Top 6 Sports Themed Songs

Songs that deal with sports in some way are not as plentiful as love songs, but there have been a few. I thought it would be a good idea to list our top 6 sports themed songs here.

#6 – Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

Though only indirectly about sports, Glory Days covers the reminiscing many a person has done as they grow older and they realize their best days are behind them, whether in life or in the batter’s box.

#5 – Cheap Seats by Alabama

Baseball gets more than its fair share of songs, possibly because America’s pastime lends itself to story songs. Cheap Seats is an ode to minor-league ball, outfield bleacher seats and ballpark concessions. Celebrating the fan experience, this one knocks it out of the park.

#4 – Big League by Tom Cochrane

A tragedy set to music, Big League is set apart as a serious song that rocks. The story of a talented player who is cut down in a car accident before his chance to play professionally strikes a tone with all Canadians and many Americans who identify the song with football.

#3 – Centerfield by John Fogerty

A song about riding the pine and itching to get on the field is familiar to many who have played any ball in there life. Just try not to sing along:

Oh, put me in, coach - I'm ready to play today
Put me in, coach - I'm ready to play today
Look at me, I can be

#2 – Talkin’ Baseball by Terry Cashman

The baseball anthem that has filled many a rainout broadcast is a short history lesson on baseball. With multiple versions now recorded for various teams, you can learn a lot by listening to them all. Talkin’ Baseball was even adapted as Talkin’ Softball for the end credits of The Simpsons episode “Homer at the Bat”.

Well Mr. Burns had done it,
The power plant had won it,
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while,
Mike Scioscia's tragic illness made us smile,
While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile...

We're talkin' softball...
From Maine to San Diego.
Talkin' softball...
Mattingly and Canseco.
Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw.
Steve Sax and his run-in with the law.
We're talkin' Homer... Ozzie and the Straw.

#1 – Fifty Mission Cap by The Tragically Hip

This song is really not about sports at all, but about a hockey card. Using the card, The Hip masterfully tell the story of Bill Barilko, who scored the overtime winning goal in Game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup Final to clinch the trophy for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Barilko disappeared later that year in a plane crash. The Leafs next won the Stanley Cup in 1962, the year Barilko’s remains were finally discovered in June. The song weaves the story so much better and has built Barilko’s legend in another generation’s eyes.

Bill Barilko disappeared that summer,
he was on a fishing trip.
The last goal he ever scored
won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another until 1962,
the year he was discovered.
I stole this from a hockey card,
I keep tucked up under
my fifty mission cap, I worked it in
to look like that

There you have it. I would be hard pressed to come up with many more sports related songs to expand this list, but there must be more. I purposely restricted this list to sports related songs, eliminating team fight songs, Stompin’ Tom songs, and anthems that are associated with sports like the ever present Queen hits Another One Bites the Dust and We Are the Champions or Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ which was used in the 2005 Chicago White Sox run to the World Series Championship. What are your rankings and what songs have I missed that deserve to be in the top six?

5 Responses to “Top 6 Sports Themed Songs”

  1. Jim Says:

    Not sure if it belongs on the list, but doesn’t Kenny Rodgers have a song about baseball? Something about some kid striking out or something?

  2. Jon Says:

    Can anyone help Jim out? I don’t think it’s The Gambler.

  3. jim Says:

    I checked with R&D and it turns out the song is called ‘I am the Greatest’. Here’s a link:

    It seems the kid is playing baseball with himself, throwing the ball up in the air to hit it, but swings and misses 3 times. Then he makes the comment that he is impressed with his own pitching. Somebody give Kenny a rimshot!

    Should get honourable mention on the list.

  4. jim Says:

    I’d be even more impressed with this site if someone could find a song specifically about the CFL.

    Didn’t the Barenaked Ladies mention that if they ‘had a million dollars’ they’d put a team in Ottawa? I think it’s somewhere near the end,… between ‘a green dress’ and ‘a monkey’.

  5. Jon Says:

    Jim 1: Honourable mention granted to Kenny Rogers.

    Jim 2: There’s been a few manufactured songs about the CFL. This year the Tripping Daisy’s did one for the Grey Cup, then got it made the official song.

    The closest the CFL has come to commercial success, besides Stompin’ Tom’s Football Song is a side mention in The Tragically Hip’s Little Bones.

    The long days of shock are all gone
    So is football Canada style
    Famous last words taken all wrong
    Wind up on the very same pile

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