Team CatTwo

Some Non-Sequitur Stuff: World Cup Music

Last edit: 07.07.2010





This is written for Allison and Ryan - I hope you enjoy it as well.


Just recently, I spent a weekend in a completely soccer-crazed environment. World Cup South Africa was on; during the matches, life stopped and seemingly nothing else mattered, especially when the teams were close to home, like Germany and England. Although I can barely tell a soccer ball from a beach ball, I got caught up in the moment as well - wound up watching several games.

It was difficult to avoid, anyway - for example, during the Argentina-Mexico match, late night a Sunday ago, all restaurant waiters and all patrons congregated around the bar, while the bartender offered running commentary. Needless to say, food and drink had to wait. Next day, at a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere, the staff was setting up a large computer monitor on a chair in the outside patio, for the convenience of lunch guests viewing Mexico-versus-Slovakia.

I must grudgingly acknowledge that it sort of grew on me and I also got into the spirit of the event.


One thing that I found particularly enjoyable was the total saturation with World Cup themes in the media. As an example, music channels and the European MTV were filled with soccer-related songs, which do not appear to have registered at MTV USA.

There were "official" and unofficial event songs, "official" and unofficial team songs, etc. - not even mentioning the advertising. For your entertainment, I collected a few videos that very much caught my eye.


This one is a challenge for Allison. I think that you should already start practicing in high heels. Once you know how to perform such kicks and passes in stilettos, you have it made! Enjoy.

The tune I frequently heard on German MTV was the "Schland-oh-Schland" team song. That one has a cute story to it: it's a prank that got out of hand.

As you most likely do not know, this year's Eurovision Song Festival was surprisingly won by the German entry, Lena, singing "Satellite".

In the run-up to World Cup, a few college students recorded a team-themed parody, complete with a fake Lena in black dress and a long wig. You can see real Lena's picture on the magazine cover at time marker 2:04. Schland, by the way, is shorthand for Deutschland - Germany - used in stadium chants. The video became an instant viral internet hit. Soon, however, the lawyers of the recording company owning rights to "Satellite" sent out cease-and-desist letters. It was too late, though, the clip spread all over the world. Universal Music must have decided that "if you can't beat them, join them" - last I read, the authors of the parody where being offered a contract.

Speaking of team songs, this one is supposed to support the English. Actually, I think it is awful.

If the success of the team is affected by their song, then it is small wonder that England lost to Germany 1-4 - just compare the two video clips.

Beyond the team music, there was, of course the official FIFA World Cup song. It was done by Shakira - last week, it seemed to be played on European radio and shown on TV in an endless loop. I did not mind it too much as it is pretty catchy, I must say.

Occassionally, the music rights holder blocks it from being played in my page; once you click on the play button to the right you may need to allow playing directly on YouTube. It's worth it, though.

Another video saturating the airwaves was the "Official Coca Cola Song of the World Cup". Yes, even the advertisers have their official songs.

This one was recorded by an African artist, K'naan, in several versions with different partners from different parts of the world. This piece is in Arabic.

Just like Shakira's song, it could be blocked here - if so, you'll need to click through to YouTube.

And this is a slightly different version, in Spanish flavor, with slightly different imagery.

Not to be left behind, Pepsi Cola created its own advertisement / World Cup promo. It's the battle of the soft drinks all over again!

Beyond advertisers, the government got into the act as well. This is a little stirring promo from the South African tourist board.


Update 07.07.2010.


Out of curiosity, I checked the charts on German MTV and what passes for video charts (between all the reality shows) on US MTV. It is amazing how different are the public music tastes; we do indeed live in different worlds. Just to give you an idea:


MTV Germany: top of the Singles "Hitlist":



American MTV: from MTV Top 100 - Top Rated:


1. Shakira - Waka-Waka

2. K'Naan - Waving Flag

3. Velile & Safri - Helele

4. Uwu Lena - Schland O Schland

Looking at the top 4, there seems to be a trend...


1. Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa

2. A Static Lullaby - Hang'Em High

3. A Perfect Circle - Weak and Powerless

4. AC/DC - Madness of the Crowd



In case you were curious how a non-soccer related single made it onto the top of German charts this week: it did not. The Velile and Safri Duo is another "official video". Is it getting out of hand? Enjoy!