Big Lead Sports Bar


AJ: THE GOAL SONG: When Hockey Becomes a Rock Concert

by A.J.
from 105.9 The X

Now that the Penguins are on their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup, each game day will be met with gut wrenching anticipation; the city will be populated with men sporting bad facial hair while attempting to grow playoff beards; and while everyone welcomes a nice spring day after a miserable Pittsburgh winter, the heat will be met with some contempt and lead to discussions of how the warm weather might affect the ice at the Igloo. Pens fans will also have a song stuck in their heads.

In the Penguins’ Stanley Cup years, the song was “Rock n’ Roll Part 2” by Gary Glitter. Also known as “The Hey Song” for the tune’s sing along chorus, the song became as synonymous with the Penguins during the early 90s as an Ulf Samuelson body check. The arena shook after every goal the home team scored as fans chanted along with the lyrics. The noise and life the song brought to the Civic Arena made it an intimidating place for any visiting team to play. I’d like to think that former Capitols goalie, Don Beaupre still hears 16,000 people shouting “Hey!” in his sleep.

“Damn you, Gary Glitter. Damn you straight to hell.”

The post-goal celebration song is an important part of any quest for the Stanley Cup. During Detroit’s Cup drives in the late 90’s, the Red Wings rocked the house with Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City”. During last season’s NHL championship, the Anaheim Ducks rode the wave of “Bro Hymn” by SoCal punkers Pennywise. Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators even has his own personal goal song, written by the Christian rock band Thousand Foot Krutch. While the surprising Chicago Blackhawks failed to earn a spot in the post season, that didn’t stop Al Jourgensen (front man for the industrial rock band Ministry and Blackhawks superfan), from writing a fight song for his favorite team.

Al is committed to the Indian

The purpose of a good goal song is to incite that rock concert-like atmosphere and bring a sense of Bedlam to the arena each time the home team scores. It’s also something that fans can take home with them. It would be interesting to see how many Gary Glitter or Blur CDs the Pens have managed to sell over the years.

Of course it’s no secret that hard times fell on out beloved Penguins and playoff hockey was just a memory for a few seasons. Hard times also fell on Gary Glitter, as he is now in a Vietnamese prison serving a sentence for child sexual abuse. Several years ago the Penguins shifted away from “Rock n’ Roll Part 2” and instead employ Blur’s “Song 2” as the preferred goal song. While I have mad respect for all things Damon Albarn (the man responsible for such bands as Blur and The Gorillaz), I think it may be time to usher in a new goal song for our young Penguins.

Here are a few of the more popular songs around the NHL arenas:

Kernkraft 400 – “Zombie Nation”


The Pros: Upbeat song already used by such teams as the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers. Will instantly please any Penn State fans in the crowd.

The Cons: Conjures up images of Jersey Shore night clubs.

U2 – “Vertigo”


The Pros: Probably the catchiest song that U2 has released since the Joshua Tree album. Used by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Cons: Even the Habs fans apparently hate this song.

Goose – “Black Gloves”

The Pros: Another dance song with the requisite shout along “hey, ho!" Used as the goal song for the East team in the 2007 NHL All Star game.

The Cons: Once again…

While the possibilities are endless, I thought I’d seek a few professional opinions. I polled a few guys who not only know hockey, but know their music. The question posed; “If you could only play one song after every Penguins goal, what would it be?”

Seth Rorabaugh is the man behind the Post Gazette’s Empty Netters blog. If you are an avid EN reader, you know Seth is always tuned into what is playing on the arena’s sound system. I imagine that his iPod is as diverse as his photo collection of obscure Penguins jerseys.

“I would immediately suggest Bro Hymn by Pennywise as a song, but that would be too copycat-ish of the Ducks and now the Flyers. It's a basic simple song full of power and energy. The Ducks did well to select that one.

Considering Bro Hymn is already selected, I would take "Search and Destroy" by Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Very energetic. Very powerful. And the lyrics are rated PG. Sure it's sort of about war, but Bro Hym is about a guy who committed suicide and the "Hey Song" is sung by Gary Glitter who's in a Vietnamese jail for sexually abusing children. So the PC police wouldn't have legs to stand on if they got all huffy and puffy about "S&D."

Vinnie is the music director for 105.9 The X and host of the station’s Sunday night new music show Edge of The X. He can also be heard on the air weeknights between 7pm and Midnight. You may have seen him around the arena this season a few times this season hosting the between period trivia contests. Rumor has it that Vinnie rents a large portion of Carnegie just to house his vinyl collection.

“Given the completely foreign yet familiar environment that’s created by NHL playoff hockey, goal scoring requires a song that adds a certain spice to the celebration. A sort of feeling that screams, “THIS GOAL IS THE GREATEST GOAL ON EARTH!!!,” Until the next one is scored, of course. The players aren’t usually too wrapped up in what song’s blaring over the loudspeakers when tapping each others’ helmets, so the selection should greatly impact the teeming masses of Pens fans celebrating right along with them. With that said, I’ve always had a soft spot for the variations of “Ole” played at professional sporting events. I realize that another team in the Atlantic Division uses that to mark their team’s goal scoring achievements, but the song carries two messages to me: 1) we’re better than you and celebrating our asses off because of it 2) margaritas.

However, if the goal in question is scored in a comeback fashion, illustrating a team’s grit and determination, I’d consider using Slayer’s “Payback” because of the chorus: “payback’s a bitch, motherf#@ker!” I imagine that those very words have been screamed at an opposing team’s goalie or other player in times of passionate vengeance. It’d be fitting to let the crowd in on the on-ice conversations through the use of that particular song. Although, it might also incite violence in the seats; use with caution.”

Personally, I’d like to see the Penguins adopt a locally produced song to celebrate their goals. It would not only be uniquely Pittsburgh, but would also give some national exposure to the local music scene. While the obvious choice to many would be something from Donnie Iris, I think something more appropriate might be Anti-Flag’s “You’d Do The Same”. Found on the Pittsburgh punk band’s Die For the Government album, the Ramones-like hook, the power chords, and the energy from this song would turn the arena into a mosh pit each time a Penguin lights the lamp.

Whatever goal song the Penguins play, let’s just hope to hear it a lot in the coming weeks. Let’s go Pens!


Koz said...

Any article with Don Beaupre is an instant classic.

Anonymous said...

Ecstasy Of Gold

Koz said...

Oh wow. I thought you were kidding about Gary Glitter and the Vietnamese prison, but Wikipedia doesn't lie, so I know it's true. Shocking.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

There isn't a better song to play after a goal than this one.

Jim said...

My vote is for Zombie Nation. I was at the epic Penn State - tOSU clash a couple years back and this song had the stadium literally shaking. I hate the Jersey Shore crowd as much as anybody, but I don't think there is a better pump up song out there that could match it.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

The Bouncing Souls version of "Ole" would be pretty sweet. Doesn't someone else use that though?

Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty by Nature! Another "Hey Ho" chorus, but less guido appeal!

Anonymous said...

Do they still play the old "Boys of Winter" theme at the games?

I remember that song was updated in 2001 for the return of #66.

(Loser that I am, I have it on my iPod.)

Dan said...

local h - all right (oh yeah)

Anonymous said...

"More Human Than Human" by White Zombie... especially when WWGRD scores!

Unknown said...

"Supernaut" (1000 Homo DJs, with vocals from local boy Trent Reznor)

industrial cover of a classic rock song with someone local involved. meets all criteria but the lack of "hey ho", but we can add those ourselves... said...

Nothing will ever be better than Mario banging home goals and softly fist pumping his way towards the bench with Rock N Roll Part 2 play.

I also never got to see it live, but I feel I would have loved the Brass Bonanza played after Hartford Whalers goals.