A Seven Nation Army Now Rules The Sports Roost
The White Stripes' hit makes for an unlikely stadium jam.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: January 18th, 2012
Seven nations. One Army. And one infectious stadium jam.
Okay, fine, there is no real-life seven-nation army. Rather, "Seven Nation Army" is a rock song released by The White Stripes in 2003. The title comes from what White Stripes singer Jack White used to call the Salvation Army as a child. But recently the song has become popular in American sports stadiums, nine years after its release.
Why did it take so long for American sports fans to embrace this blues-rock ditty and place it in the stadium-anthem pantheon with "Crazy Train," "Enter Sandman," "KernKraft 400," "The Final Countdown," "Sandstorm," "Rock And Roll Part 2," "We Will Rock You," "We Are The Champions," and many, many others? Well, as with most trends, it started in Europe.
Sure, the song received plenty of critical acclaim Stateside when it came out, but it was European soccer fans who adopted it as an anthem. It started as a spontaneous chant along with the beat before a 2003 match in Milan as fans of Brugge K.V. belted out the tune before playing A.C. Milan, and it spread as teams came to play Brugge in Belgium.
Eventually, it became an unofficial anthem for the Italian national team, and sometime in 2006, in made its way to Penn State for football games. Around that same time, Arranger's Publishing in Nashville created a marching-band arrangement for the song, and as college marching bands picked it up, the song's popularity continued to spread.
So if you're wondering why a song that's nearly a decade old is pumping through stadium speakers as you watch the NFL playoffs this week, now you know.