Top Twenty Olympic Songs #15 – #11

Don’t tell my sport-phobic wife or she will never let me live it down, but after a day of obsessively switching between football, swimming, archery (yes, archery!), rowing and equestrianism (which sounds a Bit Rude frankly) I have room for this thought.

The Olympics may have actually peaked with the admittedly magnificent Opening Ceremony.

Maybe I will rekindle my love for sport on the days to come, who knows?

Numbers 15 down to 11 of the Top Twenty Olympic songs are as follows.

15 – Rowing

I have to admit I enjoyed watching the women’s rowing this morning. Coxless pairs.

There aren’t too many songs about rowing out there and it was either Patty Griffin’s loverly “The Rowing Song” or the only tangentially rowing-related “Misery Is The River Of The World” by Tom Waits.

It took me quite a while to make the final choice but I finally decided that Tom Waits for no man.

14 – Sailing

Continuing on the watery theme, another sport we are quite good at is Sailing. And by “we” I mean the 1%, obviously. Plenty of songs to choose from here. The obvious one is the Rod Stewart number but I won’t go there – may give you the full reasons why I hate that song so much in a future blog entry.

I’m going with an early 70s song by the Beach Boys which doesn’t get played so often. Its not really up to their sixties heyday but it’s still better than bloody “Sailing”.

13 – Swimming

Finally in this evening’s aquatic segment – Swimming.

Glad to see while watching tonight’s pool action that they’ve outlawed those stupid full-length body armour swim-bling costumes, ostensibly because they give an unfair speed advantage but of course we all know that the only reason 95% of us tune in at all is to see some well-toned flesh, only they’re not allowed to admit that is the reason.

I never really appreciated this band when they were ubiquitous and played far too much on the radio, but much like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, when they come on the radio its always a pleasant surprise how good they could be – when you don’t hear them all the bloody time.

12 – Table Tennis

Who doesn’t love a bit of ping-pong? All sports should be named after the noise they make. Archery would be “phht-thud”, swimming would be “splish-splosh” and rugby would be “thwack-ouch”.

Gilberto Gil was the man who introduced reggae to Brazil (a Good Thing) with his version of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” (a Bad Thing).
But we can forgive him because he also did this charming and catchy song about a table tennis table.

All together now “Table tennis table, ping pong, I and I”

11 – Weightlifting

Weightlifters are hard. They train until their hands and arms bleed, literally (or it isn’t counted as a good session).

I am particularly looking forward to seeing Khadija Mohammed competing for the UAE – a country which is a bit less hardline in its attitudes to women than, say the Saudis. Good luck to her – she won’t win, but her presence is symbolically more important than any medal.

And I’m going with a slightly less mainstream song to end with today from experimental collective The Residents. Not as weird-sounding as it was in 1971, but still pretty odd. “Weighlifting Khadija” would havebeen perfect, but its called “Weightlifting Lulu”.

That’s it for now. Numbers 10 down to 6 next time, as well as a few of the sports that didn’t make it, and why. Handball, my arse.

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