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The use of music at sporting events is a practice that is thousands of years old[ citation needed ], but has recently had a resurgence as a noted phenomenon. Some sports have specific traditions with respect to pieces of music played at particular intervals. Others have made the presentation of music very specific to the team—even to particular players. Music may be used to build the energy of the fans, and music may also be introduced in ways that are less directly connected with the action in a sporting event.
The ancient Greeks intently tied the performance of music to sporting events, particularly at their quadrennial Olympic games.
The revival of the Olympic games in 1896 also incorporated music into the festivities surrounding the competitions. On March 25 of that year, "the Philharmonic Orchestra played the National Anthem and the first Olympic Hymn, written by poet Kostis Palamas and set to music by the well-known Greek composer Spyridon Samaras."
Composer Carl Orff's O Fortuna is most commonly played over a sports venue's public-address system, just before the start of many important, significant professional and collegiate games.
Within its first two notes, coupled with its booming operatic vocals and percussive instrumentation, Orff’s O Fortuna is based upon a 13th-century poem entitled, Carmina Burana . Orff's legendary composition laments fate, and it forms the beginning and end of his interpretation of the poetry.
Certain songs have historically been associated with particular sporting events. Fans of the home team at collegiate athletic events may serenade the losing visitors with a song recorded by Steam, titled "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", with its familiar refrain, "na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye."
Queen's standards '"We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" have also become common fare at sporting events, as have Five Stone's "Make Noise", Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2", and Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400". Most collegiate sports are accompanied by a band that plays brass and drum instrumental music designed to accentuate the experience.
At NBA games, repetitive organ music is played at key points of the game. For example, the announcers often play the "Charge" fanfare to accompany the home team entering the visitor's side of the court with possession of the ball. A different theme is used to encourage the home team in defense of their own side of the court. Many NBA teams now play a particular theme to accompany the home team taking the court to begin the game. They also use chant such as the defence chant to show support and pump up the crowd.
The NCAA does not use organ music, but in many Division I schools, a smaller pep band plays at games (as compared to the full-size football marching bands). However, during a 2004 game between Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky at Ford Field, both teams' full football marching bands played.[ citation needed ]
Ballpark music performed by an organist debuted at Chicago's Wrigley Field in 1941, and had spread to most other Major League parks by the 1960s.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, pre-recorded pop and rock music began to supplement the organ music (or replace it entirely) at many ballparks. A very popular theme song is "Meet the Mets" from 1962 when the Mets joined the MLB. The Mets also had a theme song for their World Series run in 1986, "Let's Go Mets".
In the modern evolution of the sport, many athletes now have "theme songs" that are played when they come up to bat. Slate notes that Major League Baseball players "can pick several songs as personal themes for their plate appearances, sometimes a rotation of four different tracks a game." Indeed, in 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that the longtime organist for Dodger Stadium "has been usurped by a deejay who sits directly below her. He plays a selection of hip-hop and rock, interspersed with devices designed to pump up the crowd and the stadium's volume." In that same year, the Dropkick Murphys' version of a 1902 Red Sox fight song ended up inspiring Red Sox fandom, as their team headed to victory in both the 2004 ALCS and the 2004 World Series.
The Atlanta Braves are known for an organist whose primary duty is playing the visiting player's walkup music, which is often fan-selected or plays on a player's name, with special dispensation for certain players. Former Braves usually are greeted with the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter . Georgian natives having the state's popular regional anthem "Georgia on My Mind". Players who played college baseball at one of the currently 14 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) or currently 14 Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools (both conferences' fan bases reach the city) or Big Ten–school Maryland (which had been an ACC member until the 2013-14 season, since former Terrapins probably made visits to the state of Georgia while playing college baseball) receive their respective school's fight song. (The fight song is played for all players who played at current ACC-schools Louisville, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh or current SEC-schools Missouri and Texas A&M—the five most recent members of the respective conferences in baseball—even if their team played in the American (then–Big East) or Big 12 conference at the time.)
In some cases a particular song may be played at a specific time in the game.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game is often played or sung at major- or minor-league baseball games, typically during the seventh-inning stretch.
At Fenway Park, Neil Diamond's song, "Sweet Caroline," is played during the eighth inning of Boston Red Sox home games, and has been a regular part of the program since 2002.
Since 2006, Sweet Caroline has also played over the sound system during the middle of the eighth inning of New York Mets home games.
Consequently, Diamond's hit single became a standing tradition after several years of playing it based upon the home-team's performance.
The National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills, have been credited for playing "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes before each team kickoff.
Many NHL hockey teams feature an organist to lead crowd chants, cues and other prompts. Hockey organists may adapt popular music for the organ and play genres such as rock, film scores, or pop on the organ in instrumental form.
In the many countries where football is popular, and in the UK in particular, football music is a varied and popular subgenre of popular music. Songs are often released to coincide with specific events, such as the World Cup, or to become anthems for particular teams. Since football has a huge spectator base, such songs are often very popular on the charts. Examples of music created to be football songs include New Order's "World in Motion", and "Three Lions" by The Lightning Seeds in collaboration with comedians and football fans: David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. A subset of football music is novelty football music, which typically includes humorous lyrics. Examples of novelty football songs include "Vindaloo" by Fat Les, "Meat Pie, Sausage Roll", and numerous Frank Sidebottom songs.
The Village People/Pet Shop Boys song "Go West" has also become popular, and an instrumental version of the music was used as the theme for the 2006 World Cup.
Liverpool adopted "You'll Never Walk Alone", specifically the version performed by Merseybeat band Gerry & The Pacemakers, as its theme song.Manchester City have adopted Blue Moon as their song whilst I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles can be heard at games involving West Ham United. Stoke City fans' anthem has been Delilah since the 1970s.
Many College Football teams have marching bands that play during the game at football games and march on the field during halftime.
Currently two teams have marching bands in the NFL. The Washington Football Team have featured a marching band since 1938, and the Baltimore Ravens have featured a marching band since its 1996 inception; however, Baltimore's Marching Ravens dating to the All-American Football Conference (a league which merged with the NFL) team in Baltimore, MD, featured a marching band when it began in 1947, went through many years with the Colts, and continued operations after being abandoned by the Irsay family when the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984. However, that band stayed intact in the area and began playing at other events, including the Preakness Stakes, and was used for the two-year CFL experiment known as the Baltimore Stallions. When the NFL returned to Baltimore with an expansion team in 1996 (the NFL suspended the Cleveland Browns franchise, and awarded an "expansion team" in Baltimore in a complex deal), the loyal band was rewarded by becoming the new Ravens' marching band. For the two years that the Ravens played at the Memorial Statium (former home of the Baltimore Colts) they remained "The Marching Colts." Once the new stadium opened in 1998, the group's name was changed to Baltimore's Marching Ravens to reflect the new era for the new team. During their existence, the Los Angeles Rams had a marching band during their time at both the LA Coliseum and Anaheim Stadium. The practice was abandoned when the team relocated to St. Louis.
The Seattle Seahawks adopted The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" as their theme song, and it is heard whenever something special happens to the home team. For instance, when the team takes the field to a sellout crowd, the song blares throughout the reverberating stadium, or when the Seahawks score the game-winning field goal, it would undoubtedly be played. When the New England Patriots come out from the tunnel, Ozzy Osbourne's hit "Crazy Train" is played. A common song for the New Orleans Saints during and since their Super Bowl Season is "Half-time", or "Stand Up and Get Crunk" by Ying Yang Twins. The song "Big Easy Mafia" is played prior to all New Orleans Saints games while the players are warming up and the fans are pouring into the stadium to hype everyone up. Green Bay Packers play Todd Rundgren's "Bang the Drum All Day" after every Packers touchdown at Lambeau Field.
A common choice of music to be played over PA systems as games are being kicked off is "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones and "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses.
Entire teams will occasionally adopt a theme song (such as the Chicago Bears with their 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle , sung by the members of the team). Up until 2011, Monday Night Football had its own theme, sung by Hank Williams, Jr.; the Hockey Night in Canada theme has sometimes been referred to as Canada's second national anthem; and the Olympic Games have long had powerful theme music composed to accompany ceremonies opening and closing the games.
Perhaps the most extreme example of this can be found in professional wrestling and some mixed martial arts promotions, where almost every wrestler has an entry theme written to suit their particular character.
An album entitled "ESPN Presents Stadium Anthems" has been released that includes many songs that are played over the Public Address system at North American sporting events. Similar albums, such as Jock Jams have been released in the past.
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. The team plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.
The Chicago White Sox is an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. The White Sox are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, and play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field, located on the city's South Side. They are one of two major league clubs in Chicago; the other is the Chicago Cubs of the National League (NL) Central division.
Arthur Bertram "Art" Modell was an American businessman, entrepreneur and National Football League team owner. He owned the Cleveland Browns franchise for 35 years and established the Baltimore Ravens franchise, which he owned for nine years.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, often referred to as just Oriole Park or Camden Yards, is a Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark located in Baltimore, Maryland. Home to the Baltimore Orioles, it is the first of the "retro" major league ballparks constructed during the 1990s and early 2000s. It was completed in 1992 to replace Memorial Stadium.
A football chant or terrace chant is a song or chant usually sung at association football matches by fans. Football chant is an expression of collective identity, most often used by fans to express their pride in the team or encourage the home team, and they may be sung to celebrate a particular player or manager. Fans may also use football chants to slight the opposition, and many fans sing songs about their club rivals, even when they are not playing them. Sometimes the chants are spontaneous reactions to events on the pitch.
Theme music is a musical composition that is often written specifically for a radio programming, television shows, video games, or films and is usually played during the title sequence, opening credits, closing credits, and in some instances at some point during the program.
Comiskey Park was a baseball park in Chicago, Illinois, located in the Armour Square neighborhood on the near-southwest side of the city. The stadium served as the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League from 1910 through 1990. Built by White Sox owner Charles Comiskey and designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, Comiskey Park hosted four World Series and more than 6,000 Major League Baseball games. Also, in one of the most famous boxing matches in history, the field was the site of the 1937 heavyweight title match in which Joe Louis defeated then champion James J. Braddock in eight rounds that launched Louis' unprecedented 11-plus year run as the heavyweight champion of the world.
Memorial Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, that formerly stood on 33rd Street on an oversized block also bounded by Ellerslie Avenue (west), 36th Street (north), and Ednor Road (east). Two stadiums were located here, a 1922 version known as Baltimore Stadium or Municipal Stadium, or sometimes Venable Stadium, and, for a time, Babe Ruth Stadium in reference to the then-recently deceased Baltimore native. The rebuilt multi-sport stadium, when reconstruction was completed in the middle of 1954, would become known as Memorial Stadium. The stadium was also known as The Old Gray Lady of 33rd Street, and also as The World's Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum.
Mile High Stadium was an outdoor multi-purpose stadium located in Denver, Colorado.
"San Diego Super Chargers" was the fight song of the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). The disco song was written in 1979 during the Air Coryell era of the San Diego Chargers, and it was recorded by a session band dubbed "Captain Q.B. and the Big Boys." New Chargers owners replaced the song in 1989 with a non-disco cover version, but the original version was revived around 2002. The team itself was also sometimes referred to as the San Diego Super Chargers.
Stadium anthems or sports anthems or arena anthems are a musical genre identifying songs that are played over the public address systems at stadiums and arenas during breaks in the action to rally the fans. Unlike college fight songs, most stadium anthems were not written primarily for use at sports events, though compilations such as ESPN Presents Stadium Anthems and the "Jock" series occasionally feature remixed versions of these songs designed to segue together or to accentuate the rhythm or other elements of the songs. Some football events have their own anthems, which are not played during breaks, but rather as entrance music. The most notable anthems are the FIFA Anthem and the UEFA Champions League Anthem.
"Kernkraft 400" is a song performed by German techno artist Zombie Nation and the first single from their album Leichenschmaus. Released in 1999, it peaked at number 22 in Germany in February 2000. It also reached number 10 in Flemish Belgium and number five in the Netherlands. In September, the song debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, remaining there for two weeks behind Mariah Carey and Westlife's version of "Against All Odds", and has since received a Gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry for sales of at least 400,000 copies.
Nancy Faust is an American former stadium organist for Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox.
The Hawkeye Marching Band is the marching band for the University of Iowa. The band performs at all home Hawkeye football games at Kinnick Stadium. It is the largest and most visible musical ensemble at the university and was awarded the Louis Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy in 1990. The band was founded in 1881 as a military band, giving membership to both music students and members of the military.
A road game or away game is a sports game where the specified team is not the host and must travel to another venue. Most professional teams represent cities or towns and amateur sports teams often represent academic institutions. Each team has a location where it practices during the season and where it hosts games.
Baltimore's Marching Ravens are the official marching band of the Baltimore Ravens American football team. They were founded as the Baltimore Colts' Marching Band on September 7, 1947, and have continuously operated ever since, supporting three separate football franchises. The band first supported the original Baltimore Colts from 1947 to 1950, but continued to operate even after the franchise disbanded in 1950. After a new Baltimore Colts franchise was installed in 1953, the band became associated with the newly founded team. The band endured a second relocation when the Colts moved to Indianapolis in the middle of the night in 1984, leaving Baltimore without a team for eleven years. The band became attached to a third franchise when the Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1996 and became the Ravens. They are one of two official marching bands in the NFL, the other being the Washington Football Team's Marching Band.
Baltimore, Maryland has a long and storied sporting history encompassing many teams from many different eras. Area fans, such as the late Wild Bill Hagy, are known for their passion and reverence for historical sports figures who played in the city or were born there.
"Go Cubs Go", "Go, Cubs, Go" or "Go, Cubs, Go!" is a song written by Steve Goodman in 1984. At various times the Goodman version of the song has been the official Chicago Cubs team song and the official Cubs victory song. The Goodman version of the song is now referred to as the official Chicago Cubs victory song. The Goodman version has been included in both a 1994 Steve Goodman anthology album and a 2008 Cubs songs and sounds album. Following the team's 2016 World Series victory, the song peaked at number 3 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. An alternate 2008 version by Manic Sewing Circle has also been released.
The Band That Wouldn't Die is a sports documentary film released in 2009 and created and directed by Barry Levinson as a part of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series. The film follows the story of Baltimore's Marching Ravens, a marching band that has supported three separate American football franchises since 1947 and witnessed the controversial relocation of the National Football League's (NFL) Baltimore Colts franchise to Indianapolis in 1984.
"This Is Our House" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was originally written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and recorded in 2009. Originally intended as an exclusive track for the forthcoming National League Super Bowl season, it became a hit with Bon Jovi fans who asked for it to be including on the band's new hits collection. Greatest Hits had already been pressed to disk and it was too late to include the song of a physical format but it made its debut proper as a bonus track if one downloaded Greatest Hit from the band's website. The song was also released as a bonus track on the iTunes edition of their Greatest Hits collection in the UK and Europe, but was released as a digital single in September 2011. Bon Jovi opened many shows in 2010-2012 with This Is Our House.