"Never been to the town, but I'm in the Toon Army" Newcastle upon Tyne by 850prc

Newcastle upon Tyne Travel Guide: 857 reviews and 1,706 photos

I needed a favorite team, so enter the "Toon"

In America, football means American football. But in the rest of the world, it refers to "footie" or soccer. Being a typical American sports fan, I only had a rudimentary knowledge of world football, and didn't really have a favorite team.

That was never going to be good enough for my VT friend Lynsey (Lynsey-Jane) from Newcastle. Lynsey purchased and sent me a Newcastle Football Club shirt and said that I should "wear it with pride because they're the best team in the world". I have to admit that with such fanatical devotion and outright love from fans like Lynsey, maybe Newcastle WAS going to be my team.

I've since done a bit of research, and I even watched that movie "Goal - The Dream Begins", which is based on a Mexican kid from LA ending up with Newcastle. I learned that they're called "The Toon", which refers to the local dialect meaning "the town", with the players being the lads from "the Toon". I also then figured out why another of my VT friends "ToonSarah" had selected her VT name. It turns out she's a big Newcastle fan as well.

So, this page is really NOT anything of interest to folks looking to travel...I've never BEEN to "the Toon". But by golly, I'm now a member of the "Toon Army" and I know to say "H'way the lads, gooooo Toon". If and when i ever DO get to Newcastle, I'm surely going to find a way to visit the pitch and take in a match.

Special thanks to Lynsey for the nice shirt, and in response to requests from both Lynsey and ToonSarah, here is a photo of the newest (and probably only) member of the Toon Army who lives in Miccosukee, Florida.

And as for Newcastle, "the Toon" isn't the only thing I know about the place... I'm also a huge fan of Newcastle Brown Ale, which I buy often at my local beer dealer. AND, Newcastle is the home of one of my favorite-ever rock and roll bands, Eric Burdon and the Animals. I recently saw Eric and his latest cadre of Animals live in concert locally, at a small venue. They were spectacular.

Eric Burdon, Newcastle native and Hall of Famer

As mentioned above, I am a HUGE Eric Burdon and the Animals fan. Recently, I had the chance to enjoy Eric and crew in a local concert...an intimate setting outdoors at a plantation in south Georgia. Smashing. Eric and the original Animals hailed from Newcastle. Of the folks touring now, only Eric and Hilton Valentine are from the original 1964 lineup. Eric Burdon personally is now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is the biggest hit for the group. My two favorite Animals songs are the well-known IT'S MY LIFE (1965) and the lesser-known WHEN I WAS YOUNG (1967). "Young" was a minor hit in the US and UK, but sold well, for some reason, in Australia. Here are the lyrics to both:

It's My Life
--------------
It's a hard world to get a break in
All the good things have been taken
But girl there are ways
To make certain things pay
Though I'm dressed in these rags
I'll wear sable some day

Hear what I say
I'm going to ride this surf in
No more time spent sweating rent
Hear my command?
I'm breakin' loose...it ain't no use
Holdin' me down, stickin' around
But baby, baby, remember, remember

It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime
But someday I'll treat you real fine

There'll be womenand their fortunes
Who'll just want to.. mother orphans
Are you going to cry
When I'm squeezing them dry,
Taking all I can get, no regrets
When I.....
Openly lie and
live on their money
Believe me honey...that money
Can you believe?
I ain't no saint, no complaints!
So girl before????
But baby, baby, remember, remember

It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want

Show me I'm wrong
Hurt me sometime
But someday I'll treat you real fine

It's my life and I'll do what I want
Don't push me!
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
It's my life!
It's my life and I'll do what I want
I can do what I want!

When I Was Young
------------------------
The rooms were so much colder then.
My father was a soldier then.
And times were very hard.
When I was young.

When I was young.
I smoked my first cigarette at ten.
And for girls, I had a bad yen.
And I had quite the ball.
When I was young.

When I was young it was more important.
Pain more painful, the laughter much louder, yeah.
When I was young.

When I was young.
I met my first love at thirteen.
She was brown, and I was pretty green.
And I learned quite a lot.
When I was young.
When I was young.

When I was young it was more important.
Pain more painful, laughter much louder, yeah.
When I was young.

When I was young.
My faith was so much stronger then.
I believed in fellow men.
And I was so much older then.
When I was young.
When I was young.
When I was young.
When I was young.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The Toon, The Toon Army, Newcastle Brown Ale, Eric Burdon & the Animals
  • Cons:I hear it sometimes rains sideways there
  • In a nutshell:I have some very good friends in Newcastle. Hope to get there someday.
  • Intro Updated Dec 30, 2007
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Comments (2)

  • themajor's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Well I lived and studied in Newcastle for three years and didn't see a single football match. Not being a sports fan helped I suppose. I never tried a bottle of 'Broon' either. Being a non-drinker helped there too. What on earth was I doing there?!!!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Just thought I'd let you know I'm off to Newcastle tomorrow to witness the second coming of the Geordie Messiah - "walking in a Keegan Wonderland" :))

850prc

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