Music to Your Ears
Jessica Cassyle Carr
It would stand to reason that the New Orleans Saints, a team named after a song, might inspire more songs. Being one of the most defeated teams in American Football, this season The Saints captivated their musical hometown, the football-watching masses and even some of those who tend to loathe the sport (that would be me).
"I think I just heard an entire city scream for about ten minutes," wrote DJ Matty—the unstoppable host of New Orleans vinyl parties like Mod Dance Party and Alligator Chomp Chomp—on his Facebook page after the Saints won the game that sends them to the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7. "This is the biggest thing New Orleans has won since The War of 1812. Only this time it wasn't British, it was Vikings. This city needs this. It's pandemonium outside with jazz music, fireworks, gunfire, pots and pans."
Amid the euphoric swell of the past several months, a bizarro football-based genre of music came to my attention. “Saints songs” range from jazz to funk to bounce rap, and many are based on the same idea behind Aaron Neville's '80s marriage of the "Who Dat" chant and "When the Saints Go Marching In." To get the scoop on the best tracks, I turned to DJ Matty, who has been rotating some of these songs at his events. He recommended "Go Get 'Em Saints" by Clarence “Frogman” Henry, "I Believe (Go Saints, All The Way)" by Harrison Avenue and "I'm a Believer," a special football take on The Monkees' song.
All of this is admittedly pretty Velveeta-Ro*tel-dip cheesy, but the party the Saints have spawned is irresistible—especially when considering it's had the power to halt murder, turn strangers on the streets into friends and create a feeling of total joy in a place still confronted by disaster. Therefore, on Sunday you'll find me eating king cake (it’s Carnival season too, you know), staring down a rum punch, contentedly singing along to Fats Domino songs and, yes, watching the Super Bowl. Geaux New Orleans.