K’naan – “Wavin’ Flag” – (2009)

K’naan is a Somali-born Canadian rapper. How many Somalian singers do you know? Anyway, “Wavin’ Flag” was one of the official songs for the 2010 World Cup. Actually, I believe that “Waka Waka” was the official official song. This was Coca-Cola’s official promotional song. Anyway, it reeks of soccer, football, futbol or whatever you wanna call it. It also is very international sounding – and just about every country had their own remix of the song. So what does this have to do with Spain? I was in Spain the day before they won the 2010 World Cup. It was about to get crazy. I was rooting for Holland.

Shakira feat. Freshlyground – “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” – (2010)

“Waka Waka” was the theme for the 2010 World Cup, which was being held in South Africa while I was in Europe – so it was way more intense than had I been in North America, which I’m sure was just thrilled with it. The popularity of this song was also quite European – it charted Top 40 in the U.S. but was a #1 in almost every European country and it stayed there for a majority of the summer. Every time I hear this song I picture Lionel Messi sprinting down the field in his white and blue Argentina jersey or the yellows and greens of all the Brazilian flags waving in the stands. This song kind of defines last summer, from a European perspective anyway. It’s very catchy and every time you hear it just imagine everyone around you blowing a vuvuzela.