Whether they’re being belted out from the stands or played in the dressing room, music is to football as a pub is to japery. To celebrate the launch of Music, Dynaudio’s new range of intelligent music systems, we asked you to compile a list of your favourite football songs, whether sung as part of roaring crowd or played in the dressing room before a match.
Once we’d cleared away the wreckage – who’d have thought Three Lions would cause such a ruckus? – we were left with a short-list of nine classic football songs. Here, from 10 to one, are your ultimate football songs.
9. Safri Duo - Played-A-Live
If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool FIFA player, you might recognise Safi Duo's Played-A-Live as FIFA 2003’s title track. Endlessly evocative and guaranteed to supercharge the crowd at any ground, the video’s worth a look too. Are the musicians in the petri dish? Why won’t that kid let anyone help? Why are only some of the students deemed worthy of safety goggles? We are made of questions.
8. DJ Khaled - All I Do Is Win
Purpose-built for montages of a win, All I Do Is Win’s popularity shows little sign of waning. A gorgeous song for taunting the opposition as well as an inspiring workout tune, this rare crossover gets a deserving place on the list. Bonus points go to any football fan capable of singing not only the chorus, but also the million-word-a-minute Ludacris verse.
7. Foo Fighters - The Pretender
Football music isn’t just about hammering out blurry chants from the terraces. Being match-ready involves just as much time in the gym as it does on the practice pitch, and silent workouts could barely be more depressing if they tried. The Pretender, from raucous rockers Foo Fighters, deserves a place on any workout list.
6. Lightning Seeds - Life of Riley
Life of Riley failed to make a huge impact on release, but gradually caught on after the BBC started to use it underneath various football montages, including its Goal of the Month feature. Like all good stadium anthems, knowing the words is strictly optional. Also worth a mention is the superb music video, which celebrates football in all its florid glory and absurdity.
5. Tony Christie - Is This The Way To Amarillo
Fun fact: Is This The Way To Amarillo was originally supposed to be called Is This the Way to Pensacola. But, unable to find anything that rhymed with Pensacola (Motorola, Coca-Cola, Gianfranco Zola, come on lads), the song’s writers settled for a song pondering the directions to a dusty Texas town five hours from anything because it rhymed with “pillow”. Still, on the way, they concocted a great ear-worm of a riff for football fans to chant – probably because there are a huge number of lyrical possibilities that fit into its nine-syllable riff.
4. Black Eyed Peas & Sergio Mendez - Mas que Nada
Mas que Nada (approximately, "Yeah, right", in Portuguese), is impossible to hear without visions of Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos irritating fellow travellers in this gorgeous 1998 Nike advert. Don’t dwell too long on Brazil’s more recent outings – this chipper little number brings to mind South American football at its finest: flowing, creative and definitely not the recipient of seven bratwurst-flavoured goals at home in 2014. And what does every classic footballing song need? That’s right, a cover by the Black Eyed Peas (hey, you voted for it).
3. White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
Question: is the octave-heavy guitar riff behind Seven Nation Army one of the dumbest riffs in rock n’roll history or one of the all-time the best? Regardless of where you stand on the riff, there’s no denying it’s immediately recognisable, instantly memorable and annoyingly catchy. The song was already a favourite of football fans, before it was licensed during the 2012 World Cup and became the ultimate ear-worm. Get beyond the central riff, though, and there’s a great piece of music waiting for you, with a classic Jack White solo sitting in the middle.
2. Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone
Written in 1945 and adopted by Liverpool in the 1960s, You’ll Never Walk Alone neatly sums up the kinship felt by football fans all over the world. Originally crafted as a show tune, you can now hear fans from leagues in countries as diverse as Japan, Germany, and Indonesia giving this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic the sporting treatment. Its spiritual home will always be the Kop, though, where its association with tragedies such as Hillsborough give it particular sporting resonance.
1. Jeff Beck - Hi Ho Silver Lining
Hi Ho Silver Lining is utterly defined by its beltable chorus, and one that came to also define Jeff Beck, who memorably described the ditty as a “pink toilet seat hung around your neck”. There are verses with lyrics, but don’t worry about those. Lubricate your vocal chords, smash out the bit you know and hum along madly to the rest. And, when you’re finished, indulge in the ultimate version of the song: this thoroughly inebriated take during the 2003 Hootenanny.
To find out more about Music, Dynaudio’s highly evolved range of intelligent wireless music systems, click here.