With the 2010 World Cup starting next week in South Africa, most of Ireland’s men will be tuned in to the telly cursing at the fact we’re not there instead of France. If Thierry Henry gets a run-out at any time, the decibel level is sure to rise fivefold. But just imagine if we were there, then we’d have four weeks of having to listen to both our official and unofficial World Cup songs. The Irish have had some good teams over the ages, but not as many good World Cup anthems. Although you can’t go wrong with ‘Put ‘Em Under Pressure’. Still a classic.
I’m probably missing a good few unofficial ones here, so if you know of any, leave a message in the comments and I’ll try to add it. Also, some of these videos are terrible, but they’re all that’s available.
1988 – European Championships, West Germany
Ireland’s first ever international football competition was also our first attempt at trying to create a soundtrack for a sporting event. The songs were the musical equivalent of a nil-all draw. Very uninspiring, and not something you want to go back and revisit very often.
Liam Harrison and the Goal Celebrities – ‘Give it a Lash Jack’
Christy Moore – ‘Joxer Goes to Stuttgart’
‘Ooh Ahh Paul McGrath’
1990 World Cup, Italy
1990 was Ireland’s best ever World Cup, not just on the field (Packie Bonner sand David O’Leary have been heroes ever since), but off it as well. One half of U2 (the less well-known half) took it upon themselves to turn a riff from the Horslips into an anthem. And it worked. We’ve been singing that one World Cup song ever since. Nobody has come close. Also, who can forget that Billy Joel cover by Memories? Oh dear Jesus. Allegedly Joel himself actually tried to sing some of the lyrics to it when he came to play Ireland later that year.
Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen – ‘Put ‘Em Under Pressure’
Memories – ‘The Game’
Penney’s Winning Team – ‘The Team That Jack Built’
1994 World Cup, USA
Amazingly, there are more videos from the batch of songs from the 1990 World Cup than the 1994 one. I could only find one, the awful ‘Watch Your House for Ireland’. So if anyone knows where I can find a video or mp3 or anything of any of the others, let me know.
‘Watch Your House for Ireland’
Joe O’Toole – We’re going to America
The Mighty Quinn
2002 World Cup, Japan and South Korea
Ireland’s most recent World Cup was probably the one with the worst song yet. I mean, it has Dustin and the bloke from Aslan, but even worse contains the line “Sayounara Connemara”. I also remember there were other songs in 2002, but can’t remember the names. Anyone care to jog my memory?
Irish Squad, Dustin, Nicky Byrne, Christy Dignam – ‘Here Come the Good Times’
2010 World Cup, South Africa
This year to cash in on the World Cup, Shay Healy has teamed up with the Corrigan Brothers to release this ditty. Since Ireland aren’t there, it’s a tribute to England’s best player, Wayne Rooney. Damn you Thierry Henry.
Corrigan Brothers & Shay Healy – ‘Wayne Rooney is Our Hero’