Hey, Earth. Not sure if you heard, but the 2012 Olympics are happening right now in London. Music is an important part of the overall festivities, although most selections heard during the ceremonies and coverage are catchall motivational songs or hype-up tracks. Okay, a few national anthems too. We're zooming in on the specific sports with the six best songs about Summer Olympic events. Although you are welcome to let us know your favorites in the comments below, you are advised to train for at least four years beforehand or else you might disappoint your entire country.
6. Surfer Blood - "Swim"
Any other year, Surfer Blood's "Swim" is just a summer jam. Right now, it's an aquatic anthem. The hook of "Swim to reach the end" is a tad obvious in the realm of game plans for the Olympian, but the sentiment covers both the sport itself and the yearning for the finish line. 5. Cream - "Anyone For Tennis"
Featuring a panflute and snare-less drums played like an Indian tabla, "Anyone For Tennis" is Cream at its most psychedelic. Sir Eric Clapton (is he a knight yet?) aims to cram as much absurdity as possible into the track's two minutes and forty seconds, with the recurring line "Anyone for tennis, wouldn't that be nice?" as an anchor. From the perspective of the American who has never crossed the pond, "Anyone For Tennis" seems very British; surely some USA-chanters could hear a line like "beggars stain the pavement with fluorescent Christmas cheer" and think this acidic imagery is a legit description of London. Advantage: Clapton.
4. The Decemberists - "The Gymnast High Above The Ground"
Like most Decemberists songs "The Gymnast High Above The Ground" is draped in so much metaphor and wordplay that literal interpretation is futile. But Colin Meloy and company pay tribute to the titular gymnast with a song that flows like a world-class aerobatic routine. It is tense and patient in its preparation, it achieves peak intensity without losing elegance, and it sticks the landing with an ending refrain of "April marches on." It begs for an interpretive floor routine - or conjures the hilarious/awesome image of Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk tearing it up on the uneven bars.
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