The 20 Most Outstanding Sports Team Rally Songs
Professional sporting events rarely lack fervor. Amazing shots, daring saves and heroic catches cause fans to erupt forth in an exuberant display of mirth and approval. I'm talking about the cheers, the foot stomps, the fist pumps, the high-fives, the chants.
But what really places sports on the highest pedestal of passionate pastimes, are the rally songs.
A song—once it is associated with a team—is what sets the spines tingling and the hairs standing and the endorphins gushing.
No other time in life, will your existence feel more like a Hollywood film, than when you are one of 50,000 voices rocking a stadium with your song of victory.
Click on to unlock the tune-age.
Chicago Blackhawks: Chelsea Dagger
Jon Fratelli of the Scottish indie rock band The Fratellis had never been to a hockey game or even to any US sporting event when he composed "Chelsea Dagger."
But he was pleasantly surprised when the song became a Blackhawks staple. According to Alex Ruppenthal of ESPNChicago,com. "the song has become nearly as identifiable with the Hawks as the feathered Indian head on their jerseys."
Pittsburgh Pirates: We Are a Family
Pirates star Willie Stargell said that '79 team "molded together dozens of different individuals into one working force." He went on to say, "We were products of different races, were raised in different income brackets, but in the clubhouse and on the field we were one.''
Appropriately the dance hit "We Are A Family" (released that same year) became the soon-to-be World Series champions' rally song.
Indian Cricket Team Theme Song
This hip hop song infused with traditional Indian music crescendos at the 25-second mark and never comes back down.
The video—although obscenely trigger-happy with the split screen effect—does a great job of blending the action with the music.
New York, New York: New York Yankees
This song, known the world over, was composed by John Kander. The lyrics were written by Fred Ebb. But it is most associated with the singer who popularized it: Frank Sinatra.
Fun little fact: Once upon a time the tradition was to play the Sinatra-sung version at the end of every home game victory, and the Liza Minnelli-sung version at the end of every home game loss.
Minnelli was none too pleased with that arrangement. Reportedly she wanted her version played after a win. Instead, Yankees management phased out her version altogether.
Tessie: Boston Red Sox
The original song dates back to a 1902 Broadway musical "The Silver Slipper." A new version was released in 2004 by Dropkick Murphys, a Boston-area punk rock band.
The new "Tessie" relates how the original "Tessie" became a rally song for the Boston Americans as they worked toward becoming the 1903 World Series champions.
Himno Del Centenario: Real Madrid
Jose Cano, one of Spain's premier composers, wrote both the melody and the lyrics of this anthem for Real Madrid's centenary celebrations in 2002.
The legendary Plácido Domingo belted it out at the celebrations—a moment RM aficionados will hold dear until the end of time.
Meet the Mets: New York Mets
It's the Coke vs. Pepsi challenge of NYC baseball theme songs: "Here Come The Yankees" vs. "Meet the Mets."
The winner? "Meet The Mets" took almost 75 percent of the votes in a survey on Gothamist.com.
Smarting Yankees fans can head to Yankee Stadium and wipe their tears on any one of the 27 World Series champions banners.
La 12: Boca Juniors
On the bucket lists of many soccer fans around the world is watching a Boca Juniors home game at La Bombonera.
The ones that make the trip will undoubtedly feel the entire stadium sway as 45,000 people erupt in "La 12." The titular "12" refers to the 12th player, the fans themselves—a nickname they have had for nearly a century.
High Hopes: Philadelphia Phillies
The song "High Hopes" touts quite the résumé: It was performed by both Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. It was nominated for a Grammy. It won an Oscar (Best Original Song). The tune (but not the lyrics) was even used as the theme for JFK's 1960 Presidential Election.
And, thanks to Phillies announcer Harry Kalas, it became a prominent Phillies rally song.
I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles: West Ham United
So what does an American show tune from 1918 about blowing bubbles have to do with a prominent soccer club in England?
Well, it's like "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" but with bubbles. Read the soapy tale here if it so interests you.
The song has become so pervasive throughout England that it was even played at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Sirius: Chicago Bulls
Tomahawk Chop: Atlanta Braves
According to Slate, most accounts have Deion Sanders, who had attended FSU—the chop's possible place of origin—introducing the gesture to the Atlanta Braves in the early 1990s.
Considered racist by some, and reportedly having no real basis in Native American culture, the chop—both war song and accompanying gesture—nonetheless went global as the Braves rose to World Series dominance in 1995.
São Januário Meu Caldeirão: Vasco De Gama
Sweet Caroline: Red Sox
Reportedly Neil Diamond wrote the song in honor of Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy. Other than the Kennedy connection to the Boston area, the song has nothing to do with the city or with baseball.
So how did it become a Red Sox eighth-inning staple? If you're seeking a story steeped in lore and history, you'll be sorely disappointed.
The woman in charge of Red Sox music selections one day simply "decided to send the sweetness over the Fenway speakers." (h/t JournalNow.com)
OK Blue Jays: Toronto Blue Jays
As Doug Miller of MLB.com writes that this "seventh-inning-stretch ditty didn't chart as strongly as "Caroline," but it's certainly got, well, more interesting lyrics."
(As in the song is actually about baseball.)
Nadie Comprende Que Yo Venga a Alentarte: Racing Club
Of the umpteen billion South American football club rally songs, Racing Club's "Nadie Comprende" is one of the most beloved. Even fans of other clubs confess that the tune rocks.
As one YouTube commenter wrote:
"Soy de River pero la verdad que esta BARBARO el tema, muy bueno el ritmo y la letra."
Translation: I'm a [Club Atlético River Plate] fan, but I have to admit this song is AWESOME. The subject, the rhythm and the lyrics are great.
Dirty Water: Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots
The classic Garage Rock tune is a standard at Boston sporting events, although in recent years it is probably most closely connected with the Bruins. The title refers to the Boston Harbor and the Charles River, "which were notoriously polluted" at the time the song was written. (h/t SongFacts.com)
Cool fact: The song's writer Ed Cobb also wrote another famous tune. Maybe you've heard of it: "Tainted Love."
We Don't Bluff: Memphis Grizzlies
DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia wrote this song as a tribute to his hometown team, which has reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
The song has gone viral and the verdict is: krunkdonkulous!
Yardbarker says the song is "a pretty hot track."
For The Win calls it "awesome."
NESN hails it as a "lovely archetype of Southern rap."
And Yahoo calls it "pretty much perfect."
Zambian National Soccer Team: VuVuzela
Liverpool FC: You'll Never Walk Alone
The granddaddy of team rally songs. It is unrivaled in its ability to evoke rabid emotions among fans. It is the rally cry that all other teams covet.
A "YNWA" stamp on a chat board, a Facebook post, or a tweet can unite strangers. It is like a not-so-secret handshake. A wink. A salute. A nod of respect. A symbol of everlasting brotherhood.
Yeah, it's that serious.