Seven Songs of the Sevens

23 March, 2018 by Matt Mcmanaway

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So you’ve got your ticket to this year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and are looking for something to get you in the mood? Before turning up to the stadium, you don’t want to be caught short in the music department, so we have you covered. Make sure you load your playlist with the following Sevens classics, so you don’t get caught mumbling through the lyrics whilst the rest of the masses are enthusiastically singing along!

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Legend has it that Neil Diamond penned his classic song for his second wife, Marcia Murphey, who he married in 1969. He needed a three-syllable name to fit the melody, however, so "Sweet Marcia" didn't work. The name Caroline is one he had written down, and it fit the song perfectly, so that's what he used. Perhaps a little more effort in fitting Marcia into the song wouldn’t have gone amiss, as in 1995 she had apparently got sick of hearing her beau sing about another and they divorced in 1995. After performing the song for John F Kennedy’s sister Caroline for her birthday in 2007, Diamond must have realized that using Marcia as inspiration had done its dash. He subsequently fessed up about the true inspiration behind the classic;

"I've never discussed it with anybody before - intentionally. I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday. I'm happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

It turns out that whilst delighted with the success of the song, Caroline was not lulled into sharing her digits with the crooner and he has since settled for Sweet Caroline being a war cry of the South Stand rather than a pick up line.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘Hands, touchin' hands
Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you…’

‘Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I've been inclined
To believe they never would.’

Delilah – Tom Jones

As much as we love this sing-along, the story behind Tom Jones’s Delilah is in fact a little more sinister than one would imagine from listening to the upbeat melody. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well it seems that men can scorn equally as bad. This song actually is about a crime of passion - a man discovers that Delilah has been cheating on him, so when her lover leaves, the man shows up at her door and stabs her to death. A little known fact about the original recording of the song is that it actually includes another Hall of Famer singing indistinguishing backing vocals on the track. If you stop singing for a second and listen carefully, you may just hear the voice of Elton John helping to harmonize the chorus. When it was recorded, Elton was an aspiring musician at the time, with not much on the go, who jumped at the opportunity to unleash his pipes.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘My, my, my Delilah
Why, why, why Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn't take any more.’

Hey! Baby (Uhh – Ahh)– DJ Ötzi

Hey! Baby is probably one of the most irritating songs to hear on your daily commute, but though some sort of magic, when thrown in with some high octane rugby and the world’s biggest party, the song is transformed into one of our favourite Sevens classics. Originally scored by Bruce Channel and Margaret Cobb, the song spent three weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts – which for any other song would be considered a success. Fast forward to 2000 and a young upstart DJ from Austria decided to remix it into his bag of tricks and release it as the lead single of his debut album. Deciding that less is more, Ötzi stayed largely true to the original and the song became the unofficial song of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Whilst the footballing world embraced the song for just one tournament, the rugby world realized that the song was a winner and is quickly put to the front of the playlist year-on-year at the Sevens.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘Hey, Hey Baby
(ooh aah)
I wanna know (oh ooh)
If you'll be my girl.’

The Lonely Goatheard – The Sound of Music

Not ones to stifle diversity in our playlists, the soundperson at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will be sure to make the goat heard feel less lonely than usual.Whilst the Yodeling faithful will no doubt be familiar with the song, the rest of you will be more familiar with it from the soundtrack of the movie The Sound Of Music. This song tells the whimsical story of a goat heard whose yodeling is heard from far off and by passers-by, until he falls in love with a girl who wears a pale-pink coat, with her mother joining in the yodeling. Over the years the song has had the ability to transfer the gregarious nature of the goats to whomevers ear buds it reaches, and revelers have been seen to emulate the tapping hooves of a mountain goat across the backs of the seats in the South Stand. Whilst the festival has made the song its own in recent years, we can’t claim to be the only ones enamored by it. Since its debut in 1959, the song has been referenced and covered many times, with even the Vonn Trapps (The real great great children of The Captain and Maria) releasing the track on their debut album.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo.’

I’m Always here – Jimi Jamison

When the Hoff graced the stadium in 2016, he was greeted to raucous applause. Whilst surely some of the cries were in appreciation for the appearance of the legend David Hasslehoff himself - who’s character Mitch was the inspiration behind many Baywatch themed costumes, the excitement was equally high for his rendition of a tournament favourite. The opening drumbeat is a sure fire giveaway of the song, and within seconds you can almost hear the joint intake of breath as crowd join together for the opening line. Even for those born after the glory years of Baywatch, the opening line of ‘Some people stand in the darkness’ still resonates as a license for 3 minutes of unencumbered grooving. The song was originally written and performed by Jimi Jamison, who went on to have a successful career with the rock group Survivor, before the Hoff made it his own.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘Don't you worry,
It's gonna be alright
'Cause I'm always ready
I won't let you outta my sight

(I'll be ready) I'll be ready
(Whenever you fear) oh don't you fear
(I'll be ready)
Forever and always, I'm always here

'Cause I'm always ready
I won't let you outta my sight.’

Red Red Wine – UB40

With UB40 gracing the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Kick Off Concert this year, it’s only fitting that one of their songs make our list. Originally performed by Sevens legend Neil Diamond, Red Red Wine resurfaced in the mainstream with UB40’s cover. Unfortunately for Diamond, the song never reached great heights on its release in 1968 – peaking at #62 on the charts. In 1983 the Birmingham band decided to run with Tony Tribe’s version of the song and sprinkle in with some Reggae beats, finding the right formula to take the song to #1, and turn it into one of the groups’ signature tracks. Obviously Ali Campbell, the groups lead singer was a massive fan of Sevens. The music video was filmed in a local Birmingham pub where you wouldn't want to be caught drinking wine (or anything else right handed). Being a lad, Campbell instead opted for pints of Carlsberg to wet his whistle during the filming. To avoid hiring extras, the band invited guys from a nearby factory to join them at the pub, picking up the tab in exchange for their services. It was shot in the morning, and by noon, most of these hired hands were blotto. According to various accounts, when they staggered back to work, they were fired on the spot, although later given their jobs back after mentioning that they were just getting in some practice for the world’s biggest rugby party…

Lyrics you need to know;

‘I was wrong, now I find
Just one thing makes me forget…’

‘Red, red wine, stay close to me
Don't let me be alone
It's tearing apart
My blue, blue heart.’

I’m going to be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

Whilst the Hoff bought his rock star status to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens last year, it was the Proclaimers that put the icing on the cake for our Sevens family in 2016. Armed with a bevy of hits, when the band, forefronted by Scottish twins Craig and Charlie Reid, belted out their hit song I’m Going to be (500 Miles), the stadium was literally bought to their collective feet. Despite the song only reaching #3 spot in the charts upon its release in 1987, over the years it has taken a persona of its own, it’s popularity soaring above its chart ranking. The song was originally written as an ode to the perfect woman and wanting to do anything it takes to secure her love. However, originally US stations refused to play the song as it included the line "I'm gonna be the one who's havering for you.” ‘Havering’ actually means babbling on, but stations thought that the word meant something much more naughty. The world’s biggest rugby party holds no prejudices towards the hit though, and the havering around the office in anticipation for the crowd belting out this song this year is almost at fever pitch already.

Lyrics you need to know;

‘But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door.’

*Got any suggestions for our playlist? Head to social media and let us know!

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