Thousands of Scotland enthusiasts are in London before their Euro 2020 match with England – but the skirl of the bagpipes has been chiefly flooded out by a 1970s disco classic. So how did the number become the country’s informal national anthem?
It began when a video of euphoric players dancing to the song went viral after Scotland’s clinched qualification in November by beating Serbia on penalties. The piece by Spanish duo Baccara gave a single week at the height of the UK charts in 1977.
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But the previous year, it took a fresh lease of life when it was used by the Keeping the Ball on the Ground podcast acted as a tribute to supporter Andrew Considine. The Aberdeen cultism – the hero who was invited to the Scotland team for the first time the previous year at the age of 33 – famously starred in a parody video of the number on his stag do.
The player was uncertain as he costumed in drag to strut his stuff to the tune beside friends and his father. The professionally created video was played on his wedding day in 2015.
Considine was an available substitute for the memorable match with Serbia, which marked the Scottish men’s team dramatically end longer than 20 years of pain by securing a spot at the European Championships.
He boogie-Woogie with teammates including Kieran Tierney, Leigh Griffiths, Scott McTominay, and Callum McGregor revealed in the thick of the battle by a video tweeted by the Scotland National Team after the match.
The video instantly caught the vision of the Tartan Army, with celebrating fans springing a drive to get the song back to Number One in the graphs. Luckily for Christie and McGinn, the boogie-boogieing did indeed continue long into the night – with fresh footage of celebrations at what appears to be the team hotel in Belgrade being tweeted the following day.
This season the soundtrack of favourite was Saturday Night by Whigfield as goalkeeper David Marshall started a conga around the room while teammates chorused his name to the 90s. Marshall had written himself into Scottish football folklore earlier by saving Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty to clinch victory in the shootout.
Singer Maria Mendiola, who formed Baccara and Mayte Mateos, said she was fascinated that the song had gained a new following more than 40 years after its release. She narrated to BBC Scotland: “With this pandemic, I have been relaxing at home, and this has uplifted me in a form you cannot believe.
“I will always acknowledge the Scottish team and notably Andy Considine for getting me so happy after 43 years. I noticed all the articles, and everyone was asking me. I was fascinated. I thanked the Scotland team and talked to Andy over Instagram. He had such pleasant words.”
The boogieing started in earnest once and as Euro 2020 got underway, with the 12,000 fans who were acknowledged to be inside Hampden belting out the number ahead of Scotland’s opening event with the Czech Republic. The match – Scotland’s first in a significant tournament for 23 years – finished in a 2-0 loss.
But the end didn’t appear to have discouraged spirits too much, leading to the eagerly-awaited clash with the Auld Enemy at Wembley. And notwithstanding what happens in the game, a particular song will keep the Tartan Army boogie-boogieing all night long.