Which Songs Should Soundtrack The Olympics Opening Ceremony?

Danny Boyle’s been talking a good game as the Olympic Opening Ceremony Grand Tsar, revealing his plans to turn the stadium into a “green and pleasant land” – because that’s what Britain’s all about, isn’t it? Apart from all the urban wastelands, that is, not least the one around the stadium.


Now here comes Boyle’s official soundtrack for the night, as – apparently – mixed by Underworld. The Sun claims to have got hold of the leaked playlist and it’s quite the ear-opener, including the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ (really? Her Maj is gonna love that), the themes from EastEnders and Coronation Street and, er, Jacko’s ‘Billie Jean’. See below for the full horror.


Whether the list is real or not – and it’s hard to imagine the crazed criminal mastermind who would’ve dreamt it up if it’s a fake – it doesn’t quite hit the spot. So let’s improve it. I’ll kick off with a few suggestions, and you can then chime in with better ones.

Queen, ‘Bicycle Race’
In honour of the only Olympic sport we triumph in these days.

The Sundays, ‘Can’t Be Sure’

“England my country/The home of the free/Such miserable weather” commemorates both our proud nation and the inevitable washout.

Jake Bugg, ‘Lightning Bolt’

Surely written for Usain anyway.

Belle & Sebastian, ‘Stars Of Track And Field’

We can do literal too. This one’s just for Jessica Ennis.

The Specials, ‘Ghost Town’

An apocalyptic vision of Stratford after all of this is over.


And here’s that leaked Danny Boyle playlist in full:

Drummond/Cory, ‘Eton Boating Song’
Elgar/Benson, ‘Land Of Hope and Glory’
The Jam, ‘Going Underground’
Muse, ‘Map Of The Problematique’
Big Ben Chimes
Sex Pistols, ‘God Save The Queen’
The Clash, ‘London Calling’
Simon May, ‘EastEnders Theme’
Shipping Forecast
Parry/Blake, ‘Jerusalem’
Elgar, ‘Nimrod’
Handel, ‘Arrival Of The Queen of Sheba’
Eric Coates, ‘Dambusters March’
Handel, ‘Music For The Royal Fireworks’
Monty Norman, ‘James Bond Theme’
Mike Oldfield, ‘Tubular Bells’
Mike Oldfield, ‘In Dulci Jubilo’
Vangelis, ‘Chariots Of Fire (Performed By LSO)’
BBC News Theme (1954)
Arthur Wood, ‘The Archers Theme’
Winifred Atwell, ‘Black & White Rag’
Sugababes, ‘Push The Button’
OMD, ‘Enola Gay’
David Rose And His Orchestra, ‘The Stripper’
Lionel Bart, ‘Food Glorious Food’
Kostal/Sherman/Sherman, ‘Bedknobs And Broomsticks’
Rizzle Kicks, ‘When I Was A Youngster’
The Jam, ‘Going Underground’
Eric Clapton, ‘Wonderful Tonight’
Colin Tully, ‘Gregory’s Girl’
William Pitt, ‘City Lights’
The Who , ‘My Generation’
The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’
Millie, ‘My Boy Lollipop’
The Kinks, ‘All Day And All Of The Night’
The Beatles, ‘She Loves You’
Mud, ‘Tiger Feet’
Led Zeppelin, ‘Trampled Under Foot’
The Specials, ‘A Message To You, Rudy’
David Bowie, ‘Starman’
Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Sex Pistols, ‘Pretty Vacant’
Duran Duran, ‘The Reflex’
New Order, ‘Blue Monday’
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Relax’
Soul II Soul, ‘Back To Life’
Happy Mondays, ‘Step On’
Eurythmics, ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’
The Verve, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’
Prodigy, ‘Firestarter’
Underworld, ‘Born Slippy’
Kenbrovin/Kellette, ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’
William Pitt, ‘City Lights’
Blur, ‘Song 2’
Dizzee Rascal, ‘Bonkers’
Tygerstyle ft. Kaka Bhaniawala, ‘Nachna Onda Nei’
Michael Jackson, ‘Billie Jean’
Queen & David Bowie, ‘Under Pressure’
Ilaiyaraaja ft. S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, ‘Naanthaan Ungappanda’
Dizzee Rascal, ‘Bonkers’
Arctic Monkeys, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse, ‘Valerie’
Radiohead, ‘Creep’
Muse, ‘Uprising’
Kano & Mikey J, ‘Random Antics’
Tinie Tempah, ‘Pass Out’
Dizzee Rascal, ‘Bonkers’
MIA, ‘Paper Planes’
Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’
The Chemical Brothers, ‘Galvanize’
Franz Ferdinand, ‘Take Me Out’
Kaiser Chiefs, ‘I Predict A Riot’
Roll Deep, ‘Shake A Leg’
Adele, ‘Rolling In The Deep’
Oasis, ‘The Hindu Times’
Oasis, ‘Wonderwall’
Emeli Sande, ‘Heaven’
Monk/Lyte, ‘Abide With Me’
Pink Floyd, ‘Eclipse’
The Beatles, ‘The End’
The Beatles, ‘Hey Jude’
David Bowie, ‘”Heroes”’
Eric Spear, ‘Coronation Street Theme’
Ron Grainer, ‘Doctor Who Theme’
John Philip Sousa, ‘Monty Python Theme’
David Bowie, ‘Absolute Beginners’