Top Twenty Olympics Songs #10 – #6

Day Twelve of the Lympics and inappropriate verbing is rife.

An unprecedented number of Team Great British athletes have medalled, or podiumed if you’d rather. In fact, twenty-one of them at the last count have golded.

The urge to verb unacceptably cannot be resisted.

As mentioned previously, there are 34 Olympic sports, too many to fit into a Top Twenty.

Some of the sports that didn’t “chart” included Handball. I have nothing at all against Handball. Indeed, the likes of Thierry Henry and Diego Maradona managed to bring it to a much wider audience, so fair play to them. But it is a difficult topic to “song” about.

And then there’s Water Polo. What to make of a sport where the referee can penalise fouls he hasn’t actually seen? (thanks trivia quiz machines of the 80s for that factoid).

Apply that logic to rugby union and you would have a match consisting of no tries and twenty or more penaltied to each side. Not much to be celebrated in song there.

Hockey, too, has not given us much in the way of music. Ice Hockey, yes, but that will have to wait for the next Winter Olympics.

So, to the rundown of positions #10 to #6.

10. Boxing

“Ambling Alp” was the nickname of Italian heavyweight boxer Primo Carnera. I don’t think he ever medalled at the Olympics but his career was widely assumed to have been controlled by the Mob.

He was immortalised in song by the mighty Yeasayer on their second album – a fine band who I saw a couple of times on their first low-key tour of those London venue too small to be designated “toilet”. The gig at the Windmill in Brixton, with about thirty people in the tiny room and the band absolutely playing their hearts out, was a cracker.

Sadly, there isn’t anything else on the follow-up “Odd Blood” that I like half as much as “Ambling Alp”. Enjoy.

9. Badminton

There aren’t many songs about badminton either. This one has a video featuring badminton, but hand on heart, I have no idea what it’s about as it’s in Welsh.

The song is called “Dal Ni Lawr” by Genod Droog. Good groove, good record, one of those that I suspect were I to be told what the lyrics mean, it would lose its charm and become somewhat mundane.

8. Football

Half Man Half Biscuit chronicle life’s little idiosyncrasies through the medium of humorous song. This is the second best song ever written about Subbuteo.

“All I Want For Xmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit” – Half Man Half Biscuit

7. Trampolining

A belting record from the hugely underrated Julian Cope. Mad as a box of frogs, and brilliant also.

6. Tennis

Tennis – The Umpire Strikes Back by The Brat

This is that rare thing, a genuinely funny novelty record.

When you’re watching the BBC’s tennis coverage and John McEnroe complains about bad behaviour on the court its always worth reminding yourself of this :

After seeing that, the record seems like an understatement if anything.

Next, the Top Five plus a full countdown!

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