The mixture of music and sports is not an uncommon one. Ranging in the awesome scale from organic songs and chants produced by fans around the world to the prepackaged and recycled rock jams blared through public address systems in many US stadia, it is an almost constant presence in the background. Music cues are used to help pass down times between events, to help create or sustain a particular atmosphere, to distract or mock or any number of reasons.
The release and attention given to Macklemore's tribute song to Dave Niehaus has been on my mind for the past couple weeks. First because it is, in my opinion, quite a good song and fitting tribute, but also because the latter half of the song recalls much more than just the memory of Niehaus.
Baseball is intertwined with musical cues all over the place from the old organ pieces to the modern scoreboard prompts and walk up music. There was J.J. Putz's brief stint with Thunderstruck and of course, we have the ever joyful Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows. Neither of those resonate with me on a team level however; they are confined.
Macklemore's song connects more. It also harkens to all the time I've invested with the team over the years. It reminds me of my own life transitions from little league and backyard catch to gradual and bitter acceptance that I will not be playing professional ball and finding new goals to pursue with equal fervor.
Before this song, I didn't really have anything so associated with the Mariners as a team. Well that's not entirely true since I still can't get this* out of my head and frankly, that's a good enough reason to hate on Alex Rodriguez, so let me say nothing positively associated with the Mariners.
In the spirit of songs that embody a particular team or sporting atmosphere, below are a pair of other songs that capture that feeling to me. Feel free to also use this as this fortnight's music thread. Does anyone have a UW-themed song beyond the laughably quaint and nerdy Washington fight song?
There is a lot of borrowing among supporters when it comes to soccer fans. Watch teams across the globe and likely the first thing that you will probably notice is that a lot of people really care about this sport. The second thing you might notice --or the first if you were already a fan-- is that the list of songs backing the various chants is a short one. You know how every American stadium PA plays Zombie Nation? Well, many supporters group do a Dale Cavese chant and a Horto Magiko chant. There's a good reason. Those are tested rhythms that are easy for beginners to pick up and easy for clubs to adapt.
I have nothing against that, but their global popularity makes me think more of soccer in general than the Sounders specifically when I hear them. That's why I'm rather partial to this song by Seattle band Grammatrain, which they wrote specifically about the Sounders:
Note please that this song resonates a lot more with me when the team performs more like they did in the second half of 2010 than they did in the first half.
Norway is home to many things, most of them visually stunning, but relevant here is the Norway American Football Federation (NoAFF). Patchwork games started by US servicemen stationed there has since grown into a league of 11 teams, one of which is located in a small suburb called Åsane.
Åsane is a borough of the most beautiful cities on the globe, Bergen. Some of you may recognize that city name as one of Seattle's sister cities, with a partnership established in 1967. A plaza dedicated by the King of Norway sits at the triangle point between Leary, Market and 22nd in Ballard and a Seattle-style totem pole reside in Nordness Park, Bergen.
Well, Åsane's NoAFF team, is called the Seahawks and it is no mere accident. They even have a website which some Seattle Seahawks fans must have stumbled onto at random times thanks to their rather surprising URL, seahawks.org. Visiting that website implores you, in English, to "listen to'da Seahawks beat!!" and brings you this wonderful masterpiece:
I know for some it is Bittersweet Symphony that gets them in the Seahawks mood, but I prefer a beat that is more energizing and less associated in my mind with the bittersweet emotion of Super Bowl XL. I don't know who wrote the above song, who's singing it or what at all it is about. My understanding of Norwegian doesn't extend much beyond "hallo, har du øl?" but I love this. On the scales of random happenstance, finding this song might rank somewhere between tripping on the sidewalk onto a $20 bill and having Summer Glau walk up to me asking for advice on beer in Seattle.
There you go, my three songs for three teams. Now offer yours. Or something totally else.