• -
  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 14, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    The glorious game

    Fiona McCann

    Have come over all World Cup feverish of late, making it complicated to crowbar some artsy culture into my crowded sporting life. Yet surely we can describe Messi’s magic as art in some fashion? And sport, after all, qualifies as culture to all but the stingiest of categorists.

    Well, when at a loss for an artsy angle, there’s always the choons: what think you all of Shakira’s offering for this World Cup ?

    YouTube Preview Image

    And how does it compare to this?

    YouTube Preview Image

    Tears to the eyes, dear readers. Tears to the eyes.

    • Fergal says:

      Football definitely qualifies as culture! Sure you could write a PhD on the nature of Irish society as revealed through our three World Cup finals qualifications. V nostalgic watching the official 1990 song there – it really was a release for the country, some kind of wierd Diana moment in reverse. The best book from 1990 was probably The Van and the best song from that era I suppose Joxer goes to Stuttgart (1988 trip) – both full of social history. I also liked Give it a Lash Jack from 1990 – for those under 30, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxD0qAe2dUU

      Speaking of broad definitions of culture, anywhere where we can slag off the attempt at a men’s mag by the Irish Times last Friday?

      And to answer your question, Shakira song quite good! Although it is unlikely to be Africa’s time on the pitch anytime soon, unfortunately.

    • Stan says:

      Shakira’s song is unremarkable but inoffensive; the video is a Benetton ad with a budget. Is it the official World Cup anthem? The only vaguely World-Cup-related chat I’ve had on Twitter was about soccer art. As a young lad I drew a lot of soccer scenes, usually based either on photos or on kickarounds out the back.

      For such a popular activity, though, it doesn’t seem to have made much headway art-wise, except for the cheap and tacky stuff you see everywhere. Paul Mercier’s “Studs” was great fun. There’s some great soccer photography, too. I was given a gift recently of Hans van der Meer’s European Fields: The Landscape of Lower League Football. It’s beautiful, a sort of anti-Champions-League, and his website is well worth a wander even if you’re not mad about the ball…

    • Fiona McCann says:

      Fergal: Give it a lash Jack! I listened to your youtube link and found I still, after all these years, know most of the lyrics. Sigh.

      Stan: Too true, regarding the Benettonness – as far as I know, it’s the official World Cup anthem alright. Glad you pointed up the soccer photography, though – I’ve seen some glorious images, though you’re right about it not making much headway otherwise. Must check out the Van der Meer website you mention.

    • Stan says:

      Fiona: I meant to say — that second song is still brilliant, and probably the only place I can bear Olé Olé Olé. How much of that is nostalgia, I couldn’t say.

    • kynos says:

      One is largely a creature of government and corporate machinery the other well it looks like it was made with a handycam down a pub in Ballybough on a not unenjoyable weekend in 1990. A VCR camcorder actually. One of the big ancient ones with huge batt that barely lasts the tape which usually gets eaten in the mechanism. And stolen and flogged 3 minutes later for a sixpack of stella a bag of skank and a copy of Maxx Power. At least it looks and sounds like neither the government and corporates but I repeat myself had anything to do with it. And it sure did make us believe in ourselves back then, most anyway.

    • Rosemary says:

      Shakira looks like she’s had some work done. The song is horrid. That’s about all I have to say about number one. Can’t type for crying re: number two. Damn Frenchies.

    • Gav Reilly says:

      Eric Cantona said that an artist is someone who can light up a darkened room. By that quality, I reckon Messi’s pretty much an artist.

      Meanwhile, as someone who’s at the unfortunate age when I can remember 1994 but not 1990, Watch Your House For Ireland is still meaningful for me!

    • kynos says:

      Jack Charleton for the Arás.

Search Pursued by a Bear