Anyone who’s ever spent a day in Beaver Stadium knows there’s so much more to Penn State football than, well, football. The blue and white sights are always exciting, but it’s the sounds that always complete the experience. My first Penn State football game was in the pouring rain, but the only thing that sticks out in my memory more is singing “Sweet Caroline” with thousands of my new friends.
The key to a great stadium song is a single phrase. Songs are usually never played for more than a few verses or a chorus, so finding a tune with a line or a riff that everyone’s heard at one point in their lives is what gets fan approval. Throw in a theme of victory or unity and it’s a hit.
We know there’s a list of crowd-pleasers that always make it onto the Saturday master list. Time and time again, though, I stumble upon a classic or a new hit that I know meets all the criteria and say to myself, “Imagine how that would sound in Beaver Stadium.” Here are a few suggestions to add to the regular playlist:
“Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John
The thumping piano is reminiscent of the beginning of stadium favorite “Think” by Aretha Franklin (the Blues Brothers version). The thought of the entire student section yelling “B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets” and launching into a unified cry of a high-pitched “Bennie!” gives me chills. Considering how often commentators say that Saquon Barkley’s “got the jets,” I think this song would fit the Beaver Stadium bill.
I’m listening to this song as we speak. PJ Mullen, if you can’t plug any of these other songs into your playlist, please just give me this one.
“You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates
For many people, The Nittany Lions are making dreams come true. What better way to tell this team how much we love them than with one of the most iconic love anthems of all time?
“Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine
Just like the first line of the song says, happiness hits us like a train on a track every home game. Some interpret that the final “dog days” in the song refer to the end of the hot, sticky summer weather, which makes it an ideal track for the first few games of fall. Others think that the end of “dog days” are the end of troubled times, which came to Penn State football in the form of a Big Ten Championship win. Choose your own adventure on this one.
“Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men
The true meaning of this song will always be unclear, but for the sake of this wishlist, let’s just assume the Baha Men were talking about actual dogs. Consider the fact that Penn State’s defensive line is referred to as the “Wild Dogs” and this song will make a lot more sense the next time an opposing quarterback gets sacked.
“What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff
All the millennials in the student section will know this song immediately, but the rest of the stadium may be silent (no matter, the same thing happens when you play “Closer” and that song will never go away). Getting to see your team ranked No. 2 in the country during your time as a student is certainly “what dreams are made of.”
“Sweet Victory” by David Glen Eisley
You may not recognize this song at first, but let me remind you about a little rivarly between a clarinet-bearing squid and his unibrow-ed counterpart that led to a group of sea creatures to play at The Bubble Bowl. Yes, I’m talking about that rock ballad Spongebob sang in the episode “Band Geeks.” It’s a real song and it couldn’t be more perfect for Beaver Stadium.
“Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior
The instructions are simple: “Everybody, move your feet and feel united.” Surely you can do that.
“Countdown” by Beyoncé
I don’t care if this song is all about rapturous love and baby-making. Five out of five doctors say that listening to Beyoncé makes everyone feel good (well, they could). This chorus and hook from this jam would be a great transition from the final seconds of a game into celebration mode.
“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
As Penn State downs one opponent after the next, I could see this song becoming a fourth quarter staple.
“Blue (Da Be Dee)” by Eiffel 65
This tune, one that repeats “I’m blue” over and over again, should already be a stadium classic, though maybe not during a White Out. During a Michigan State game, fans can sing some alternate lyrics: “I’m blue, if I were green, I would die!”
I’m just one gal, so unfortunately, I can’t keep track of every song that’s ever been played in Beaver Stadium. My only hope is to hear these songs become regulars.