Top Ten Alternative 2014 World Cup Songs

With the opening of the global tournament, competition is heating up not only on the soccer field but in that of futebol-related songs too, with the tones of these rallying tunes ranging from synth-rock reflections to dance floor raves, satiric selections to protest songs, and the many real sounds of Brazil. Here are 10 of the best unofficial World Cup anthems:

10. Santes les Amis, “Brasil”

Sante les Amis, electro-rockers from soccer stronghold Uruguay, included this track on their new album Sudamericana. While not originally intended as a World Cup song, its celebratory vibe makes for a cool alternative selection for the season.

9. Luis Coronel, Régulo Caro, Ariel Camacho y El Gavachillo, “Vamos a Ganar”

Some high profile Regional Mexican artists throw their cowboy hats into the World Cup song competition with this football-themed kinetic accordion track.

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8. Edu Krieger, “Desculpa Neymar”

The anthem of 2014 FIFA World Cup protestors in Brazil. Singer/songwriter Edu Krieger’s somber ballad, accompanied by an unsettling documentary video, quietly expresses the emotions of a people who love their futebol but not what it’s wrought.

7.Vaudeville Smash ft. Les Murray, “Zinedine Zidane”

2014’s best sing-along track for hardcore soccer fans is from Melbourne band Vaudeville Smash. “Zinedine Zidane” – featuring veteran commentator Les Murray - name checks the world’s best players, fixating upon Zizou, of 2006 World Cup head butt fame. Add a comic video of soccer anarchy in a convenience store and it’s a viral winner.

6. Elza Soares, “Aquarela do Brasil”

Globe-trotting DJ and producer Gilles Peterson went in search of authentic Brazilian music at its source, forming a super group of sorts for his album "Brasil Bam Bam Bam." Septuagenarian samba queen Elza Soares’ growling version of Jao Gilberto’s classic Afro-Brazilian ode is the real sound of Brazil. And it’s perfect for moments of post-game reflection.

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5. Gregor Salto feat. Saxsymbol & Todorov, “Samba do Mundo”

Dutch global house DJ Gregor Salto worked with Pitbull on his Santeria-inspired hit “Echa Pa’lla,” and with “Samba do Mundo,” he hints at what Pit’s World Cup song could have been, a raving anthem for the dance floor as well as the stadium that abandons beachy reveries to reflect the pent up energy of the streets. From Fatboy Slim’s new compilation of like-minded tracks, Bem Brasil.

4. Monty Python, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”

Eric Idle’s comedic cornball theme from “Life of Brian” has already been used as a stadium anthem. Monty Python re-recorded the song for the World Cup with a new verse that goes:

The new verse goes:

“When you’re in the World cup
And all your hopes are up
And everybody wants their team to win.
Then they go and let you down
And come slinking back to town,
It’s time for this daft song to begin.”

3. Bleachers, “Like a River Runs”

The forward-thinking folks at EA Games snatched up this song, included on Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff’s new band Bleachers’ July 15 debut album, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil game soundtrack. The song easily translates to soccer, since it uses some of the cheesy tropes of typical sports anthems—pounding drums, talk of heartbeats, desire and dreams, and a euphoric eyes closed, sing-along climax. But this velvety retro synth-rock ballad turns such platitudes into the kind of song that truly transcends international borders.

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2. Janelle Monae “Heroes”

Janelle Monae brings David Bowie’s soccer-friendly icon of a song to a new generation, via Pepsi’s World Cup-timed campaign.

A young cast of underdogs appear in film short created for the song that has an anti-bullying message. It ends with a triumph of the nerds, and best of all, a kid doing what we all we all want to do when our team wins – cut a soccer ball into a helmet and wear it on our head.

1.MC Guime, “Pais do Futebol”

Fresh from the favela, MC Guime’s groovy motivational rap emerged as the unofficial World Cup Song in Brazil, attracting millions of Youtube plays.