Throwback Thursday: World Cup Anthems

With Brazil and Croatia’s kickoff earlier today, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is officially underway.

As I’m writing for a largely American audience, I’m just sensing a “why should I care” response—especially since baseball is in full swing and the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals are both well underway. In that light, let me just reiterate that the World Cup (unlike the World Series) brings together the best soccer teams in the entire world to compete in front of a global audience (and if soccer players worldwide were a country, they’d have the fourth largest population in the world).

One of the great things about the World Cup is the pride the teams ignite in their supporters. Matches turn into epic conquests, players turn into inspirational national figures and music turns into everlasting anthems.

Music in general is a huge part of the World Cup culture. Each World Cup has its own official song and album; players are now releasing their pump up playlists for their supporters; teams (some more than others) have songs written specifically about them. England–always prideful, but typically disappointed—always seems to have the best of the best songs: “This Time (We’ll Get It Right)” which charted at number 2 in the UK in 1982, “Three Lions” which reached number 1 in the UK in 1996 and 1998, and “Come on England” which climbed to number 2 in the UK are just a few of many anthems.

The thing about the music surrounding the teams is that it’s imperative that it resonates with the fans (one of the reason’s this year’s official World Cup song has undergone so much controversy is that there’s no emotional connection). Not every song can be an anthem, after all. So how does one turn a song into an anthem?

Perhaps advertising is the answer. In honor of Throwback Thursday, take a look at a 1975 British airways ad, “Fly the Flag” that later turned into one of England’s anthems.

 

 

Of course, what’s the ad without the anthem, “England, We’ll Fly the Flag?”

 

 

What made it a great anthem? For one, it was catchy. Additionally, the lyrics were insightful and the beat was familiar (something purely English).

Know of any songs you’d like to become World Cup anthems this year? Share them with us in the comments.

Cover Photo Source: stephen mulcahey / Shutterstock.com

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.