10 Songs That Unexpectedly Became Football Chants


Words: Joe Bourne

As Argentina prepare to meet Germany in the 2014 World Cup final this Sunday, WhoSampled takes a look at a somewhat unlikely but surprisingly varied source of samples: football fans and their chants. While the singing leaves something to be desired, these creative reinterpretations deserve a closer look. Below is a list of the most unusual inspirations for the songs that have emerged from the terraces.

mr60124_201328_131224878111. “Winter Wonderland” by Richard Himber & His Orchestra feat. Joey Nash

A Christmas classic, “Winter Wonderland” has been covered by artists as wide-ranging as Eurythmics and Macy Gray, whose version featured in the popular 2008 Marks & Spencer Christmas advert. It was even sampled on the Nintendo game Diddy Kong Racing. However, it has shaken off its festive context to become a staple football chant whose generic nature allows for any player’s name to be slotted into the framework. For example, see Newcastle United’s “There’s Only One Alan Shearer”:


mr2929_20101213_154304753432. “Guajira Guantanamera” by Joseito Fernández

This traditional Cuban song was made famous by The Sandpipers whose 1966 cover version was an international hit. While the composition started life as a love song, in football it has become something of a jeer. Set to various texts, it attacks opposition fans (‘You only sing when you’re winning’) or under-performing club managers (‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’):


mr32163_2011825_1255366026913. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe

This American patriotic song, known also as a Christian hymn, has been frequently covered by artists including Dionne Warwick. Its melody finds a place in the football repertoire as an extended strophic form at various different clubs, most notably as “Glory, Glory Man United”:


mr7710_20101031_2112413792794. “La Donna è Mobile” by Giuseppe Verdi

An obscure source that hasn’t often been sampled, this opera favourite has travelled untempered from the lips of Pavarotti to the Stamford Bridge faithful as the Chelsea fans hail their most decorated manager of all time, José Mourinho:


mr13_2009718_209498461355. “Go West” by Village People

At the time of its release, this disco tune was overshadowed by the group‘s other hits including “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy“. The track was famously covered by the Pet Shop Boys, whose 1993 version was among the duo’s biggest hits. The Arsenal supporters sing the same melody whenever their team scores the first goal of the match:


mr7710_201129_1613113419546. “When the Saints Go Marching In

This traditional folk melody made its way into contemporary music through a number of channels. In 1938, Louis Armstrong recorded the song, and it has been covered on numerous occasions since. It has also been sampled several times, most recently in an Andy Mineo track. The Southampton team is fortunate to be nicknamed the Saints, as they are able to shout this one out verbatim:


mr2929_2011518_1246565404417. “Blue Moon” by Glen Gray and The Casa Loma Orchestra

A classic jazz standard, this track has been recorded by seminal artists including Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. It has also become Manchester City’s anthem, echoing around the Etihad Stadium before kick off:


mr7710_2010327_231594318678. “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys

This old West Indies folk song was made famous by The Beach Boys, who had a hit with their cover version in 1966. It has since been covered many times and sampled by the likes of Bullion. Fans flip the original lyrics ‘I wanna go home’ to the words ‘Don’t wanna go home’ to mock the resident supporters during an away victory:


mr53041_2014710_1531553167449. “This Old Man

This nursery rhyme, in particular its playful phrase ‘knick-knack paddywhack’, has been sampled by a plethora of hip-hop artists including EPMD, Mobb Deep and ex-basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. It has also been adapted by Manchester United fans as an expletive-laden taunt against their rivals, including Manchester City:


mr115_2011620_14102540631510. “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” by Doris Day

First heard in Hitchcock’s 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much, this song has been frequently covered by artists including Australian Normie Rowe and Sly & the Family Stone, and it has been sampled in hip-hop by Funkdoobiest and Wax Tailor. It is also the victory song for football teams that have just secured a place in a cup final at Wembley:

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Win Deluxe 30th Anniversary Box Sets of The The’s Classic ‘Soul Mining’ LP


In celebration of 30th Anniversary of the release of The The‘s classic long player ‘Soul Mining’, the album has been remastered and expanded and made available in a beautifully packaged deluxe box set. Remastering from the original tapes was overseen by Matt Johnson at Abbey Road, and the lavish vinyl only boxset contains an authentic reproduction of the original seminal album on 180g vinyl, plus an extra 12” vinyl (titled ‘Soul Mining Recollected’) of alternate versions and remixes, itself housed in a gatefold sleeve displaying digitally restored artwork for the single covers of Uncertain Smile, Perfect, and This Is The Day. The Soul Mining boxset also includes a newspaper style poster containing extensive notes written by Johnson that detail the making of the album. The re-mastered audio has also been dubbed from new vinyl test pressings recorded from Matt Johnson’s original 1982 Thorens TD-147 gramophone player using patent ‘Dubbed-From-Disc’ technology, obtainable via a download code contained within the boxset.

Check out this video to see the box’s contents being unveiled:

SoulMiningPackshot_400We’re offering 3 lucky readers an opportunity to win one of these fantastic box sets! All you need to do is answer the following question:

“The The’s Matt Johnson collaborated with which UK DJ to produce a cover version of one of Soul Mining’s tracks in 2012? [clue: The Answer can be found on WhoSampled!]“

Email your answers to competitions@whosampled.com with ‘The The Comp’ in the subject heading. Entries must be received no later than 6pm BST on 3rd July 2014. Winners will be randomly selected from the correct entries and notified by email.


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Pop Wansel interviewed for WhoSampled


For the latest edition of the WhoSampled interview series, we speak with Grammy award winning producer Pop Wansel. Pop has produced for the likes or Kanye, Elle Varner, Alicia Keys, Wiz Khalifa, Miguel, Dizzee Rascal and many many more. Pop is also the son of the pioneering and much sampled jazz fusion artist Dexter Wansel, one of the architects of the ‘Philly Sound’ whose music has had great influence on the evolution of soul and pop.

In this interview, Pop discusses working with many of the today’s most popular hip hop, RnB and pop acts, the influence of his father’s music, all time favourite sample flips and much more.

Listen here or via the embed below:

Pop Wansel interviewed for WhoSampled by Whosampled on Mixcloud

Interview by Chris Read.

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Win Philadelphia International Box Sets: 20 Classic Philly Sound Albums!

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Philadelphia International The Collection‘ compiles 20 classic albums from the Philadelphia catalog in a beautifully packaged box set. Featured artists include the likes of The Jacksons, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Billy Paul among many others to have created music under the watchful eyes of the architects of the ‘Philly sound’, Gamble & Huff. Many of the albums appear with the addition of non-album live recordings or alternate versions, each long player housed in a separate sleeve bearing the original album artwork. The CD set is accompanied by a booklet giving a synopsis of the making of each of the featured albums.

The impact of Gamble & Huff’s work at Philadelphia International on the evolution of funk, soul, disco and popular music in general is evident in this impressive collection. The influence does not end there though of course with more than 500 examples of artists sampling from the albums featured in this set listed on WhoSampled. Among them are sampled classics such as The O’Jays’ ‘For The Love of Money‘ (sampled more than 70 times) and Dexter Wansel‘s timeless drum break led ‘Theme From The Planets‘ (sampled more than 90 times). Artists to have borrowed from Philadelphia titles featured in the set include the likes of Jay Z, Wu-Tang, Mary J Blige, Common, LL Cool J, Justin Timberlake, Big Daddy Kane and DJ Shadow among many others. Among those to have featured in our Top 10 Hot List, Daft Punk’s use of Edwin Birdsong’s Cola Bottle Baby is a notable example.



We’re offering five lucky readers the opportunity to get their hands on one of these beautiful box sets. All you need to do is answer the following question:

“In 2010 Philadelphia hip hop crew The Roots accompanied by John Legend and two other high profile hip hop and R&B vocalists produced a cover version of one of Philadelphia International’s most sampled and covered tracks. The album on which the track is featured was named after the cover version in question. Name that track!” [Clue the answer can be found on WhoSampled!]

Email your answers to competitions@whosampled.com with ‘Philadelphia Comp’ in the subject heading. Entries must be received no later than 6pm BST on 24th June 2014. Winners will be randomly selected from the correct entries and notified by email.

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Lonnie Liston Smith live at Jazz Cafe London – Win Tickets!

On Saturday 28th June, the much sampled Lonnie Liston Smith plays at London’s Jazz Cafe as part of the ‘These Are The Breaks’ series with support from WhoSampled DJs. Lonnie’s music has been sampled more than a hundred times by a catalogue of greats from the world of hip hop, dance music and beyond including the likes of Jay Z, Guru, Roni Size and many many more.

We have five pairs of tickets to the event to give away! All you need to do is answer the following question:

One of the most famous samples of Lonnie Liston Smith’s work appears in a 1988 hip hop classic which is itself an ode to the merits of sampling (specifically of jazz!). Name that hip hop classic and the Lonnie Liston Smith track it samples. [Clue the answer can be found on WhoSampled!]

Email your answers to competitions@whosampled.com with ‘Lonnie Liston Smith Comp’ in the subject heading. Entries must be received no later than 6pm BST on 18th June 2014. Winners will be randomly selected from the correct entries and notified by email. Winners will be responsible for their own travel to and from the venue.

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WhoSampled interviews Mr Thing / Win ‘Strange Breaks & Mr Thing’ Vinyl & CDs!


For the latest edition of the WhoSampled interview series we speak with world champion DJ and renowned crate digger, DJ Mr Thing.

Coming up on the battle DJ circuit in the late 90s, Mr Thing rose to fame as a member of the DMC World Championship winning Scratch Perverts crew, leaving the crew shortly after stealing the world title to pursue a career as club DJ and producer. Excelling at both, Mr Thing has along the way acquired a vast and varied record collection and is rightly considered to be among the world’s foremost crate diggers / collectors. Currently promoting the ‘Strange Breaks & Mr Thing Volume III‘ released on BBE Records, we discuss everything from charity shop finds to battle technique, current releases and more.

Mr Thing interviewed for WhoSampled by Whosampled on Mixcloud

Interview by Chris Read.


We have 5 copies of the fantastic Strange Breaks & Mr Thing Volume III compilation to give away, on double vinyl format and double CD which includes Mr Thing’s mixed version. Stay tuned to the WhoSampled Facebook for competition details!

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Check Out Music Created at the WhoSampled ‘Samplethon’ 2014!


Last Saturday WhoSampled hosted ‘Samplethon’ at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, the world’s first Hackathon for music, providing a group of producers the opportunity to sample an array of music from the vaults of renowned library music label Boosey & Hawkes (now part of Imagem Production Music). Their challenge: to produce a track from the sample material provided in just one day.

Twenty producers attended on the day, each producing a track in controlled conditions in a little over 6 hours, then showcasing their work in a public playback session. Entrants were judged on both the over all quality of their work and creativity in their use of the samples by our judging panel comprised of Mark Rae (Rae & Christian), Ollie Teeba (The Herbaliser), Jonny Cuba (Soundsci), Chris Read (WhoSampled / BBE Records), Lee Bright (A&R BBE Records) and Arun Sethi (Imagem Production Music).

Three winners were announced on the day and three further entrants commended for their creative approach to the challenge. We’re pleased to congratulate the three winning producers: Illiterate, Sleepless and Danny Drive Thru! They each took home a goodie bag of vinyl, CDs and more courtesy of Imagem and BBE Records plus a premium Soundcloud subscription and are now putting their winning tracks forward for inclusion on a forthcoming Imagem release. Check out the winning tracks below:

We’re also pleased to congratulate the three entrants commended for their creative use of the sample material: Innovance, Paradise Scientist and School of Thought. Check out their tracks and many more created on the day on the Samplethon Soundcloud group page!

For more Samplethon news, please stay tuned to www.samplethon.com and the WhoSampled social channels!


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Competition: Win ‘Diggers’ Footwear, Apparel & Vinyl!

‘Diggers’ apparel is the latest project from UK film maker, producer and artist Pritt Kalsi. An active figure in hip hop for over 20 years, Kalsi is the creative mind behind the King of the Beats series of films and beat challenge events, projects which have seen him work alongside the likes of Jazzy Jay, Ultramagnetic MCs, The Beatnuts, DITC, The Beatminerz and many many more.

Prior to the release of forthcoming film project ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ Kalsi, alongside longtime friend and designer Chris Malbon, has launched new apparel brand ‘Diggers’, inspired by the digging and vinyl culture that he has immersed himself in for the last 20 years.

We’re offering one lucky reader the chance to get their hands on this great ‘Diggers’ package containing one pair of boots, a ‘Diggin since 73′ sweatshirt and a mystery 45 in Diggers sleeve, dug by the hands of Kalsi himself. All you need to do is answer the following question:

“Four members of New York’s Diggin In The Crates group first collaborated in 1991 on a track which shares its name with the crew. Name any one of the three samples contained in that track. [Clue: The answer can be found on WhoSampled!]“

Email your answers to competitions@whosampled.com with ‘Diggers Comp’ in the subject heading. Entries must be received no later than 6pm BST on 19th May 2014. A winner will be randomly selected from the correct entries and notified by email.

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Win Signed Kalbata & Mixmonster Albums and Exclusive Photography Prints!


Kalbata and Mixmonster’s fantastic new long player ‘Congo Beat The Drum‘ is a heartfelt tribute to Jamaica’s Reggae and Dub roots. Setting out with the purpose of recording a 100% analogue dub album in the spirit of the late King Tubby and the early dancehall stars of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the album started life as series of backing tracks recorded at the duo’s Tel Aviv studio using a 16-track tape machine, an analogue mixing desk and an array of live instrumentation. A year later the tracks were transported to Jamaica where a stellar cast of vocalists, many of whom worked with the genre’s greats from King Jammy to Lee Scratch Perry, left their distinctive mark on the tracks. The resulting album is a true celebration of Jamaican music with a contemporary twist.


We have 5 signed copies of the album to give away! Each lucky winner will receive not only the signed LP, but also an original photography print of one of the guest artists on the album, shot by Kalbata himself, signed and beautifully printed on art grade archive paper.

All you need to do is answer the following question:

“Album producer Kalbata has an extensive remix discography covering a variety of genres. In 2006 he remixed a track for an experimental Baltimore rap artist for the Big Dada label. Name that artist. [Clue: The answer can be found on WhoSampled!]“

Email your answers to competitions@whosampled.com with ‘Congo Drum Comp’ in the subject heading. Entries must be received no later than 6pm BST on 13th May 2014.

‘Congo Beat The Drum’ is out now on Freestyle Records. Purchase here / listen to the album minimix below:


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“A Million Samples” Documentary and Sample Library, supported by WhoSampled

WhoSampled is pleased to be supporting a great new project from Wickiemedia, “A Million Samples“, a documentary film about the history of the sampler and the role of sampling in the evolution of modern music. Check out the promo film below to find out more:

Alongside the documentary, the film makers are creating an exclusive royalty free drum sample library recorded especially for the project called ‘Deeper Drums’, a portion of which will be pressed on vinyl and re-sampled to give a unique range of sounds with that authentic feel that comes from the vintage equipment used.

In order to make this project a reality, the film makers are looking for your help, via an Indiegogo campaign where you can donate to the project or purchase a range of related products including DVDs of the documentary and the ‘Deeper Drums’ drum library.

Visit the Indiegogo page to find out more, support and purchase!

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