So, it’s old news by now that the Checkers need a new official goal song (though, I stand by the fact I had no idea they ever had an “official” goal song to begin with!) Who else was on pins and needles waiting to see what would be played after the lone goal on Sunday? I wasn’t opposed to the unknown guitar riff, but it wasn’t that exciting, either.
Gary Glitter is essentially a dirty perve, so obviously, the family friendly Charlotte Checkers don’t want his music representing the team. I think this change is going to be a good thing for the organization. It’s going to give them an opportunity to have a goal song that hopefully energizes the crowd, and can show off the personality of Charlotte and the region’s best team.
So, first… a bit of background on what some of the best goal songs are, and what I think makes for a good goal song.
Countless teams share songs like Glitter’s Rock and Roll pt. 2 or Blur’s Song 2. While they are catchy songs, they aren’t exactly unique. No fewer than three teams claim the above songs as their “official” goal song.
The best goal songs are unique to the team. They inspire a sense of pride in the team, and are recognizable outside of the arena.
Instead of just listing a bunch of qualities, I’ll share some of the best goal songs, in my opinion:
St. Louis – When the Saints Go Marching In. How can you say anything bad about a song, played on an organ, such as this? It’s St. Louis. It’s an American hymn. It’s been recorded by hundreds of artists. And for a team who’s logo and name reflect the musical history of America, there’s no better song!
LA Kings – I Love LA. So, Randy Newman’s hit is probably not the most upbeat and traditional of goal songs, but it’s got a good theme going. It fits the market, and they’ve done some fancy editing that merges I Love L.A. into a pretty awesome rock song.
Nashville Predators – I Like It I Love It. I’m not a big Tim McGraw fan, but how do you fault the team’s song, especially when McGraw re-recorded it with Preds themes? OK, the fang fingers are annoying, and I don’t particularly enjoy the team, but it’s a good song, and VERY appropriate for a Country music market.
Chicago Blackhawks – Chelsea Dagger – I really really dislike the Chicago Blackhawks, but I can’t help but give credit where credit is due, and without a doubt, they have done the most amazing thing with the use of Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis as their goal song. You take a song by an unknown indie band, get the fans in Chicago to rally behind it, and you have one of the most unique and recognizable goal songs in hockey. Well done, Chicago!
So… about the Checkers. How does this relate to them? They need a goal song. And sure, it would be easy to pick a catchy techno song that everyone likes and nobody remembers what it’s called. Or to pick Song 2 by Blur to match the Hurricanes. But there’s something special about the North Carolina hockey history that embodies the Checkers.
So… here are a couple of my own personal suggestions (some serious, some not-so-much):
The Safe and the Humorous:
Poison – Unskinny Bop – What’s not to love about a hair band from my youth? It’s catchy. It’s not overplayed like Welcome to the Jungle. It would be an amusing goal song.
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me – One of the best hair bands of the 80’s. And if a one-armed drummer doesn’t make them badass, I don’t know what does. I wish it was a bit faster, but tempo can be increased. The refrain is, of course, the best part.
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up – Yes, I am in fact suggesting that we Rick Roll the visiting team every time the Checkers score a goal. But it’s funny, right?
Van Halen – Jump – Another 80’s hair band song of awesome. Is there really anything bad to say about it?
My top picks though, are the sentimental picks: These fit into the above category of songs that are appropriate to the team, and UNIQUE.
I did some thinking about famous North Carolina musicians. And there are a lot of them. But not all of them have goal-song worthy works of music. James Taylor is awesome, and so is the song Carolina in my Mind, but it’s a little TOO mellow. North Carolina is the home state of a number of American Idol finalists (Fantasia, Clay Aiken, Kelly Pickler, Chris Daughtry, Bucky Covington and that kid from last year), but do we really want a competition winner to represent the Checkers? I don’t think so.
I thought about beach music from the 60’s… but none of the songs seemed catchy enough (though, I REALLY love Stagger Lee by Lloyd Price). And I kept coming back to two artists… The Avett Brothers, from nearby Cabarrus County, and Ben Folds, one of my favorite musicians of all time. Neither have the main-stream recognizability of some artists, but they are home grown. They are local icons that make North Carolina awesome.
So, my local picks (and top picks) are:
Ben Folds – Army. This is a great song. It’s peppy. It makes you want to sing along, even during the instrumental parts, which are my favorite in the song. Listen to it (shh, I know, it has the F-bomb in the beginning!) but I propose one of two musical interludes. Two minutes in, there is an AWESOME horn solo. Another great section is at 1:30. It might not have lyrics (neither does Chelsea Dagger or most of the techno crap songs people play at games) but you can still sing along with the ba-bop-ba… it’s a GREAT SONG.
The Avett Brothers – Kick Drum Heart – This is a close second to Army, in my opinion. I love that Scott and Seth Avett grew up so close to Charlotte. I love that they’ve become huge musical superstars, but still give back to their home community. The instrumental intro is fantastic, and fun, and it’s North Carolina!
So… what do you think? Leave a comment, and let’s discuss! I have a list of songs that need to be added to the rather repetitive Checkers playlist for key moments during games (bad calls, fights, and when the other team scores) but we’ll save those for another day.