Nashville SC Reveals Club Anthem “Never Give Up on You” by Judah and the Lion
Nashville SC revealed what the club hopes to become the team’s anthem today. The song titled, “Never Give Up on You” was written by local band Judah and the Lion. Talking about the anthem last week, Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre said, “We’ve written an anthem for the team, you know if you’re in the Music City, if you can’t write a song for your team in this city, you can’t write one anywhere and we think the combination of those things will solidify the supporters and fans around soccer in that stadium.” Listen to the song here. Fans have just over a week to learn the lyrics before the band plays it live before the Atlanta United match.
Who are Judah and the Lion?
Judah & the Lion is an American alternative band that met a Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The band is made up of Judah Akers (vocals, guitar), Brian Macdonald (mandolin, vocals), and Nate Zuercher (banjo, vocals). Hard to described I’d say the are blend of folk, hip hop, bluegrass with a dash of rock. Their best known song is Take it All Back. Zuercher, is a huge soccer fan. His Instagram profile includes “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” in the profile and he has the letters YNWA tattooed on this fingers. The group clearly understood what the song could become if everything goes right.
MLS Soccer Anthems
When it comes to team songs in MLS there are surprisingly a lot. I don’t know how consistently they are sung or even if all of these are still a thing, but this four year old MLS Club Anthem reddit thread was a fun read. Yes, there is more than Minnesota United’s Wonderwall. Timbers Army does You are my Sunshine in the 80th minute and Can’t Help Falling in Love in the 85th. Real Salt Lake has the very catchy, Believe RSL. I assumed Atlanta was We Ready which is sung before the match starts, but apparently Terminus Legion have been singing Georgia On My Mind since before their first MLS match. Many clubs have goal songs and an anthem. For example, the Philadelphia Union sing Doop after goals, but I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover is the anthem. Despite the efforts of Sons of Ben, most associate Doop with the team. New York City All the Way was attempted by NYCFC and even featured David Villa in the video but for some reason didn’t stick.
Team Songs are Hit and Miss
While the Music City is loaded with talented songwriters and musicians, a team song can be very hit or miss. The Nashville Predators knocked it out of the park modifying Tim McGraw’s 1995 hit, “I like it, I love it”. All they did was change the line, “Don’t know what it is about that little gal’s lovin,” to “Don’t know what it is about the Predators scoring.” The song is still played to this day after each Preds goal. The cities other professional them, the Tennessee Titans, have never gotten a song to stick. I’m not sure they have ever really tried. When the franchise was in Houston, “Love Ya Blue,” rocked the Astrodome for those old enough to remember.
Will it Stick?
While it hasn’t been said whose idea it was to create a song before the team even plays its first MLS match, you have to think Ayre liked the idea. Having come from Liverpool which has arguably the most famous soccer anthem in “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Only time will tell if Nashville supporters embrace the song. I suspect the club will give it ample time and try their best to encourage adoption. Like the team’s logo, I suspect some strong negative reaction at the beginning, but that’s just social media and the times we live in. Only time will tell if song is embraced by The Backline (Nashville SC’s supporter’s section) and fans in general.