Musical Traditions in Sports
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
What would sports be without music? A lot more quiet, and a lot less fun., The communal singing of baseball's official theme song, written in 1908 by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, has been a seventh-inning tradition since 1976, thanks to broadcaster Harry Caray, who led the crowd with his distinctive croak.
Notre Dame Victory March
The greatest and most famous of all college fight songs, it was written in 1908 by alumni brothers Michael and John Shea. The exhortation to "Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame" has been heard at Fighting Irish sports events since 1919.
Playing and singing "The Star Spangled Banner" before games has been standard at baseball stadiums since World War II. Virtually all sports adopted the ritual, including "O Canada" when teams from the Great White North are playing. Artists such as Marvin Gaye and Jose Feliciano have elevated it to an art form.
Super Bowl Halftime Concert
Where college marching bands and Up With People once did their thing, the biggest names in music now strut at football's premier event. Such luminaries as Michael Jackson (1994), Diana Ross ('96), Paul McCartney (2005), Rolling Stones (2006) and Prince (2007) have done the honors, but Janet Jackson and her wardrobe gave the most unforgettable performance, in 2004.
An arena staple, the disco-era hit by the Village People was adopted by the Yankee Stadium grounds crew, which goes through the motions while it drags the infield during the fifth inning.
God Bless America
Written by Irving Berlin during World War 1, singer Kate Smith put the song on the sports map in the 1970s by singing it before Philadelphia Flyers games -- in part for good luck. After 9/11, it became a standard ritual at baseball stadiums during the seventh inning stretch.
Are You Ready For Some Football?
Country star Hank Williams, Jr. has been posing that musical question on Monday Night Football since 1989, followed by a pigskin twist on his hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight."
The playing and singing of Neil Diamond's 1969 pop hit has been an eighth-inning tradition, and reputed good luck charm, at Boston's Fenway Park since the late `90s.
One of the more stirring moments of any Olympics is listening to the gold medal-winner's national anthem, particularly if the winner comes from your country.
A vanishing breed that has been steadily replaced by sound booth deejays, organists were once standard at every stadium and arena. Nancy Bea Hefley has been plying her trade at Dodger Stadium since 1988
NFL Kickoff Concert
Begun in New York City in 2002 with Bon Jovi headlining, the annual event can be found in the city that hosts each season's opening game. This year, Kelly Clarkson, John Mellencamp, Faith Hill and Hinder rocked Indianapolis before the Colts took on the Saints.
Hail To The Redskins
One of two teams with its own marching band (the Ravens are the other), the Redskins have been blaring their fight song -- music by Barnee Breskin; words by Corinne Griffin, wife of former owner George Preston Marshall -- since 1938.
What would an appearance by Mariano Rivera be without the ominous drone of Metallica's "Enter Sandman"? Every closer, and most batters, have their own theme. Among the most popular: "Welcome to the Jungle" (Guns n Roses), "Hell's Bells" (AC/DC), "Crazy Train" (Ozzy Osbourne) and "In Da Club" (50 Cent).
One Shining Moment
This moving song by David Barrett has been used each year since 1986 to accompany a montage of hoops highlights after the conclusion of NCAA men's championship game.
The Ohio State Buckeyes' marching band has been famously spelling out its home state since 1938, with the I dotted by a kick, turn, and bow by the sousaphone player. (The cheer-inspiring move was originally improvised by an early-arriving marcher who needed to synch up with the final note.)
My Old Kentucky Home
Each Triple Crown race has a theme, but the most stirring is Stephen Foster's sentimental ballad, in use for more than 70 years. The University of Louisville Marching Band and the overflow crowd serenades the field as it makes its way to the starting gate before the Run for the Roses. The others: "Maryland, My Maryland" (Preakness) and "New York, New York" (Belmont).
That majestic anthem during the raising of the Olympic flag at the Opening Ceremony was written by Spirou Samara and Costis Palamasin, first used at the 1896 Games, and declared official in 1957. Host cities have also been allowed to compose their own. Among the most famous: "Bugler's Dream" by Leo Arnaud (1968) and "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" by John "Star Wars" Williams (1984)
You'll Never Walk Alone
The inspirational Rodgers and Hammerstein song from Carousel has been belted out by English soccer crowds, particularly in Liverpool, since it became a popular hit in 1963. The band Pink Floyd used a recording of one crowd rendition in their song "Fearless" from the 1971 album Meddle.