Music and sports go together pretty great. That doesn’t mean sports and music are always great, all of the time, but they’re usually interesting with or without one another. They can, in special circumstances, get really interesting when mixed together in a way where one inspires the other.
In this case you know where we’re going: Packers songs, songs for and about the Packers and their fans, usually by fans, have been around in some form nearly as long as the team itself. They’re sometimes strange but always spirited, usually worth a smile or, depending on the tune, a direct memory to something great. And, of course, yes: some are just flat out weird. Without further ado, here are 10 of the great Packers tailgating-approved anthems of all time. For best results, find them on YouTube and listen to them as you read.
As always, let us know what we missed or put on when we shouldn’t have or, simply, your thoughts on the list in general. Find us on Facebook or in the comments below.
1. “The Bears Still Suck,” The Happy Schnapps Combo. This song is fantastic because of its blatant disregard for anything but its message. During the time the song was released in 1992, the Bears certainly weren’t great, but they were only a few seasons removed from the 1985 Super Bowl and other strong regular seasons thereafter. The Packers, of course, were only starting to finally make an upturn in ‘92. But, you see, none of this matters to this song. It doesn’t need good results to work – though Packers fans have seen good results of late – it simply needs a general agreement amongst fans. Things like “right” or “wrong” or “factual” are not the point, here. This message is a bedrock Wisconsin football rule, justified anytime the Bears lose and said anyway if they win. Sometimes rules simply need to be made, not rationalized. It does admit a certain respect for the Bears as longtime rivals – one verse reads: “We don’t really hold a grudge, ‘cause this is all in fun. As far as football rivalries, we’re both number one” – but yeah, we’re not buying that, either. It’s a great, if slightly twisted, example of any-weather Packers fandom.
2. “I Love My Green Bay Packers,” Eddy J. Lemberger. One of the ultimate marriages of Packers and polka, which, being Wisconsin, makes it a candidate for a state song along with a good tailgating tune for dancing around to in the parking lot. This bouncy ditty, written by Lemberger in 1993, packs in some classic lines – “We take our opposition and crunch ‘em like they’re crackers,” “Tell that Rush Limbaugh, tell Hillary and Bill … tell Willard Scott, tell Oprah and Phil, I love my Green Bay Packers” – and is just a generally lighthearted song by a fan who clearly loves his team. We may not learn how to polka because of it, but we appreciate the sentiment nonetheless.
3. “Go! You Packers! Go!” The Lumberjack Band. The original, collegiate-style fight song – also the first of its kind for a professional football team – of the Packers was written by Eric Karll and first played at a game in 1931 by the Lumberjack Band. Lyrics often don’t accompany the tune itself, but here’s a snippet of them because they’re definitely worth knowing:
“Go, you Packers, go and get ’em,
Go, you fighting fools upset ’em,
Smash their line with all your might,
A touchdown, Packers, Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight!
On, you Green (or Blue, their primary color at the time) and Gold, to glory,
Win this game the same old story,
Fight, you Packers,
Fight, and bring the bacon home to Old Green Bay.”
Bring the bacon home, Packers. An idea that never gets old, if only because it lets us think about bacon.
4. “Bang the Drum All Day,” Todd Rundgren. Or, the song that plays at Lambeau Field every time the Packers score a touchdown, meaning it’s impossible to negatively associate with it and even harder not to sing along with while also considering quitting everything in your life to play a percussion instrument for as long as possible. It’s always an option worth considering, people.
5. “Roll Out the Barrel,” Various artists. (And probably you.) This is a song featuring a line of basically nonsensical “words” and the visual of a barrel of beer getting rolled to a group of friends, who are all there for some festivities. Everyone is ready for beer and, as the song goes, they are in good cheer. This is certainly a Wisconsinite song, a rollicking little tune that embodies a certain degree of the state and makes sports fans happy almost regardless of what’s happening on the field. It’s fun and blues are on the run and yes, you’re singing it right now.
6. “Jump,” Robert Brooks. Our favorite player growing up, Brooks took the jump in the stands thing to a completely unexpected level with the release of “Jump,” an ode to the Lambeau Leap, with proper credit given to its creator, LeRoy Butler, and Packers fans – “the best in the land,” as Brooks raps. It’s a smooth R&B jam with a chorus vocalizing behind Brooks. And we can’t help but smile every time, considering the source. Again, we did not see this coming but are very glad it did.
7. “Green and Yellow,” Lil Wayne. Released after the Packers advanced to Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers, “Green and Yellow” became the ubiquitous song heard on the radio or in any bar in the days leading up to the title game. Lil Wayne, a native of New Orleans but longtime Packers supporter, timely spun this anthem off rapper Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow,” inserting Packers-related lines, colors and Steelers-aimed zingers, including something about chopping Troy Polamalu’s hair off and scoring touchdowns on Pittsburgh cornerback Ike Taylor. Neither of these things actually happened but he may have predicted Aaron Rodgers’ Super Bowl MVP award, so there’s that. The song is catchy and uptempo and, now, echoes in our eardrums when thinking back to those days and nights before and after Super Bowl XLV. It still plays occasionally in Lambeau today.
8. “Packarena,” Jane Matenaer, Brian Kelly and Ron Carter. Yup, the Green Bay-ified take on Los del Rio’s 1994 hit, “Macarena,” was sung primarily by Matenaer, a former morning show host on 99.1 WMYX in Milwaukee. Released in 1996 during the team’s run to Super Bowl XXXI, this took one of popular culture’s biggest, if perplexing, crazes at the time and added the local hook. In terms of ideas, it’s simple yet brilliant and, even if you think the song is slightly ridiculous, very well done overall. Among those getting shout-outs in the verses are Brett Favre, Robert Brooks, Edgar Bennett and Reggie White. That’s just the first line.
9. “(I’m a) Cheesehead Baby,” Cheeseheads With Attitude. (C.W.A.) Starting with a slobbering moo from a cow, then what sounds like a goat, and featuring all sorts of footage of Packers fans being generally crazy, this song, based on the ‘90s song, “Loser,” by Beck, gets points for state-centric lyrics – “Oh Gosh darn it don’t you know, I’m a cheesehead baby, the pride of Wisconsin (Friday night fish fry!)” – sung in that unmistakable, if overdone for affect, Wisconsin accent. Cheeseheads With Attitude started in 1996 and only a few years ago released a greatest hits album, “Green N’ Gold Hits.” Watch the music video and come for the cheesehead cowboy hats worn by the band, but stay for the superb mullets cropping up throughout the crowd shots in the song.
10. “Go You Packers Go!” The Wizenhiemers. This driving, chomping rock song from The Wizenhiemers of Madison got rid of one exclamation point in the middle to differentiate from the team’s original fight song title, but otherwise totally made the tune, another one to come out during Green Bay’s title run in ‘96, all their own. This one’ll wake you up and get you moving fast, like injecting coffee straight into the bloodstream. Selected lyric: “We don’t need no dumb luck, ‘cause we all know the Bears, still, suck!” As you can see, common themes and Super Bowl runs are real forces behind many a Packers tune. Also, a reminder: the Bears still, well, you know the rest.
The 1: CD(s) to buy if you’re looking for more Packers tailgating songs: Tailgate Tunes and Tailgate Tunes II. Featuring other songs from groups like Cheeseheads With Attitude and Da Yoopers, as well as songs on this list like “The Bears Still Suck,” these CDs allow you to play ‘em and forget about it, instead focusing on other, more important, aspects of tailgating like eating grilled meat.