: Left Clicking this link will play the tune only. If you right click, and download the file "carlton-song-and-lyrics1929.kar", you can play this on a Midi Karaoke player, which shows the lyrics as the tune plays.
A good free Karaoke player Vanbacsco's player can be found on the web.

A Video Karaoke of this song can be seen on Youtube:

Song of the Blues

A version from 1935 can be found at the following:
if you scroll through you can see the Sheet Music with lyrics for the song which was known as "Song of the Blues".
A Video Karaoke version of the song can be heard on youtube at:

1935 July 19
The Argus (p12) reports;
"St. Kilda has issued a challenge to sing against Carlton for £20 per side.
On Monday evening the Y.A.L. Boys* are giving a concert in the St. Kilda Town Hall, in the aid of the club's fund for it's trip to Tasmania. St. Kilda is confident that it's chorus, "Give Them a Cheer, Saints" will impress an independent judge more than the chorus sung by the Carlton team, "The Song of the Blues."
.*Young Australia League


A song sung by Bing Crosby in 1951 was heard by Carlton committeeman George Armstrong. The Herald April 06 (p10) reported it as the Blues' new club song.
Hear Crosby singing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcO9gs8Nr5U

1994: We are the Navy Blues!

Short lived commissioned version of a club song to the tune of Midnight Blue.


Club historian Tony De Bolfo interviews Dale "Daisy" Thomas about this new to season 2017 occasional chant that is yelled before the club song.


Song of Football

Not Carlton related, but a poem penned in Queensland in 1908. With 200 clubs in the northern state playing the code, a poet was enlisted by the Queensland Football League to write an ode to the great Australian game.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12678319

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Contributors to this page: blueycarlton , Jarusa , Grisdesa , bluebean , PatsFitztrick , pblue , Bombasheldon and molsey .
Page last modified on Sunday 19 of February, 2023 00:55:29 AEDT by blueycarlton.

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