The 2010 World Cup opening ceremony in South Africa was electrifying when Shakira took to the stage to perform her hit song, ‘Waka Waka’.
The stadium erupted with fans of all nationalities singing and dancing along to the infectious rhythm, creating a magical moment that will be remembered forever.
— sonymusiclatin (@SonyMusicLatin) December 8, 2022
The lyrics encourage fans to get up and dance during games, and the catchy beat brings people together. It’s become a popular anthem at all levels of football.
Waka Waka is the most catchy and danceable football song
SeatPick has revealed that Shakira’s Waka Waka catchiness score of 8.4/10 is the highest-scoring World Cup song based on factors such as popularity, danceability, and energy.
SeatPick experts put this to the test by scraping data from Spotify’s API and YouTube views to find the most catchy football anthems.
They determined how catchy each track is by its danceability and energy, its ‘talkability’ or the number of spoken words, and its valence, or how positive the track is.
Due to its fast tempo and beat-driven melody, Waka Waka is also the most danceable football song, scoring 7.66/10.
In terms of popularity, it received a score of 79/100, which is accurate given that the music video has received over 3.3 billion views on YouTube.
The song was the seventh most downloaded song of 2010, with over 15 million downloads to date.
An estimated 12,000 monthly searches for ‘football songs’ are done globally, according to Google keyword data.
Jake Cohen, professor of music appreciation at Baruch College, New York, comments on what makes Waka Waka such an unforgettable experience.
“To emphasise its importance, the phrase “Waka Waka” has been repeated numerous times. In Cameroonian, Waka Waka means “do it.” A cymbal-like instrument is introduced at 1.04 to add more variation to the melody. Furthermore, I would like to stress the fact that 2.12’s new singer creates an exotic sensation for their listeners,” said Cohen.
A study conducted by Nunes, Ordanini, and Valsesia in 2014 for the Marshall School of Business helps support Cohen’s comments.
They analysed 55 years’ worth of Billboard Hot 100 hits.
They concluded that the use of repetitive lyrics in popular songs was a major factor in helping them achieve higher chart success in a quicker time frame.
The second place winner is Trinidad Cardona’s Hayya Hayya, meaning ‘Better Together’ which scored 6.9/10.
Ricky Martin’s La Copa de la Vida takes the third spot with a catchiness score of 6.5/10.
In fourth place is Pitbull’s Olea Olea which in English means ‘We Are One’ featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian pop star Claudia Leitte. This song earned a total catchiness score of 6.5/10.
We Are the People, performed by Martin Garrix, U2 frontman Bono and The Edge was released for the Euro 2020 Championship. An uplifting anthem with a high-energy final chorus, it received high popularity, danceability, and energy scores, as well as over 31 million YouTube views.
The Euro 96 anthem, Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds, ranks at the bottom of the list with 3.4/10.
A surprising result, since it’s considered a staple of British football culture, it has earned an impressive 42 million YouTube views, the sixth-highest video.