Olympic is the biggest sporting event of the planet with athletes coming in from all over the world to participate in the largest number of events. So for an event as big as this, it also deserves a theme song which should match its grandeur. ‘RISE’ by Katy Perry is the Rio Olympics song this year. This article is a tribute to all the best Olympic songs till date.
Top 10 Olympic Songs Till Date
Olympic theme songs are as awaited as the games themselves because these songs inspirational and uplifting which make the athlete pumped up as they gear up to perform for their countries. Here is the Top 10 Olympic Songs Till Date.
10Amigos Para Siempre (Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras)
At number 10 in best Olympic theme songs is “Amigos Para Siempre” by “Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras”. This Latin-flavored song which was the official song for the 1992 Olympics has a vibe of musical melodrama and theatre. The song was a treat for listeners due to Carreras’s booming tenor, Brightman’s excellent soprano and a grandiose orchestral crescendo. The song was hotly anticipated even before it came out because it was co-written by legendary composer Andrew Webber and lyricist Don Black. It became such a favorite of IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch that it was even played at his funeral in 2010.
9You and Me (Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman)
At number 9 in top 10 Olympic songs till date is “You and me” by “Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman”. Song for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, the theme followed the central idea of “One World, One Dream” which is also the message of the Olympic Games. The song was written by French-Chinese composer Qigang Chen and is a delicate number which provided a great contrast to the glittering and extravagant opening ceremony. This one is a masterpiece on best Olympic theme songs list.
At number 8 in awesome Olympic songs is “Oceania” by “Bjork”. This song was not everyone’s cup of tea and was actually the most bizarre and experimental Olympic Anthem. The song deals with the evolution of mankind with the perspective of the ocean. With great production values, Capella vocals and beat boxing, the performance was magical from start to finish. It was the official Olympic theme song and also the opening ceremony performance of 2004 Olympics was also never seen before as Bjork’s large dress unravelled into a map of the world which covered the entire stadium.
7Reach (Gloria Estefan)
At number 7 in best Olympic anthems of all time is “Reach” by “Gloria Estefan”. If we were talking about the most inspirational and motivating Olympics songs then Reach, the Olympic theme for 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games would probably find itself way higher on the list. Because of its slow acoustic verses, tribal drums, pan pipes and soaring melodies. The song touched something primal within which induces hypnotism on the listener. Furthermore, Gloria’s ability to relate to the lyrics took the song to even greater heights.
6Bang the Drum (Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado)
At number 6 in best Olympic theme songs is “Bang the Drum” by “Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado”. When you listen to the song for the first time, you might not find it really special to make the cut for being the Olympic hymn. And with lyrics like “From the East/ From the West/ Each of us are trying our best” it also not a lyrical masterpiece. But the fact that it’s an upbeat song with a peppy drum solo and a really cheesy chorus about dreaming big has made it stand out. This 2010 Winter Olympics song was a welcome change from the usual somber songs that make it to the Olympic songs list.
At number 5 in this best Olympic songs list is “Someday” by “Flipsyde”. Despite rappers always rapping about motivation, courage and will to overcome obstacles all the time, all of which are the essence of the Olympics, it’s really surprising to see that when it comes to Olympics songs they have largely been ignored. But during the 2006 Winter Olympics, NBC released the song as the Olympic theme song and it was great. The motivational lyrics about overcoming adversity along with a bizarre but really great combination of rap and guitar were spot on.
4Power of the Dream (Celine Dion)
At number 4 in top 10 Olympic theme songs till date is “Power of the Dream” by “Celine Dion”. Celine Dion is immortalized worldwide due to her song “My Heart will go on”. Her powerful vocals complemented by some really great music have made her top charts many times and in Power of the Dream, she does exactly that. She performed the song at the 1996 Summer Olympics in front of a crowd. More than 100000 people with more than 3.5 billion people worldwide who tuned in from their TV heard her. This larynx bursting power ballad easily makes itself as one of the best Olympic songs of all time.
3Hand in Hand (Koreana)
At number 3 in Top 10 Olympic anthems till date is “Hand in Hand” by “Koreana”. This song surprised everyone when it first came out. The official song for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, it was sung both in Korean and English and was produced by Giovanni Giorgio Moroder. The English lyrics were written by Tom Whitlock and the Korean lyrics were written by Kim Moon-Hwan. The song was aptly justified by the vocals and gusto of the Korean band Koreana. The song managed to top the music chart of 17 countries like Sweden, Spain, West Germany, Japan, Austria, etc and the album even sold 12 million copies worldwide.
2Barcelona (Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe)
At number 2 in top 10 Olympic theme songs till date is “Barcelona” by “Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe”. The song was a collaborative effort of Queen Vocalist Freddie Mercury and operatic soprano Monserrat Caballe. At its release, it was the biggest hit of Freddie’s solo career reaching Number eight in UK Singles Chart. Though the song released in 1987, it was later made the Olympic anthem in 1992 Summer Olympics and at that time the track climbed higher, peaking at Number 2 In UK, Netherlands and New Zealand. The song was a really unique one among all Olympic songs as it combined the worlds of opera, rock and pop, to deliver a song that is still remembered.
1One Moment in Time (Whitney Houston)
At number 1 in top ten Olympic songs is “One Moment in Time” by “Whitney Houston”. Whitney had a knack of making really soulful songs and this is among her very best hit of her career. The song was written for the 1988 Seoul Olympics by Albert Hammond and John Betis. The song perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the Olympics. Giving one’s all, facing the pain and ultimately becoming “more than I thought I could be”. Apart from the stellar lyrics, it’s the soulful and amazing vocals of Whitney that really made the song what it was. It reached number 5 on Billboard Top 100 and there has never been another song as appropriate for Olympics like this.
While there have been many official songs in Olympic History, most missed the mark when it came at nailing all the necessary criteria for being a worthy Olympic theme song. These songs are inarguably the best Olympic Songs till date.