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Playlist: Listen, my Olympic friends! ~ July 2012

July 4, 2012

In the words of Moby Grape… listen, my friends! Yes, it’s the (hopefully) monthly playlist presented by George’s Journal just for you good people.

There may be one or two classics to be found here dotted in among different tunes you’re unfamiliar with or have never heard before – or, of course, you may’ve heard them all before. All the same, why not sit back, listen away to and enjoy this collection of Olympic-themed (some admittedly, er, very loosely, but you know) tracks…


CLICK on the song titles to hear them


Spyridon Samaras ~ Olympic Hymn1

Peter, Paul And Mary ~ If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)

Pink Floyd ~ Bike

Simon And Garfunkel ~ The Boxer

Carly Simon ~ It Keeps You Runnin’2

Rod Stewart ~ Sailing

Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. ~ Nadia’s Theme3

Emerson, Lake & Palmer ~ Fanfare For The Common Man4

Vangelis ~ Titles (from the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire)

Peter Gabriel ~ I Go Swimming

The Pointer Sisters ~ Jump (For My Love)5

Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé ~ Barcelona6

John Williams ~ Olympic Fanfare And Theme


1 The choral cantata written by opera composer Spyridon Samaras (with lyrics by poet Kostis Palama) for the very first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896; it was declared the official ‘Olympic Anthem’ in 1958 and is thus performed at the opening ceremony – and often the closing ceremony – of every Games

2 A cover of The Doobie Brothers tune and featuring them on backing vocals – in fact, this version was released the same year as the original, 1976

3 Originally named ‘Cotton’s Theme’ and from the soundtrack of the film Bless The Beasts And The Children (1971), this theme was adopted as the opening theme for the CBS soap opera The Young And The Restless upon its launch in 1973, then three years later it was used over a montage of clips of Nadia Comăneci’s routines at the Montreal Summer Olympics on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports programme, proving so popular its composers renamed it ‘Nadia’s Theme’ and released it as a single, which hit #8 in the US charts

4 The legendary rehearsal of the crap and/ or genius prog rock giants’ version of Aaron Copland’s classical piece in an empty Montreal Olympic Stadium, shortly after the 1976 Montreal Games

5 Released in 1984, and in a shameless ride on the back of anticipation for that year’s Los Angeles Games, this pop classic’s video features hurdlers, long jumpers and high jumpers; the song’s title was changed from merely ‘Jump’ to avoid confusion with the hit of the same name released by Van Halen just months earlier

Co-written by Mercury (and recorded before his death in 1991), this memorable pop-opera-crossover was selected as the official song for the 1992 Barcelona Games, during which it peaked at #2 in the UK charts

This piece opens with Bugler’s Dream, written for the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games, and is followed by John Williams’ goosebumps-inducing Olympic Fanfare And Theme, which the great film composer wrote for the ’84 Los Angeles Summer Games (and has often featured during the BBC’s end-of-year Sports Review/ Personality Of The Year programme)

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