Olé, Olé, Olé

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"Olé, Olé, Olé" (from Spanish: "Olé, Olé, Olé") is a chant associated with various meanings.


The Olé chant originated in Spain. The word "olé" is a Spanish interjection which is often associated with bullfighting. The word has also been associated with other sports since the 20th century.[1] The word is typically chanted by a crowd for a team or player who made an exceptional performance.

The chant is used at various sporting events around the world. For example, the chant is used by the supporters of the Republic of Ireland national football team.[2][3] From 2018 onwards, following the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær as interim manager, Manchester United fans began singing the chant frequently during matches. The chant is also used by fans of the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, and the chant is frequently used by fans of the Welsh rugby union. [4][5]

Use in music[edit]

"Olé, Olé, Olé (The Name of the Game)"
Olé, Olé, Olé.jpeg
Single by The Fans
LabelZYX Records
Songwriter(s)Armath – Deja
Producer(s)Roland Verlooven

In the 1950s, "Ole Ole Ole Ole" was first heard in American Television on the sitcom I Love Lucy. Dezi Arnaz used the chant during his song to Babalú-Ayé, an African deity. The song was written by Margarita Lecuona in 1939.[6]

In 1985, Hans Kusters, the head of Belgian music label Hans Kusters Music, asked music producer Roland Verlooven and singer Grand Jojo to "write a song for the Belgian football champs Anderlecht called “Anderlecht Champion".[7] The song was composed by Armath and Deja, and recorded both in French and Dutch by the Belgian singer Grand Jojo. The song was released that year by Disques Vogue.[8] The following year, Vogue and Walter Capiau recorded another version called "E Viva Mexico", which introduced the chorus "Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé, We are the champions". This now represented support for the national Belgian team who did well during the World Cup in Mexico. Both versions of the song used a slightly different variation of the chant, which probably was also originated in Spain.[verification needed]

Tony Marshall sang a German cover in 1986: "Wir sind die Champions (olé, olé, olé)".

In 1987, Roland Verlooven produced an internationally popular version of the chant, "Olé, Olé, Olé (The Name of the Game)". This song was written by a musical group called "The Fans".[9] The song was released in Spain by label Discos Games, and in Germany by ZYX Records. The Japanese version sold 1 million records in Japan and received a gold record.[citation needed]

In 1988, the Czech songwriter František Ringo Čech wrote the Czech lyrics for the Olé, Olé, Olé (The Name of the Game) which was recorded as a music video and sung by choir of famous Czech football players, which included Antonín Panenka, František Veselý and others.[10]

In 1998, Chumbawamba recorded the hit "Top of the World (Olé, Olé, Olé)".

In 1999, the chant was used in the chorus of "¡Olé!" by the Bouncing Souls on their album Hopeless Romantic.

In 2009 the chant was recorded by Overtone and used in the 2009 film Invictus.

In 2014, Brazilian superstar Carlinhos Brown used the chant in a World Cup inspired song called Brasil Brasil.

The chant is sung frequently by the audience, composed mostly of youth and young adults, at the end of Hillsong Young & Free songs.

Coldplay uses the chant during the performance of their song God Put a Smile Upon Your Face in their Live in Buenos Aires album.

In other sports[edit]

In the United States, the chant has been used at American football games, and baseball games. New York Mets fans have adapted the chant from "olé" to "José" to cheer for José Reyes. Toronto Blue Jays fans similarly used the chant for José Bautista. Cleveland Indians fans use the chant for José Ramirez. The chant is also common at WWE events taking place in Europe, Montreal or in the U.S. For example, the chant was heard at the April 8th, 2013 edition of WWE Raw at the Izod Center. The chant was also repeatedly heard throughout the May 4, 2015 telecast of WWE Raw that took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal,[11] as well as the April 30, 2018 telecast of WWE Raw that also emanated from the Bell Centre, when wrestler Seth Rollins, who was the WWE Intercontinental Champion at the time, was greeted by huge cheers and an Olé, Olé, Olé chant before thanking the crowd with “Merci beaucoup” (French for “thank you very much”).[12]

In tennis, Argentinian player Juan Martin del Potro normally receives the chant during hard-fought points in a match.

The cheer is also widely used by supporters of college soccer in the United States. This led to the creation of a mascot at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which was named Olé.[13]

When the Wisconsin Badgers football team scores a field goal, fans often sing this chant for player Rafael Gaglianone, who is from Brazil.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Desde el vestuario realista salían voces cantarinas de los jugadores que se apuntaban al clarnor popular: «Campeones hobe, hobe, hobe». Lo de hobe se puede traducir por el mejor en la lengua vasca"
  2. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas S.; Rojas, Diana & Shuman, Marah (1994-06-19). "A Great Day for the Irish as Italy is Defeated, 1–0". The Record (Bergen County, NJ). Banging on bodhran drums, the Irish were on their feet – an hour before game time. They chanted, "Ole, ole," their national football cheer, imported from Spain
  3. ^ Doyle, John (June 7, 2002). "Green Army conquering with smiles". The Globe and Mail.
  4. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-embarrass-habs-6-0-in-fight-filled-game/article8425147/
  5. ^ http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100420/mtl_habslose_100420/20100420/
  6. ^ "Emisora Habana Radio » Margarita Lecuona". www.habanaradio.cu (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080514201924/http://www.hanskustersmusic.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26
  8. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/Roland+Verlooven
  9. ^ The Fans Discography at Discogs
  10. ^ "Karel Vágner, František R. Čech: Olé, olé, olé, olé (1988)". Retrieved 21 August 2016. (music video on YouTube)
  11. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1597510-wwe-raw-live-results-reaction-and-analysis-post-wrestlemania-29-show
  12. ^ Phenomenal Ameer (2018-05-02), Seth Rollins gets the Biggest and Loudest Cheers ever !, retrieved 2019-04-10
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-03-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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