While the 2016 World Cup of Hockey undoubtedly drew together a collection of talent that makes us shake our heads, the sublime goal song choices of all the semi-finalists also had us nodding them.
For every Sidney Crosby there was a Wiz Khalifa, for every Anze Kopitar a Jack White.
We take a look at the funky four (plus one more) celebratory tunes that thundered through Air Canada Centre, providing a diverse and memorable playlist.
TEAM CANADA – “We Dem Boyz”
As author of the Steelers Nation rallying cry “Black and Yellow,” Pittsburgh’s Wiz Khalifa is no stranger to pumping up sports venues.
The boyz of Team Canada decided to roll up with the same 2014 frat-boy rap anthem Corey Perry, Brad Marchand and Ryan O’Reilly rocked all the way to gold at the 2016 World Championship.
“I don’t know who it came from,” O’Reilly said, “but it’s nice hearing it — that’s for sure.”
Logan Couture believes the tune was Perry’s idea.
“It wasn’t me,” says Perry, channeling his inner Shaggy. “Don’t look at me. I had nothing to do with it, but I don’t mind it. Might be Doughty — let’s go there.”
Yep, consensus says it was Drew Doughty’s choice.
But musically, you build from the net out. So, starting goalie Carey Price doubled as Canada’s dressing room DJ. How does Price set the mood?
“Country in the mornings and some hip-hop at night before the game,” Couture says.
TEAM RUSSIA – “Dorogoi Dlinnoyu”
The Russians dug deep in the crates for their jaunty goal jam, which was originally composed by Boris Fomin and written by poet Konstantin Podrevsky way back in the 1920s. Head coach Oleg Znarok’s translator told us it translates literally to “By the Long Road” and was a soulful tune popular during the country’s romantic period.
“You know the time of gypsies and dancing bears?” she explained.
Yes. Yes, we do.
“Dorogoi Dlinnoyu” reminisces upon youth and idealism and is better known on this side of the pond by its English-spun cousin “Those Were the Days.” Produced by Paul McCartney, Mary Hopkin’s version of the song became a No. 1 U.K. hit in 1968.
Reporter Aivis Kalniņš tells us KHL teams seldom choose specific goal songs, but “Dorogoi Dlinnoyu” is in heavy rotation at SKA’s rink in St. Petersburg.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) September 20, 2016
TEAM SWEDEN – “En För Alla För En”
If you enjoy this hockey-catered joint, specially recorded for Team Sweden by a group called Tre Kronor (featuring The Poodles!) when Stockholm hosted the 2013 IIHF World Championship, watch the video. Your appreciation will triple like crowns.
Hair! Outfits! Flames! More hair!
“It’s a hockey song for the national team. I like it,” defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “Without the fans, we don’t have a league, so anything we can do to make them enjoy the game even more.”
Sample lyrics (translated) for “One for All, All for One”: “Red or white / Green or grey / Eventually they’ll be black and blue / Yes, nothing can stop us / One for all, all for one.”
Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting could not be reached for comment.
TEAM EUROPE – “Seven Nation Army”
OK, so this one’s pretty slick. Europe coach and World Cup poet laureate Ralph Krueger called his experimental crew “a team with no future and no past.” What better rallying cry than The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” for a club composed of eight nations (maybe France is implied?) that served the Czechs and that Team USA couldn’t hold back.
“I don’t want to talk about songs and anthems anymore. We put that topic in the rest already,” GM Miroslav Satan said. “The guys found something they like. It’s fine, whatever they play.”
It’s more than fine. It’s awesome.
— Team Europe (@TeamEUR_WCH) September 17, 2016
TEAM NORTH AMERICA – “Opposite of Adults”
Regrettably, we may never witness a comet that burned as bright yet was extinguished so soon as Team North America. Gone with them is one of the best goal song choices of all time.
Philly rap crew Chiddy Bang’s “Opposite of Adults,” which pulls its addictive sample from MGMT’s excellent “Kids,” was spot-on for a group of 23-and-unders. Much like Team North America, the duo Chiddy Bang — Anamege and Xaphoon Jones — broke up, likely to never be heard from again. #RIPTNA