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Stadium anthems or sports anthems or arena anthems are a musical genre identifying songs that are played over the public address systems at stadiums and arenas during breaks in the action to rally the fans. Unlike college fight songs, most stadium anthems were not written primarily for use at sports events, though compilations such as ESPN Presents Stadium Anthems and the "Jock" series occasionally feature remixed versions of these songs designed to segue together or to accentuate the rhythm or other elements of the songs. Some football events have their own anthems, but they are not played during breaks, but they are played as entrance music. The most notable anthems are the FIFA Anthem and the UEFA Champions League Anthem.
Stadium anthems are characterized by a catchy uptempo rhythm and a repeated vocal call-response catchphrase, often a statement of pride or arrogance (such as "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen). Most stadium anthems are drawn from popular rock and roll, dance or rap hits. At college football games, the schools' marching bands often add stadium anthems to their repertoires. In baseball, many stadium anthems are used as entrance music for various ballplayers. For example, AC/DC's "Hells Bells" was the entrance music for Trevor Hoffman and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" filled the same role for Mariano Rivera.
Some stadium anthems are popular in a particular region, or with a specific team because of a reference in the song's lyrics. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is the club anthem of Liverpool Football Club. "Just idag är jag stark" by Kenta is the club anthem of Hammarby Fotboll. The Dallas Cowboys made heavy use of "Should've Been a Cowboy" by Toby Keith in the 1990s, while sports teams in Alabama often use "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. In a rare example of a team actually being mentioned in a song's lyrics, the University of Alabama marching band often plays "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan due to the school being referred to as one of "the winners in the world", even though the reference was intended as sarcastic.
Popular sports anthems
- FIFA Anthem
- UEFA Champions League Anthem
- "Rock and Roll Part 2"
- "We Will Rock You"
- "Gonna Fly Now"
- "We Are the Champions"
- "Get Ready for This"
- "Remember the Name"
- "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
- "Song 2"
- "Crazy Train"
- "Blitzkrieg Bop"
- "Seven Nation Army"
- "Can You Feel It" by RapScallions
- "Kernkraft 400"
- "Welcome to the Jungle"
- "Don't Stop Believin'"
- We STILL rock you: Re-releases chart Queen's rise to power Daily Mail. Retrieved July 17, 2011
- We Are the Champions Allmusic. Retrieved July 17, 2011