K'Naan, World Cup Songs & youtube hysteria

I’ve recently been enamored with a Somalian/Canadian rapper named K’Naan. He has a lot of soul, and his Saul Williams-esque digressions into abstract spoken word don’t annoy me as much as I thought they would.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that a modified version of his already awesome song Wavin’ Flag is the Official FIFA World Cup 2010 Song.

Wait a minute, that’s not the suprising thing. There are official world cup songs?  Oh yes my friends, there are, and they are tragically fantastic!

1990: Gianna Nannini, Edoardo Bennato, Un’estate Italiana


Apparently my Mother’s Italian teacher from her years abroad in the late ’60s started up a lounge singing career, despite being terrible. Later, he was punched in the throat, got a sex change and sang this song.

1994: Daryl Hall and The Sounds Of Blackness, Gloryland


Forgetting the name of the backup band for a moment, It’s like Michael Bolton vomited in Phil Collins’ Converse.  Returning to the name of the backup band, what the fuck? What happened to you Hall? You used to be cool. I can’t possibly imagine Oates is happy with you.

In case you didn’t watch the whole video, let’s return to the Iconic face (and uniform) from this world cup:

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Everything about this World Cup was sick and wrong, but those fake denim shirts are the only thing we can't blame on Lalas

1998 brought us the first time the Official World Cup Song was a modified version of an existing song. Ricky Martin, La Copa de la Vida

Well at least I think this is a modified version… all of Señor Martin’s songs sound the same, and make me flash back to my summer in Russia, when his ‘hits’ were the interminable soundtrack of our drunken hysteria.

2002 marked the bifurcation of Song duties, now with the Official Song & an Official Anthem. I just threw up a little in my mouth: Anastacia, Boom

Speaking of throat punching, watch the video around 2:40, Anastacia gets a throat punch from one of her plasticized chesticles. Ok, not really.

With all that successful choreography, Vangelis FIFA 2002 World Cup Anthem couldn’t be bad, right?

Nothing says fervent and friendly nationalism like hardcore house mixes and candy ravers.

Lastly, 2006 brought some amazing singing from the Official Italian barbershop quartet Well Shaven Tenors & a seemingly uncooperative Oompa Loompa: Il Divo & Toni Braxton: The Time Of Our Lives

The Anthem, Cebrate The Day by Herbert Grönemeyer wasn’t much better. You just can’t sing umlauts.

Let’s all take a moment and thank our assorted deities that zee Germans didn’t call the ‘Hoffmeister for that.

I applaud FIFA for the new 2010 song, but I’m scared to death about what the anthem will be. Please Coldplay, just don’t take the call. That goes for you too, Susan Boyle.

Just to bookend this post with pieces of awesome, here’s K’Naan on Austin City Limits performing the original version of Wavin’ Flag:I love the awkward dudes in the crowd. that would totally be me. Wait, Austin City Limits has a video site? I’m gonna lose months of my life.

  • Ryan Jacobs

    Just wanna say that Wavin’Flag song is great. Found out about you from the Tweetup in Shanghai that Thomas Crampton was at. I intern with him in Hong Kong. Anyway rock on dude