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Thread: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

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    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    10 Greatest Sports Songs

    From Sports Illustrated:
    10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Everyone's a critic, including us, so we've taken a crack at picking the 10 greatest sports songs of all time, judging them entirely on their merits as music. Some were written specifically about sports, others have acquired their power by association, but all make for good listening even when you're not at a game -- which is why we've nixed Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

    Arguably the greatest sports song by dint of its longevity, familiarity and popularity, "Take Me Out..." has been croaked by Harry Caray, butchered by Ozzy and warbled by crowds everywhere since Jack Norworth took 15 minutes to scribble the words in 1908 and Albert Von Tilzer tacked on a melody. But do you really want to hear it when you're not standing with a head full of warm, flat ballpark suds in the middle of the seventh inning? Didn't think so.

    So here's our Top 10 countdown. Feel free to agree, argue or add your own.

    10. My Old Kentucky Home, Stephen Foster (1853)
    If you don't get dewy-eyed during the post parade for the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May, either the ponies have yet to Hoover your wallet or your heart is missing. For those who've blown the rent money by the fourth race, there's Randy Newman's curdled version (Brother Gene is big and mean and he don't have much to say).

    9. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, Alan Courtney and Ben Homer (1941)
    The hit version by Betty Bonney, backed by the Les Brown Orchestra, swings as sweetly as the Yankee Clipper did during the 56-game hitting streak that inspired the song.

    8. Glory Days, Bruce Springsteen (1984)
    This rockin' ode to better days gone by is still as infectious as athlete's foot.

    7. Centerfield, John Fogerty (1985)
    A No. 1 hit that's as crisp and sunny as a day on the diamond. This song benched Terry Cashman's Talkin' Baseball as THE modern standard. You can smell the cut grass and pine tar whenever you hear it.

    6. Bugler's Dream, Leo Arnaud (1958)
    Better-known as Olympic Fanfare, the horn-and-tympani intro to The Charge Suite is all stirring pomp and circumstance. Updated and embellished by Star Wars composer John Williams for the 1984 Summer Games, it truly conjures the magnitude of the occasion and rivals Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man for sheer infectious grandiosity.

    5. Winners, Joe Raposo (1973)
    Recorded by Frank Sinatra for his Old Blue Eyes Is Back album, this is the epitome of class -- Ali in Madison Square Garden, Lombardi at Lambeau. Here's to the winners, lift up the glasses/Here's to the glory still to be. Brilliant!

    4. Gonna Fly Now, Bill Conti (1976)
    Of the renowned cinematic tunes, Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is a little too sleepy and now a cliché. The theme from Rocky is more accessible than the Olympic anthem, which it summons, and twice as rousing. It makes you want to drink raw eggs and run five miles while tossing jabs.

    3. Sweet Georgia Brown, Freeman "Brother Bones" Davis (1925)
    Hip-hop may be the official soundtrack of hoops, but no one song says "basketball" like this jaunty, finger-snapping, free-flowing masterpiece that has been the Harlem Globetrotters' theme since 1952.

    2. Oh, Canada, (Calixa Lavallee and Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, 1880; English lyrics by Justice Robert Stanley Weir, 1908)
    Yeah, it's a national anthem, but most national anthems sound like dirges and this one is lump-in-the-throat gorgeous. It summons images of gleaming ice and players on skates, heads bowed under Stanley Cup banners -- even when it's played in baseball stadiums. Lest we be accused of treason, we hereby bestow honorable mention to Ray Charles' version of America the Beautiful.

    1. We Are the Champions, Freddie Mercury (1977)
    Queen's bombast brilliantly captures the been-through-it-all experience of the champion and always sounds good on the radio. It's the one you reach for first after your team wins it all. The piece that precedes it (We Will Rock You) is still beating crowds to death.

    OK, your turn.
    I'll start with a couple. If they're going to have My Old Kentucky Home for its ties to the Derby then they need to have Back Home Again in Indiana for its ties to the Indianapolis 500. Jim Nabors Rocks!

    Also, Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye) by Steam seems to warrant mentioning. Is there anything sweeter than sealing the deal against an arch rival and hearing the whole stadium sing this song? I didn't think so.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    1. We Are the Champions, Freddie Mercury (1977)
    Queen's bombast brilliantly captures the been-through-it-all experience of the champion and always sounds good on the radio. It's the one you reach for first after your team wins it all. The piece that precedes it (We Will Rock You) is still beating crowds to death.
    #1 Gay Athem too... irony abounds.

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and Celebration by Kool and The Gang deserve mention too.
    I never thought of My Old Kentucky Home as a sports song but there's never a dry eye in the house when they play this on Senior Day for UK basketball. It may be the most sentimental song ever written or sung.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds
    Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
    Amen!

    And to a lesser extent, "Burning Heart", which conjures images of running up mountaintops in Siberia and squaring off against Dolph "I must break you" Lundgren.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    "God Bless America" -- Kate Smith
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    I think "Talkin' Baseball" should be #1. I know it's very outdated and I like "Centerfield" a lot too, but Cashman's song is my favorie.

    (And I don't see songs like My Old Ky Home & O Canada as sports songs either, but I can see his points, I suppose)

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Frank Sinatra's "There Used To Be A Ballpark Here" is a wonderful, moody, poignant song.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    in high school basketball we came out to THUNDERSTRUCK by ac/dc for our pregame warms up...running out of the runnel and hearing that in a gym with 3000 people in a town of total population of 1100..man it gets me pumped just thinking about it.

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    got alil captain in u?
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by KalDanielsfan
    in high school basketball we came out to THUNDERSTRUCK by ac/dc for our pregame warms up...running out of the runnel and hearing that in a gym with 3000 people in a town of total population of 1100..man it gets me pumped just thinking about it.
    we do that to this day thundestruck is an all time great warmup song

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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    Anything from the Space Jam soundtrack

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    Re: 10 Greatest Sports Songs

    What about "Rock N Roll Part 2"? Isn't that THE most played song at ANY sports event?
    Let's make some noise!


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