Watching the World Cup? How many times have you heard the crowd changing “Seven Nation Army?” And why are they doing that?

Jack White stumbled on a magical sequence of seven notes when he came up with the hook in “Seven Nation Army.” Not only did it become a sizeable hit for the White Stripes, but the song has also become the World’s Most Popular Soccer Anthem™.

Think about just the number of times we’ve heard it during this year’s World Cup. (No, Jack does NOT get royalties from crowd chants.) How did all this come to be? The CBC reports:

Even if you don’t know the White Stripes song Seven Nation Army, you almost certainly know the unmistakable opening notes.

First released in March 2003, the track became the Detroit duo’s biggest song. A few years later, it also began its transformation from indie rock staple to a worldwide sports anthem.

Now sung by millions around the globe — especially in soccer stadiums, but also in sports arenas from hockey rinks to basketball courts — those seven little notes have taken on a life of their own. In fact, some argue it has become one of the most recognizable melodies of all time.

So how did Seven Nation Army become a soccer megahit? How did it spread to other sports? And what does frontman Jack White think about the song being co-opted by footie fans?

Here are seven fascinating facts.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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