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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 like 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.
Stadium anthems are characterized by a catchy up tempo 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 "Hell's Bells" is the entrance music for Trevor Hoffman.
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. 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
- Rock and Roll Part 2
- We Will Rock You
- 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
- 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