American ‘rock legend’ Marie Osmond has found a new demand for her performing talents – in deepest darkest Ayrshire. The county better known for being the home of Robert Burns now has a new musical hero.
Ms Osmond was in Glasgow for a concert with her brother Donny and Susan Boyle but she received an unusual request from a fan of Kilmarnock FC, known colloquially as ‘Killie’.
The club’s fans adopted the song “Paper Roses” as their club anthem, a song Marie took to number 2 in the UK charts in 1973.
Killie fans sing it at every game and it is one of a number of club songs in Scotland adopted by fans for no evident reason, such as Airdrie’s adoption of Roy Orbison’s ‘Only the Lonely’.
She received an invitation from Kilmarnock fan Robert Morton who attempted to explain to the BBC how Paper Roses became the club song:
“I was too young to know, but in 1975, when things were going against us, we were going part-time and maybe it was just a song about a failed love that was adopted by the Kilmarnock supporters at Dumbarton one day. It is a sad song about a lost love, but sometimes that’s the way you feel about Kilmarnock.”
Morton had met the singer before having paid his way to a meet and greet in Las Vegas, he continued:
“I went to Las Vegas for a holiday, took two signed Kilmarnock tops and managed to buy meet and greet tickets and get her to sign them and told her a little about Paper Roses being our song and she’s been following us ever since.”
At a sold out event before 500 Killie fans, she answered questions apparently with a blue and white Kilmarnock scarf draped round her shoulders.
The video of her performing is on the BBC site.