Ah, the World Cup. La Coupe du monde, or as they’ll be calling it in Russia this year – that thing that Putin wants to keep in his bathroom. It only comes around every four years, and before you know it is gone again. While it is there, whether you are a fan or no fan, you can be sure that it will dominate your month.
For some it is a month long paradise and display of the beautiful game. When dreams come true, heroes are made, future syndromes and superstitions are built. There are memories which you will have with you for the rest of your life. The hand of God in ’86, the English tears of 1990, the ponytail of despair in 1994, the French revolution of 1998, the Spanish domination and the fateful realisation that the Germans are the World Champions once again…
For others it is a month of confusion as they bear witness to alcohol-fuelled grown men and women crying at the TV. The torture of the daily dinnertime football discussions and the media madness, and of course the fact that their favourite programs like CSI whatever city it is, is no longer on TV.
I am not ashamed to admit that I belong to the former. Football runs through my veins as much as music, and then there is the perfect combination – football and music. There have been some great World Cup songs over the years, here are the top 5 world Cup bangers. It comes as no surprise that some of the best come from England, if only we were as good at playing the game as we are at singing about it….
5. Gloryland – Daryl Hall, Sounds of Blackness
90’s synth verging on Baywatch, American pride trying to promote a sport the country doesn’t understand…magic. You couldn’t get more American if you put a bald eagle in a Ford Mustang, stuck a Big Mac in his mouth and told him to sing stars and stripes forever.
4. Fat Les – Vindaloo
Musical talent runs in the family as Lilly’s dad once again proves he has a knack for a catchy song. Lyrically satirical and playing on the stereotypes, it is a song which dominated an eventful tournament for England, and became a drunken anthem for a while.
3. Dario G – Carnaval de Paris
Another one from France 1998, this time with a bit more rhythm. As soon as those horns kick in it just makes you want to throw on your retro shirt, head to your nearest park and realize how unfit you are after a 15 minute kick-a-bout.
2. Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds – Three Lions ’98
A World Cup playlist wouldn’t be complete without Three Lions. The original written for Euro 96 was better, but it was stolen by the Germans. A new one had to be released and once again it managed to get everyone in the country hoping and praying for the impossible. It just wasn’t to be in the end, and it still hurts to listen to it now.
1. New Order – World In Motion
This is just a great song in every possible way. Not over the top on the football side, no cheesy after-taste like most of the trudge made for recent tournaments, and John Barnes getting out his quite impressive rapping skills. Barnes won the chance to rap after a contest with Peter Beardsley amongst others. The song would have probably been quite a different beast had Beardsley won….
BONUS TRACK – der nino aus wien – fuasboi schaun
Finally there is football to watch.
With such a media spectacle, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest brands in the world jump on the bandwagon, whether they be official partners or just on the hunt for a bit of ambush marketing to ride the hype. Because many will be sitting watery-eyed in front of the gogglebox this month, the ads are out in full force with Adidas delivering a hearty dose of goosebumpiness (is that a word?)
There have been some crackers over the years that have set our pulses racing and sent us running into the garden to hammer a ball over the neighbours fence in football fever. Here are the best:
Nike – The airport – 1998
Unforgettable. A classic ad that inspired countless kick-a-bouts at airports around the world (back when things were a lot simpler). Look how many legends Brazil had in that team!
Adidas – Footballitis – 2002
Anyone who’s a football fan has had this at some time or other. How many balls have you imaginarily headed into the back of the net over the years?
Nike – Write The Future – 2010
Nike almost predicted the future when they imagined Wayne Rooney living in a caravan… a great ad that shows how defining small moments in history can be.
Pepsi – Oktoberfest – 2006
This. Is. Just. So. Weird.