World Cup – Forget the Soccer – Bring the Music!


The World Cup is in full swing, everyone is talking about the soccer, but what about the music?

As a soccer mom, the arrival of the World Cup every four years means the inevitable (little) arguments about the TV remote, because my son wants to watch many of the games. But, it also means paying attention to the new crop of theme songs, which will end up being a part of the soundtrack at our own stadium during the fall season.

In 2010, I actually had to buy an entire album of music, since South Africa had more than just a couple tracks. That album was played on portable speakers at my son’s soccer practices for over a year. Brazil also had more than just a couple in 2014, but only the theme song hit the radar in this house.

Now, in Russia, we also have only a couple songs that are probably going to be heard repeatedly over the next several months. The first gives us Will Smith back behind the mic.

Like previous World Cup songs, “Live It Up” by Nicky Jam, featuring Will Smith and Era Istrefi, is upbeat and hopeful. The video does a good job of promoting the concepts of peaceful competition on the pitch, and national pride. If anyone is wondering about the absence of the U.S. flag, remember that team USA was eliminated from the World Cup some time ago.

The next song is generally the same in sound, but different in another way.

“Colors” by Jason Derulo is the first “corporate sponsored” theme for the World Cup. Coca-Cola is probably the reason why lyrics about “thirst” were worked into this song. Given the nature of corporate sponsorship in FIFA generally, it’s surprising that it took this long for this kind of theme to appear.

All in all, the World Cup music is “more of the same”, but that’s not a bad thing. For those of you who are also soccer parents, at least you’ll know where the songs are from when you end up hearing them during your kids’ games this year.