Music and Football: Something for Everyone

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Music & Football

For hundreds of years, football fans have sung, chanted, and otherwise found a way to make noise wherever they watched a match.

The sound seems to be synonymous with support, as demonstrated by the club-associated chants famous throughout the UK, like ‘One nil to the Arsenal’ or Chelsea’s ‘The Liquidator’—not to mention the reviled vuvuzela from the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.

Today, regardless of where someone is from and which team they choose to cheer on, there are anthems that have swept across the entire world because of their association with the game of football. The most notable of these songs have to be ‘Seven Nations Army’ by The White Stripes, a group from the USA where loving football means something else altogether.

‘Seven Nations Army’ is known internationally as ‘The Po po po po po po song’ because of the anthem’s beginning guitar riff. Its popularity began with Belgian Club Brugge fans, who attended a match versus A.C. Milan and began chanting the guitar riff when their team scored. Years later, Italians returned the favour by chanting the guitar riff back at Club Brugge fans, despite the fact that the match was between Club Brugge and another team altogether, A.S. Roma.

While there are multiple global anthems, like ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira, ‘We Are One (Ole Ole)’ by Pitbull, or ‘Colors’ by Jason DeRulo & Maluma, no one has a hold on the crazed football chant quite like the British.

Premier League Anthems

Champions and Premier League games regularly fill stadiums with tens of thousands of fans, exhilarated by anthems such as Liverpool’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Liverpool and Manchester United lead the way with this season’s Premier League football betting odds, which means that newcomer fans are running out of time to memorize Liverpool’s ballad. Others who have their eye on Manchester City to take this year’s Premier League yet again may want to practice ‘Kompany, Vicent III’, sung to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’.

This doesn’t mean that the Premier League lacks a sense of humour. West Ham fans cheered on one player, Rio Ferdinand, who was benched due to certain allegations. The chant? ‘His name is Rio, and he watches from the stand”. Another infamous West Ham chant goes out specifically to their rivals at Liverpool: ‘We’ve got Di Canio, you’ve got our stereos’.

The Premier League, in particular, seems apt to create anthems that reflect the inter-generational rivalries between cities throughout Great Britain, whether or not directly related to the sport of football. The closer a team comes to landing a Premier League title, the more likely fans and rivals are to cater to these anthems like those related to Di Canio and Ferdinand.

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Global Spectacles

Sandwiched between the fantastic marriage of music and football is pop culture. Football celebrity is rarely confined by national boundaries, and the World Cup is a testament to this global love affair. Anthems like ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira took the world by storm as it was released preceding the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. And what football or music fan can forget the moment Shakira met her future husband, Gerard Pique, top defender for FC Barcelona?

For the next World Cup in 2014, located in Brazil, Shakira was brought back for another crowd-pleasing anthem ‘La La La’, alongside Pitbull for his World Cup anthem ‘We Are One (Ole Ole)’. But the union between all-star musicians and powerhouse athletes shouldn’t be surprising. During her 2007 Oral Fixation Tour, Shakira drew 210,000 fans to a stadium in Mexico City. Compare that to the 75,000 – 80,000-person stadiums that are filled annually by fans of major clubs like FC Barcelona and Manchester United, and the similarities between music and football make ample sense.

The Champions League has certainly taken note, unifying sport and art in their annual Champions League Championship. The 2019 championship took place in Madrid between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, drawing in 63,000 fans who, even if they weren’t enraptured by the match, were certainly entertained by the band Imagine Dragons, who played in a halftime spectacle.

Read 379 times Last modified on Sunday, 23 February 2020 14:45
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