Let them say we’re crazy, I don’t care about that. Give me your hand and never look back. If you only had one chance to capture everything you’ve ever wanted, one single moment, would you take it or let it pass by? It’s my life, it’s now or never.
Did you think this old fool could never win? Well, look here, I’m back again. So let’s be heroes, just for one day. Even just for a single moment.
Cause the winner takes it all and we’ll be the champions.
Does one or the other segment sound familiar? So you know them, the songs about victory, success, and winners. We had the fun of collecting the 20 best of them and noticed that the songs have quite a lot in common.
They were sung by winners, had great success in the charts, and all have a similar message: If you fall down, you have to get up, no matter what the others think.
(You can find a Spotify playlist at the end of this article.)
01. We are the Champions by Queen
The anthem par excellence for winners. No victory in sports, no win, no success celebrated without this classic form 1977 by the winning band Queen.
Here Freddie impressively sings about how the biggest challenge of being a champion is staying on top. If you’ve paid your dues, learned from your mistakes, and kept going on the road to victory, then you know that true champions never rest on their laurels.
02. Square One by Tom Petty
Certainly not the best-known song by the great Tom Petty, who died much too early, but perhaps the most beautiful. A song whose content has given hope and strength to so many people, which shows that even the deepest valleys can be crossed and that the road to victory is not always glorious.
Where victory is much more tangible here than in most of the other songs on this list. Not being addicted anymore, having some control over life, being free, being able to let go. These are the victories in life Petty sings about.
03. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
The whole world knows Survivor, everybody gets one Earworm, as soon as the first sounds of their only number 1 hit start playing, and who do they have to thank for it? Rocky!
Better said, Sylvester Stallone, the creator of Rocky. For the third film in the Rocky series, which deals with a boxer with no chance of success who eventually emerges victorious, Stallone wanted a catchy, powerful song that viewers could immediately associate with his tiger Rocky. This is both to him and to the afterward only rarely successful band Survivor succeeded.
04. The Winner Takes it All by ABBA
Probably the most bitter song on this list, which knows how to hide its anger and disappointment under the happy danceable music. Actually, Agnetha Fältskog sings about the loss of her husband to another woman.
She is a good loser who tells her successor that only the winner gets everything.
05. Simply the Best by Tina Turner
One of Tina Turner’s most iconic songs was originally written for another rock tube: Bonnie Tyler. Good thing Tina made the song her own and topped the charts all over the world.
Her incomparable voice and power gave the song the last bit of immortality it needed.
06. One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston
What do music fans remember when they think of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea? Right, to the outfit of the enchanting Whitney Houston, who sang this grandiose piece of music history there live for the opening and hit right into the heart. Hardly any other winning song from our list is so anthemic and touching.
By the way, the song was written by the famous Albert Hammond (It never rains in Southern California), who in turn had Elvis in mind as a performer for this piece. Well, not really realistic, since the King of Rock `n` Roll was already 11 years dead at that time. Maybe Hammond is a big fan of the Elvis-is-still-alive conspiracy theories, that would explain a lot.
07. Survivor by Destiny`s Child
Three Amazons singing powerfully and energetically about their survival. The huge chart success touches everyone who hears it. Somewhat embarrassed are those about whom it was written.
In 1999, original Destiny’s Child members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett split from the other two singers Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland. Michelle Williams got on board and the rest is music history. There was a lot of gloating during the transition, however, with the band being compared to the trash TV show Survivor, among others. That, in turn, inspired Beyoncé to write a song “full of negative vibes about us”.
The former band members even filed a lawsuit, as some side hustles were very clearly on their account. The outcome of the lawsuit remained hidden from the public. No matter how this one went out, Destiny’s Child with Survivor is the absolute winner.
08. Thunder Road by Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen
Not many songs become anthems, even fewer manage to become a catchphrase. The Boss manages it even with a song without a chorus.
Whole generations feel lifted up in this song, at least in a certain phase of their lives, in which they just find themselves on a very rough road. Just like the protagonists of the play. The desperately in love singer tries to break out of the tiring everyday life with his beloved Mary by showing her the way out.
A ride in his car, out of the city full of losers, towards the promised land. He modestly admits that he is not a hero and that all the salvation he has to offer is under a dirty hood. But if they ride together, then one day they could be among the great winners.
09. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Some bands are just so good that they deserve two places in the ranking. Regardless of musical taste, everyone knows this song with the catchy bass riff, so here’s just a little nerd fact that you (hopefully) don’t know yet. When the song was released, some wanted to hear a backward message out of it.
At the time, this was the equivalent of reusable coffee-to-go cups, so it was very trendy. In this case, the accusation came from American evangelicals. They claimed to hear the phrases “Start to smoke marijuana” and “Decide to smoke marijuana”.
Apart from them, however, no one else could hear these messages, which were apparently recorded directly by Lucifer.
10. Beat It by Michael Jackson
A song by the King of Pop, released on the winning album Thriller, which made music history – a victory all the way around. But the content is about running away from evil and beating it quasi through it.
11. Heroes by David Bowie
Watch out, it might get nerdy, but this song is just too great to dedicate only a few lines to it. In addition to the English version, Bowie also recorded the track in German as “Helden” and in French as “Héros”. It was written during Bowie’s Berlin phase and is influenced by the impressions the singer gathered in a Germany that was still divided at the time.
The recording studio where the song was recorded was less than 200 meters from the Berlin Wall and you could look directly at a watchtower of the GDR border troops. However, according to Bowie, there was also a very concise inspiration:
“That’s a wall next to the studio. It is about 20 to 30 meters away from the studio, the director looks directly at it. There’s a turret on top of the wall where the guards sit, and every noon a boy and a girl would meet under it.
They had an affair. And I thought: Of all the places to meet in Berlin, why to choose a bench under a watchtower at the Berlin Wall?”
Whether this is a poetic license or whether David Bowie could really observe this love story with his own eyes every day is irrelevant in view of the wonderful lyrics:
“I, I can remember (I remember)
And the guns shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day”
12. The Final Countdown of Europe
Joey Tempest, the singer of the Swedish band Europe and writer of The Final Countdown see the song today like this: “I am always happy to hear the song. I was surprised how often it is played at sporting events in the United States, I didn’t know that, but that makes me happy too. When we play this song at live concerts today, our audience goes nuts, there’s a very special vibe in the air then”.
13. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
The song is an anthem of self-confidence. A musical reminder of the untapped potential just waiting to make you a winner. Success certainly requires some skills, talent, and a lot of hard work.
But even more important is the right attitude. According to Alicia, it will take you to the top of the world.
14. Happy by Pharrell
The song with the clap request is considered the best-selling single in Germany since 1975. Number 1 reached the song in over 20 countries, among others. The music video was “re-staged” worldwide by uniting peoples and cultures.
So you should be able to say: This was a complete success.
15. Lose Yourself by Eminem
Eminem is a rapper of superlatives. There is hardly a record that he hasn’t broken yet and so the song Lose Yourself is not only one of Eminem’s most successful songs, but also one of the most successful songs in hip-hop history.
In the song, he autobiographically describes his problems with finding an entrance into the scene and being a good father for his daughter at the same time. According to the artist, it’s about “losing yourself in the music, removing every obstacle, ignoring all the hecklers, blocking out what everyone has to say about you, finding yourself and your own voice.”
16. U can`t touch this by MC Hammer
No, we are really deadly serious. A milestone in music history. The outfit in the video set fashion standards and those who wanted to be coolly danced just like the Hammer.
Well, if that’s not a success.
17. The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel
First, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sing about a typical loser here. A lonely person tells about his vain attempt to make it in New York. But in the last verse the perspective changes.
The listener learns about the incessant struggle of a boxer who never gives up. Despite the exclamation: “I am leaving, I am leaving”, one learns: “But the fighter still remains.” So who stands at the end? The one who never gives up! This brings us directly to the next winning song:
18. I`m Still Standing by Elton John
Sir Elton wrote the song as a reaction to still being successful in the 80s, although many other music genres were taking over the field at that time. However, due to its likable nature and the extremely successful music video (allegedly, those involved were not quite sober throughout), the song becomes a Good mood song And Loses Defiance.
A great success for Elton John, a clear victory for all car drivers who turn up the radio and sing loudly sing-along can.
19. I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Yes, right. We do not get on top. At least in terms of lyrical complexity.
Good applies to the musical complexity as well. But honestly, who has not Performered the song secretly super cool in front of the mirror and felt like the king of the world? Who among you has never kissed his biceps like Richard Fairbrass in that video we all danced to when MTV played it? So, we agree.
The song, the band, the video, the message are cult and therefore culture.
20. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
The word tubthumping actually exists and comes from the Anglo-Saxon anarchist tradition. The so-called tub thumpers of that time stood on crates in public places, on street corners, in front of factories – everywhere where the people were – to express radical political opinions. The band Chumbawamba says about the meaning of the song: “We wanted to show that this tradition can still exist today.
Screaming to change the world (and then drinking a little to celebrate)”.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again”. You’re never gonna keep me down!”
The places 21-52 of the best winning songs of all time
Each song is linked by its title to the corresponding music video.
Winning Songs Spotify Playlist:
With these songs, you’ll have a nice repertoire of motivational quotes at your fingertips. If you don’t care how motivating and impressive the lyrics are, then of course you simply have 20 immortal music hits that made great history. In any case, you are one of the winners of this list.