Last nights quarter-finals action in the 2018 Uefa Champions league between two gladiators from The Premier League witnessed yet again the relationship between music and sports.
Manchester City who are runaway league leaders were away to England’s most successful team in the competition and barely 8 minutes into the game, City fans perhaps got carried away by their teams good start to the game and began chanting to which the Liverpool fans responded with the famous Champions league chant, . ‘Ole’ is a Spanish word that means approval or encouragement traditionally used at bullfights.
Whether the song by the fans play a role in inspiring improved performances from the actors on the night is a theory yet unproven but music has found its way firmly into sporting and every other activity around the world.
In our side of the world, Nigerian artistes have also not been left out in this natural partnership as prior to major competitions and sporting events, a theme song is usually composed that finds its way into the hearts of music lovers and serves as an anthem to cheer their team to success at events.
Here is a look of 5 songs that have wowed us at several times.
1. Lagbaja - Loko Iya won (Owole)
In 1996, following the success of the Nigerian under-23 team referred to as ‘the dream team’ at the football competition of the Atlanta Olympics.
The masked man immediately released a song that grew into a monster hit nationwide and still evokes memories anytime it gets played. The song captures the team’s victory over their opponents at each stage of the competition all the way to the finals with well crafted ‘call and response’ lines and ad-libs. Nigeria may not be the powerhouse that it once was in football but like Lagbaja says ‘Ask Argentina, ask Brazilia, when it comes to soccer, Nigeria loko iya won’.
2. Tony One Week - Gyrate
Also released in 1996 following the Atlanta Olympic gold medal by the dream team. Actor, comedian, politician and musician Tony Muanogor aka Tony One Week put together a groovy tune to celebrate the exploits of the team and the song went viral and has stayed evergreen.
Gyrate is a song that calls on Nigerians irrespective of their class to celebrate the nations sporting achievements with the famous line of referencing the dream team’s victory over the Samba boys at the semi-finals of the competition sealing it as a classic in Nigerian hearts.
3 Austino Milado - Super Eagles Carry go (Walele)
Another artist who recorded a song that became a sporting national anthem in the early 2000s was gyration act, Austino Milado with his song.
The song and the video which featured a cameo appearance from actress took a historical journey down memory lane curating the Super Eagles victory at various competitions and highlighting the prowess of certain actors who participated at each tournament.
Austino Milado’s song has since been sampled by several top Nigerian artistes like on and remains a favourite of the supporters club at major competitions.
4. Nigerian Supporters club - All we are saying (Give us one goal)
Many have probably heard the familiar chant from the Nations supporters club across various stadiums anytime the Super Eagles or any of our National teams play, especially when they are yet to score.
The song which is easily the most famous football song at match grounds and is bound to resurface at the 2018 World cup is an adaptation of 1969 single by John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band after his separation from The Beatles and it went on to become an anti-war anthem in America at the time.
One can only hope that the Super Eagles get their scoring boots on early so we won’t need to hear endless renditions of this song during the World cup.
5. 2baba and Omawunmi - Power of Naija
Following the national teams' qualification for the 2010 world cup in South Africa, corporate Nigeria took interest and top beverage company, Guinness put together a theme song performed by superstar artistes 2baba and Omawunmi to celebrate and warn the world of the ‘Power of Naija’.
The song which was produced by ace producer Cobhams Asuquo who also provided vocal support is one of the well-composed songs extolling the drop of greatness in all of us.