Whether fans actively notice it or not, sports and music are closely tied together. It goes beyond just singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in the middle of the seventh inning at a baseball game. Think about all the introductions, highlight videos, stoppages of play, situational events, and victory celebrations. What are the soundtracks for these occurrences? More often than not, it's strategically placed music.
In a Chicago scope, specifically hockey, there are several tunes that are likely embedded into the minds of Blackhawks fans everywhere. Upon rounding up songs for quarantine playlist purposes, a few tracks in particular brought back joyful memories of hockey glory. Without further ado, here's a collection of songs that give Blackhawks fans chills.
The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
No surprise here. The Blackhawks adopted the alternative/indie tune with an uber-catchy chorus during the 2008-09 season, so it's been tied to Chicago hockey preceding and throughout the three-Stanley Cup dynasty run. When a player donning the Indianhead lights the lamp, the goal horn rings as Blackhawks fans cheer and sing along to The Fratellis' hit tune blaring through the speakers at the United Center. While Chicago faithful loves the song, most opposing players can't stand it.
Ted Nugent - Stranglehold
Hearing Stranglehold means one thing -- it's almost game time. The video board shows the Blackhawks emerging through the tunnel, the goal horn blares, and then the piercing guitar riff rings through the speakers as the Hawks swirl around the ice for a couple of last laps of loosening up before the puck officially drops. Hard rock and hockey, baby.
Star Spangled Banner
The National Anthem is special at Blackhawks games. Back in 1985, the Blackhawks trailed the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in the Campbell Conference Final. Fans began cheering during the Star Spangled Banner in an attempt to fire the team up, and it worked as the Hawks took game three by a score of 5-2. That tradition stuck, and it was put in a national spotlight at the 1991 NHL All-Star Game. Old Chicago Stadium and the Blackhawks played host to the event at the time of the Gulf War, so the Anthem-cheering was on display for the entire nation during a period of conflict. Through changes in arenas and anthem singers, the tradition of cheering the Anthem has stuck around.
Here Come The Hawks
The Blackhawks' fight song was written by J. Swayzee and produced by Dick Marx Orchestra and choir in 1968. Though the original recording doesn't receive much air time 50-plus years later, its melody still rings through the United Center in organ version today. If you pay attention closely, Blackhawks' organist Frank Pellico features it just as the horn sounds at the end of the first and second periods heading into intermissions. Shorter snippets of the jingle may be heard during stoppages throughout the game as well.
Fun. - Some Nights
This memorable song was used as a part of the Blackhawks' "We Stand For You" introduction video during the 2013 season. The Hawks ran the table in that lockout-shortened season, which resulted in a "We Stand For You" playoff rendition highlighting some of the most iconic moments that led to a Stanley Cup winner. Upon hearing that first line, "some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck," Blackhawks fans are reminded of the 30-game point streak to open the season, a President's Trophy, overcoming adversity in the second round of the playoffs against the Red Wings, 17 seconds, and bringing Lord Stanley back to Chicago for the second time in four years.
Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
Here's another song tied to the Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup Championship. The chorus line from Capital Cities' Safe and Sound, "I could lift you up," was interlaced with various shots of Blackhawks hoisting the Stanley Cup as the highlight video takes the viewer through the entire 2013 playoff run. Debuting at the victory rally in Grant Park that summer, this video featuring the upbeat song was on full display for thousands of Blackhawks fans as they reminisced on an incredible championship season. The 2015 victory rally featured a similarly structured video, but the songs in that version weren't nearly as memorable as the ones featured in 2013's production.
The Who - Love Reign O'er Me
Most recently, the Blackhawks have used Love Reign O'er Me by The Who for their introduction video. Upon listening to the original version of the song on a streaming service, one might not get the impression that it's the best "pump-up" song. However, when a time-chopped and bass-boosted variation of the tune rings throughout the United Center as Blackhawks highlights flash on the video board, it generates excitement in a slow-burn fashion as fans await the team's arrival to the ice.
There are several more songs that could probably be added to this list, but those listed above stand out among the crowd in the chill-inducing department. Want to feel like you're at the rink while quarantined at home? Then check out the Four Feathers playlist, which is a compilation of goal anthems, situational songs, and stoppage of play/intermission tunes heard at the United Center during Blackhawks games, plus additional pump-up jams.