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Football and music: Anthems echoing through football stadiums

29 Apr 2024

Football and music: Anthems echoing through football stadiums

In the world of football, there are several key factors that constitute its indispensable essence – football players, teams, stadiums, jerseys, and of course, football anthems. These songs signify not just mere musical accompaniments to the beginning or end of a match. They are cohesive elements carrying within them the history, passion, and identity of a football club.

In this article, we will explore the songs representing the most famous football clubs and delve into their histories.

FC Liverpool: You´ll never walk alone

The musical piece You'll Never Walk Alone is inseparable from the football club Liverpool FC. Its title can be found on the top of a gate positioned at the stadium in 1982 in memory of the legendary manager Bill Shankly.

The history of the anthem

Originally, the song appeared in 1945 in the musical "Carousel" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. In the early sixties, it began to be sung at Anfield stadium. According to former players, singer Gerry Marsden introduced it to the manager of Liverpool, who was impressed and immediately embraced it. Its strong emotional charge and lyrics expressing solidarity and support resonated with fans and their connection to the club. "You'll Never Walk Alone" thus became an anthem that was not chosen by the club or its management but organically emerged from the hearts of the fans.

Rich utilization of the song

Paradoxně, the anthem was first heard at the Manchester United pitch as a gesture of solidarity in connection with the air disaster in 1958. In Munich, members of the team perished while returning from the European Cup in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Apart from football, it also became an anthem to support healthcare personnel and people in quarantine during the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

Nessun Dorma by Giacomo Puccini

Nessun Dorma is the original aria from the opera Turandot by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, and in translation means Let no one sleep. Soon after its introduction, it became a classic musical gem.

Nessun Dorma as the BBC theme

The song achieved success at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. Initially, BBC producers used it as the sports theme before broadcasts. The idea stemmed from the memories of Philip Bernie. He was inspired by the word "vincerò," meaning "I will win," in the song, as well as by an image of Italian footballer Marco Tardelli celebrating a goal at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. The theme incorporated photographs of various successes, with Tardelli closing the entire sequence.

The creation of the Italian football anthem

The song Nessun Dorma became the anthem during the first concert of the Three Tenors on the eve of the World Cup final in 1990, where Luciano Pavarotti performed it himself. He captivated the entire audience, and the melody began to grow increasingly popular. It became a staple of the Three Tenors' concerts (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras), and even reached the second position among the most beloved singles in the United Kingdom. The tenors subsequently performed their number again at the FIFA World Cups in Los Angeles (1994), Paris (1998), and Yokohama (2002).

Manchester United: Glory Glory Men United

The single Glory Glory Man United was released by the Manchester United team before the FA Cup final in 1983. It was written by Herman's Hermits member Frank Renshaw.

 History of the anthem

"Glory Glory Man United" originated from the original song "John Brown's Body," which features the famous marching refrain "Glory Glory Hallelujah." Due to its popularity, several football clubs adopted it as their own, including Tottenham Hotspur, Leeds United, Manchester United, and the Australian rugby team South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Who the fuck are men United?

Since the early 1980s, the song gained popularity among fans who sang it ceremoniously before each match. Later, supporters from opposing teams also adopted it, often manipulating the lyrics to create chants during matches against Manchester United, such as "Who the fuck are Men United?" Manchester United fans would sarcastically respond with the same words of the song in case of victory.

Brazilian song "Aquarela do Brasil"

"Aquarela do Brasil" is one of the most famous Brazilian songs and has become its musical symbol. It was written in 1939 by Brazilian composer Ary Barroso, who one night couldn't leave his house due to heavy rain. He used the time to compose the song, which gained wide popularity thanks to its distinctive melodies and rhythms, reflecting the rich musical culture of the country.

Aquarela do Brasil and football

In the context of football, Aquarela do Brasil has become an inseparable part of Brazilian football tradition. The song has been used in many football events and occasions associated with the Brazilian national team. It gained popularity especially during the FIFA World Cup, where it began to accompany the Brazilian team during its participation in international football tournaments. Its rhythm and lyrics contribute to the exciting atmosphere of football events.

 Symbolism and identity

Aquarela do Brasil is not just a song, but also a symbol of Brazilian identity and joy. Its exotic melodies and positive energy highlight the passion and joy associated with football in Brazil.

Real Madrid: Hala Madrid

Hala Madrid is a popular song and chant closely associated with the football club Real Madrid. It was commissioned by former president Santiago Bernabéu to commemorate the club's golden jubilee in 1952. The song was written by Luis Cisneros Galiane and recorded by José de Aguilar.

Over time, it has undergone several versions. In 2002, on the occasion of the club's centenary, the melody and lyrics were reworked by the famous Spanish composer José Cano. It was performed by the Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo.

Hala Madrid y nada Más

To celebrate the tenth UEFA Champions League title in 2014, composer Nadyr Khayat (Red One) composed a new song titled Hala Madrid y nada más. According to his words, he wanted the song to be more classical and symphonic, recognizable worldwide, and chantable by fans. The lyrics were written by journalist Manuel Jabois. He shortened the original longer version to better suit the melody.

Hala Madrid at the top of the charts

The team Real Madrid recorded the song in the PKO studio for the 2014 UEFA Champions League final. Among the "singers" were Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Luka Modrić, and Marcelo, as well as their manager Carlo Ancelotti. After the victory, it reached the top of the Spanish charts.

The anthem is now regularly played at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, where fans chant the chorus, and a short excerpt of the melody is played after every goal scored by Real Madrid.

You Can´t stop us

The song You Can't Stop Us isn't directly related to football or any other specific sport, but it encapsulates the message of sports in general through the global brand Nike. The company chose it as part of an advertising campaign emphasizing the power of sports and its ability to unite people regardless of their cultural backgrounds. The song carries a universal message about sports as inspiration and a unifying force.

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