How Did the Song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” Inspire “We Will Rock You?”
After the success of Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein sought to create a new musical but feared that critics would unfavorably compare it with the first. The result was Carousel, which opened on Broadway on April 19, 1945, and was a big hit with audiences and critics alike. The show ran for 890 performances in its first run and was also very successful in revival productions. Of all of the shows Rodgers and Hammerstein did together, Carousel was their personal favorite.
There were many successful songs in Carousel, but one in particular caught on like no other. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was recorded numerous times and became the anthem of the Liverpool Football Club. After a concert by the rock group Queen, the audience began to spontaneously sing the song, which helped inspire the band to create their songs “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.” The song also became accepted as a universal hymn, and Irving Berlin once said that “You'll Never Walk Alone” had the same sort of effect on him as did the 23rd Psalm.
The song became a number one hit in the United Kingdom when Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded it. Alfie Boe, Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton-John, Pink Floyd, and many others have also recorded the song. From the album Showtime! Music of Broadway and Hollywood, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir showcases their recording of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”