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How “Seven Nation Army” Became The Pump-Up Song At M&T Bank…And The 4 Songs They Almost Played Instead

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(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Here’s how “Seven Nation Army” became the Raven’s “pump up” song…and the four songs the Ravens almost used instead.

The crowd took to it immediately. Here’s 71,000 Ravens fans responding to “Seven Nation Army” during the first game of the 2011 season (against the Steelers):

So how did the Ravens choose this song?

In July, the team decided that they needed a song to fire the crowd up, much like “how Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field rallies when “Renegade” is played just before the fourth quarter.”

The team took put a call out to fans at BaltimoreRavens.com, and received hundreds of suggestions. The submissions were then taken to Coach John Harbaugh, who helped whittle the list down to five.

Here are the five songs that Harbaugh and the Ravens decided on:

Joe Satriani, “Crowd Chant”

Skillet, “Hero”

Shinedown, “Diamond Eyes”

71,000 people shouting “Boom-Lay, Boom-Lay…Boom!” would’ve worked, huh?

Metallica, “Enter Sandman”

White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”


A poll at the Ravens’ website of the five songs above gave us the 2003 White Stripes single as the pump-up song (though the fans from the comments show the vote was far from unanimous). The song has had a resurgence as a stadium anthem, first in Europe at soccer stadiums (The Italian soccer team adopted it as an unofficial theme, especially during the 2006 World Cup. Deadspin.com has a story how the song became their anthem). Colleges like Penn State also embraced the song early on.

Originally, the Ravens said they would only play the song between the third and fourth quarters of a close game. Obviously, that didn’t hold true for long; the song is usually played multiple times throughout each home game:

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