Irish pub manager has high hopes for his Euro 2016 anthem
The manager of an Irish pub in Salzburg hopes his Dance In France football anthem is a hit at the European Championships.
John Paul Wright, from Coill Dubh in County Kildare, wrote the song in less than 10 minutes while hungover the morning after the Republic of Ireland qualified.
The football fanatic, who runs Murphy’s Law pub in Salzburg – the city known for being the setting of The Sound Of Music – described the Republic’s fans as being like a “big family”.
Mr Wright, 36, watched the second leg of the Republic’s play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the pub last November which resulted in great celebrations.
Despite the euphoria, he had to be back at the pub the next morning for a delivery.
“I was waiting for the guy. I was hungover and I wrote the song,” he said.
It took him “less than 10 minutes”, and the next weekend he and a friend put music to the song over a couple of beers.
The video for Dance In France came about when Mr Wright was asked to enter a competition – and he only had a day and a half to get it together.
After a few early morning phone calls, he managed to round up his pals to star in the production.
They hail from counties including Dublin, Tyrone, Cork and Meath – and are all heading to France for the tournament.
Mr Wright has even had requests from Irish bars in France asking for the song.
“It just got really, really, really popular,” he said, adding: “It’s all a bit of craic anyway and we’re looking forward to it.”
Mr Wright has lived in Salzburg for nine years and enjoys meeting up with fellow Irish fans who are based around the world.
“A lot of them I’ve met through going to Ireland games and we’ve kept in touch on Facebook and stuff like that, and then the community builds bigger and bigger and bigger.
“We all meet up and we all have a pint and have a chat, it’s all a big family basically, it’s good fun.”
He reflected on childhood memories, saying: “I love football, I’ve played it all my life, I love the Irish team.
“I remember the World Cup in 90 when I was 10 and my neighbour’s dad running out with the Irish flag after we beat Romania on penalties. And that image will stick in my head for life.”
“When the team does well it’s great,” he said, but added that he also loves catching up with old friends.
“I get to see the lads from home and have a few pints and catch up on things,” he said.
The Republic will open their Euro 2016 campaign on Monday June 13 against Sweden.
Thousands of supporters are expected to throng the streets of Paris, Bordeaux and Lille where the Republic’s group stage games are taking place.