Seven Nation Army streams spike by 16,893% on Deezer after 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn' chant at Glastonbury

Exclusive: Chant heard around Glastonbury festival appears to have led to a massive spike in streams for The White Stripes track

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Thursday 29 June 2017 17:15 BST
The Jeremy Corbyn chant sweeping the nation

'Seven Nation Army' by the White Stripes has experienced a huge surge in streams after people used the tune to chant 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn' at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

Barely a moment went by without revellers bellowing the words with the song's instantly-recognisable riff - from queues to get into the festival to the moments leading up to the Labour leader's powerful speech on the Pyramid Stage.

Representatives for Deezer, which has around 10 million active users, told The Independent that streams of the song had increased by 16,893 per cent - 168 times as many streams as the day before - following Glastonbury weekend.

A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn told The Independent: "Jeremy is delighted that Labour's campaign reached out to new and young voters and inspired imaginative and unusual ways of campaigning.

"Jeremy is passionate about music, art and culture. He believes all children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and engage with theatre, art and music. He was proud to be invited to speak at Glastonbury because of the festival's unique history.

"Labour's positive election campaign was all about giving people a voice and putting forward ideas which would improve transform Britain in the interests of the many not the few."

Dom Wallace, Music Editor at Deezer UK and Ireland, commented: "Every year the Glastonbury headliners have a major impact on what people choose to listen to in the weeks before and after the event, but we did not expect Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance to have such an influence on streams. It seems Jack White owes Jeremy Corbyn a pint or two!"

This is not the first time 'Seven Nation Army' has been used as an unofficial anthem.

In 2003, following the song's release that same year, the rapidly became a popular sporting chant heard everywhere from Italian football matches to sports stadiums in the US. By the time the World Cup kicked off in Germany in 2006, it had turned into the Italian national team's unofficial theme. After the Italian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg led the crowd in singing the riff during celebrations at the podium.

It stood out because it was noticeably less melodramatic or "cheesy" than sporting anthems such as 'We Are The Champions' by Queen or Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' - so much so that The Guardian once suggested it was the "indiest football anthem of all time".

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Responding to its popularity in Italy in 2003, Jack White said at the time: "I am honoured that the Italians have adopted their song as their own... nothing is more beautiful than when people embrace a melody and allow it to enter the pantheon of folk music.

"As a songwriter it is something impossible to plan. Especially in modern times. I love that most people who are chanting it have no idea where it came from. That's folk music."

He also told Rolling Stone in 2010 that Ben Swank, a Third Man Records employee who walked past when he composed the song, had a memorably 'meh' reaction to the now-famous riff.

"I was playing it [for Meg] and he was walking by and I said, 'Swank, check this riff out'," White said. "And he said, 'It's OK'. [Laughs]. The even funnier thing about that song is that the labels in America and in the UK, neither of them wanted to put that out as the first single. It just shows that you never really know."

Corbyn gave a rousing speech at this year's Glastonbury and attracted huge crowds that audience members said were on a similar scale to the Rolling Stones performance in 2013.

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