Name this song: Classical Sports Anthem...

What’s the name of the “classical” song that keeps popping up on sports videos and in some movie trailers?

It’s really hard to describe, but I’ll try:

-It starts out very quiet, and gets progressively louder.
-It has an almost scary sounding choral bit in it, where the chorus sings in a language other than English (I think).
-It has the really deep 2 drum beats between the various lines in the chorus.

The only other thing I can think of is that the song appears in the opening or closing credits of the movie “Jackass” (go figure), and I’ve seen it played under sports highlights like on ESPN, and the Buffalo Sabres pre-game jumbotron video uses it as well (but it’s NOT “flight of the Bumblebee”).

It ends in a really fast, fury of sound…geez! This is killing me…anyone know what I’m looking for?

It’s probably “O Fortuna” by the Russian Red Army Choir.


I haven’t seen Jackass personally, but this list claims that O Fortuna was used in that movie, so presumably that’s what you’re looking for.

BTW, it isn’t “by the Russian Red Army Choir” in the sense that they have some kind of claim over it; it’s just a popular section of a longer work called Carmina Burana, which was written by Carl Orff and has been recorded by numerous orchestras with choral sections.

It is a popular piece of film music (The Exorcist isn’t in the above list, but it’s very prominent in that film too) and also appears in many sports videos and commercials such as Old Spice aftershave – at least over here it is.

Not The Exorcist, I meant The Omen. But this cite claims it wasn’t actually O Fortuna in that film either, but just Jerry Goldsmith’s version of it.

Everton, I said that only because I have that song on a CD by the Russian Red Army Choir. Didn’t really go look it up any more than that.

Carmina Burana (Songs of Benedictbeurn) was composed in the 1930s by Carl Orff, and has been a concert hall favorite since. It is a muscial setting of a collection of “underground” student poems from the Middle Ages, songs about springtime, drinking, love, and the transience of life. All with a very noticeable non-religious (at least non-Christian) bend. The songs are mostly in Latin, though some are in German and (I think) one is in French.

The piece that opens and closes Carmina Burana, O Fortuna, became popular when it was used prominently in Excalibur, and has appeared in movies and TV commercials ever since. It’s a “hymn” to the goddess Fortune, “empress of the world.” The basic message of the words is “life is short, so drink up”.

The full text, with translations, is available here.

BTW, I’ve sung this piece with my local symphony. IT IS NOT EASY.

I think it’s popularity with sports montages or movie/movie trailers is that the drum hits (boom BOOM) get the editors some nice place to put some sort of impact.

I love in the South Park movie trailer.

The original number Goldsmith wrote for The Omen was Ave Satani (Hail Satan). It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song (the only song nominee in Latin in Academy history). Although the song lost, Goldsmith’s Original Score won the Oscar that year.