The Key Elements to The Perfect World Cup Song

19 Jun 2014

With World Cup fever well and truly gripping the nation we thought it would be a perfect time to take a look at what makes ‘The Perfect World Cup Song’. So without further ado here’s our key elements to the perfect World Cup song…

1. Football

A key element to mention but one that is sadly lacking from songs such as ‘Waka Waka (This time for Africa)’ by She-Wolf Shakira, which was the official World Cup song in 2010. Amazingly, there is no mention of feet, balls, pitches or even the odd line telling the ref to blow his whistle once in a while. There is, however, the line ‘Get back in the saddle’. We think poor Shakira got a bit confused here. Researching this has also led us to Google the lyrics to Waka Waka, which we can’t recommend enough to you all.

2. Footballers Singing

Crucial. It is tradition to force England players to embarrass themselves in front of a microphone in the vain hope that they don’t embarrass themselves on the pitch. Rarely this tactic works, but it is much more pleasing to see John Barnes rapping with a football under his arm than getting booed off the pitch a la San Marino 1994. Our music team love how well integrated this legendary rap was into a football song that still had all the elements of a great 1990s pop song.

3. Lad Rock

If there’s one thing lads like, it’s football. Another is indie-rock. Mix the two and you’ve got the makings of a good, if not slightly forgettable, football song (we’re looking at you here, Embrace). Everyone from Alex James, Bernard Sumner and bizarrely, Echo and The Bunnymen have got in on the sporty singalongs, with varying amounts of success.

4. Random Celebrities Dropped In

An extremely important factor in a successful World Cup song and video: and the more random, the better. Points to Omid Djalili who managed to rhyme Wayne Rooney with George Clooney in this year’s ‘England’s Going Out (To Do It Again)’, which possibly makes for the first and last time the two were mentioned in the same sentence.

5. Sound Effects

Here at KVHstudios we know how a great sound effect can make audio go from good to great. From the ref’s whistle to cheering crowds, no football song is complete without these in the background. And don’t even talk to us if the song doesn’t contain those final few moments of legendary 1966 World Cup Final commentary.

6. Heartstrings

This is where things get serious and a song goes from average to anthemic. We dare you not to get shivers at the climatic end of Jerusalem, or feel the hope radiating through at the start of Three Lions. We’ve seen a football song rocket into the top ten this year for this very reason. The extremely sad and untimely departure of Rik Mayall has seen sales of his 2010 football song ‘Noble England’ rocket, as fans young and old remember a great comedy hero. The public reaction to the tune simply goes to show that a football anthem is more than a just song and, as ever, football is more than just a game.

Our Top Three ‘Perfect World Cup Song (s)’

3. Vindaloo

Loads of key elements here: an easy and memorable chant, lad rock, great video and random celebrity appearances by the bucket (of vindaloo) full. A slight lack of sentiment brings this one in at number three.

2. World in Motion

Narrowly missing out on the top spot, only for the fact that it can’t be sung on the pitch. Simplicity is a key ingredient in the melting pot of a great football song. It needs to be able to be sung in the stands, after one too many, and without the use of a lyrics screen at karaoke. Although some of us may know the entire John Barnes rap by heart, those great people are sadly few and far between.

1. Three Lions

If you’re in your mid twenties this may well be the first football song you ever knew and loved. Fun, energetic and with a great chorus and loads of commentary sound effects – this one has it all. Most importantly, it pulls your heartstrings almost as much as the sight of Gazza crying. This song gave us hope that maybe, just maybe, England might bring the trophy back to where it belongs.


We hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have a ‘Perfect World Cup song’ that you’d like to share head over to our Twitter and Facebook pages: