Backfield in Motion

I’ve been in training for tomorrow’s Superbowl for a few weeks now. Of course, I won’t be taking part in the game – I’ve been staying up until three or four in the morning so I can watch the game live. The grand finale of the American football season will kick off tomorrow afternoon in Texas, but it’ll be nearly midnight by the time the action gets underway on this side of the pond. Superbowl XLV is, as its name suggests, the 45th instalment of the annual clash between the champions of the AFC and the NFC. The Green Bay Packers will represent the American Football Conference, while the Pittsburgh Steelers will carry the flag of the National Football Conference. It’s the Steelers eight Superbowl appearance and the fifth for the Packers with Pittsburgh leading by six titles to three. The Packers are slight favourites, so hopefully it’ll be a close game with lots of scores

In advance of tomorrow’s footballing festivities, I’ve chosen a few songs about American football and the teams involved in the game. Mel & Tim were a soul duo from Mississippi who had a million-seller with Backfield in Motion in 1969. The song mentions the sport a few times and its title refers to an infringement in the offense. Quite appropriate for a song about cheating in love. Bobby Bare sounds like the name of another soul man, but he was actually a country music singer from Ohio. The football references abound as he asks Jesus to drop kick him “through the goalposts of life”. However, it’s all about getting into the end zone and Arizona’s Meat Puppets turn their attention to a Touchdown King. I guess they’re referring to a wide receiver, though running backs break the goal line from time to time as well. Running Back by Thin Lizzy is a wonderful track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. It has nothing to do with sport, though

Dear Janet Jackson by Richard Thompson has nothing to do with sport, either, but it does concern one of the most infamous incidents that ever occurred at a Superbowl. His song pokes fun at Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the half-time beak at the 2004 contest and manages to get in a few sly digs at her brother as well. The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra is effectively a one-man show from Matt S., a native of Pittsburgh who sounds a bit like Arcade Fire on his song about the Steelers. The only thing to do with Pittsburgh in the song by The Lemonheads is its title, but I’ve included it because it’s also a pretty good tune. Jason Anderson recorded under the name of Wolf Colonel at the turn of the millennium. They formed in Oregon but the song below is called From Wisconsin, which is also where the Packers are based. The final song is an instrumental tune from the artist R. Crumb & his Keep-on-Truckin’ Orchestra. Like Backfield in Motion, it involves a certain type of movement and hopefully both the Packers and the Steelers will be doing quite a bit of wiggling tomorrow

Backfield In Motion – Mel & Tim

Drop Kick Me Jesus – Bobby Bare

Touchdown King – Meat Puppets

Running Back – Thin Lizzy

Dear Janet Jackson – Richard Thompson

When the Steelers Go Down to Tampa – Marshmallow Pop Orchestra

Pittsburgh – The Lemonheads

From Wisconsin – Wolf Colonel

Wisconsin Wiggles – R. Crumb and his Keep-on-Truckin’ Orchestra

Image courtesy of Zimbio