Here in the United States we have just finished having Superbowl Sunday, the day on which the two best football teams in the land go head to head(though the final outcome of this year’s game does leave something to be desired.)
We also have the Winter Olympics coming up. While I am by no means athletic I enjoy watching some Olympic coverage. I would like to see something more than just the ice skating, rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized diving, but I can’t help what they only show on network TV. Regardless, I still admire the hard work, dedication and athleticism that the competitors display. Personally though, no Olympics opening ceremony is going to be able to rival the opening ceremonies in London.
C’mon, you had Monty Python, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, James Bond, Mr. Bean, and even The BBC’s Sherlock (also known to me as “John Harrison” in Star Trek Into Darkness, and the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit. ) saying “Let the games begin”. They also had quotes from Milton, Dickens, Jane Austen and Shakespeare. Where else can you put something as “nerdy” as literature with something as “cool” as sports and have it work so well together?
One thing that stood out to me during the London ceremony is that The British band Queen actually wrote a number of the most iconic “jock jams” in music history. They are a British group and yet their songs have become ingrained into the American sports culture. It’s not hard to see why. If you hear some of those songs, they are sure to get you psyched.
It may be surprising to some but music is a huge part of sports. The right tunes can help pump up the players for your team, intimidate the opponents and get the crowds more involved in the game. Especially if it’s a game like Superbowl 2014 where the final score is 43 to 8. It’s kind of like how in a movie the right song or orchestral movement will help under score the necessary emotions for what is on-screen and create a richer emotional experience for the audience.
It’s probably why people like listening to music when they get up in the morning, and when they get ready to work out. It’s all a state of mind. When you get yourself psyched, you stay psyched for what ever you have to do.
In honor of the Olympics and the Superbowl, here is a list of songs that pump me up and get me psyched for anything, be it my daily exercise, or something boring and mundane as compiling a bibliography for a book. And yes, it is a delightful mix of both the cool, and the nerdy.
1. Gonna Fly Now ( Theme from Rocky)- Bill Conti, Carol Connors, and Ayn Robbins. One of the most iconic sports themes in film history this song plays during Rocky’s training scenes and reaches its highpoint just as he does his dance on the art museum steps. This song is going to psych up any one who hears it and make them do the same.
2. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor. First featured in the movie Rocky III, this song, goes even further in getting the listener psyched. This one causes you to dig deep, get hungry for victory and get mad. In the movie Rocky III, he had lost focus on his true passion and only focused on the glory which caused him to lose focus in his fight against Clubber Lang. Former rival Apollo Creed took him back to basics to find that fire. Now you too can find that fire.
3. We Will Rock You - Queen-The song title is self-explanatory as to why this song is so good for psyching you up. Usually played at sporting events when the team is behind.
4. Imperial March-John Williams-What Darth Vader’s theme can get you psyched? Yes. Yes it can. Like “We Will Rock You”, it’s usually played when the team is behind to get them mad. And it’s just awesome. You know, you can pretty much expect that if I’m compiling a song list, that “The Imperial March” may very well be on it. Like say, awesome songs to play at a wedding reception. ( Don’t laugh. One of my buddies and his wife walked into their reception to the Imperial March.)
5.We Are the Champions-Queen-OK, this one tends to come after the game is over, but it still applies.
6. Another One Bites the Dust-Queen-Like #5, it also tends to be more of a game is over song, and for good reason. Another rival has bit the dust.
7. Dream On – Aerosmith – I think the words to this song are self-explanatory. To say anything else would be redundant . Have a listen.
8.Song Of the Lonely Mountain - This one comes from The Hobbit and it symbolizes the struggle of the dwarves to reclaim their homeland .It captures their anger, but also their nobility. Sometimes you need to get a little angry in order to achieve your dreams and gain that which you are fighting for.
Below are two great versions of the song:
First is the “Song of the Misty Mountains” as performed by the Dwarf Chorus
Then is the end credit version as performed by Neil Finn
9.Superman March-John Williams-What better hero to get you pumped up than the Man of Steel, the hero that can do anything? It starts slow at the beginning, but then after the brief intro it picks up, seemingly capturing the idea of the iconic character in flight. You’re sure to feel the same way.
10. The Final Game-from Rudy-Jerry Goldsmith-if you’re familiar with the movie Rudy, then you probably know that in “The Final Game” that all his hard work pays off and he gets to finally have his moment to shine. As you listen to the theme, you can almost imagine the slow clap of the crowd as they call your name, urging you to go on.
11. Captain America March - Alan Silvestri -This song perfectly feels like an old school films core and it is all the better for it. Like the Williams Superman fanfare it is just as ennobling, and inspiring.
In fact listening to it, you’re sure to feel like this.
11. Chariots of Fire- Vangelis- Maybe not as rousing as the other songs, or heroic, but it is certainly inspiring. It may be often parodied but it still makes you feel like those men that almost had wings on their heels as they raced.
12. Mark 1-Ramin Djawadi - From Iron Man-What better way to get you pumped up then by imagining you’re in a cave, making a high-tech suit of armor out of a box of scraps? There is the sound of an anvil being struck which works perfect for helping you get that edge to go on.
13. Aquaman’s Rousing Song of Heroism-Just give his song a listen. It’s sure to boost your spirits after your crushing defeats.
…What’s wrong. You don’t look roused.