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We Need New Olympic Anthems. Any Suggestions?

By Dan Stubbs

Posted on 06 Aug 12


The organizers of the London games have been under fire for playing music during track events at the Olympic stadium. Some have complained that it’s too loud (though surely not as loud as the crowd cheering for Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres), others have said it’s distracting for the athletes.

Given that the Olympics playlist has so far included Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’ and David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ - both have been heard over the PA at the Olympic Stadium - you can at least commend them for celebrating great British music. Over in the velodrome on Saturday, Sir Paul McCartney even joined in to his own 'Hey Jude' being played over the loudspeakers. Add to the fact that Muse were asked to supply the Olympic theme – a leftfield choice, in the grand scheme of things – and it’s fair to say the Olympics are doing pretty well on the musical front.

In spite of this, TV and radio coverage is still full of the same old predictable tracks. ‘Gold’, by Spandau Ballet, is to the Olympics what Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is to December: inevitable, inescapable, infuriating. Add to that list: Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’, Vangelis’s ubiquitous ‘Chariots Of Fire’ and, to a lesser extent, Shed Seven’s ‘Going For Gold’,

The problem is, there just aren’t so many songs that have the right combination of drama, gravitas, sing-along-ability and lyrics involving words like gold, medal and win. To help broadcasters out, here are a dozen alternative Olympic anthems:

In the event of a result being queried…

‘Fool’s Gold’ by The Stone Roses

To celebrate winning second place (because it’s not all about coming first)…

‘Sound Of Silver’ by LCD Soundsystem

To mock the losers instead, like they used to on TV’s Gladiators

‘Another One Bites The Dust’ by Queen

To soundtrack swimming and diving events…

Anything from Andrew WK’s ‘I Get Wet’

For any lifting events…

'Heavy Pop' by WU LYF

For any gymnastics events…

‘Ready For The Floor’ by Hot Chip

For any of the athletics events…

‘Stars Of Track And Field’ by Belle and Sebastian

For the judo…

Anything by Chicago math-rockers Sweep The Leg, Johnny

Weepy song for when a gold medal winner cries…

‘The Greatest’ by Cat Power

For montages of Team GB’s phenomenal success…

‘Unbelievable’ by EMF

For any of the equestrian events…

‘My Lovely Horse’ by The Divine Comedy

When Usain Bolt runs…

Anything by US noise-rockers Lightning Bolt. Hey, if you can get Fuck Buttons in the opening ceremony…


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