If you’re only now just joining the World Cup hoopla, you probably missed the dust-up earlier this year about the official theme song to the 2014 World Cup.
The song, called “We Are One (Ole Ola),” was rolled out by football’s international governing body, FIFA, back last month, featuring Brazilian chanteuse Claudia Leitte, along with Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and US-born Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez (a.k.a. J Lo). Organizers thought that might suffice.
According to The Associated Press and others, Brazilians were ticked off by this particular choice of musicians in a country that gave the world Bossa Nova and other inflections of Latin Jazz. Critics have also complained that the song is mostly in English and Spanish, leaving only a few seconds at the end for Leitte to sing in her native Portuguese. They have taken their protests to Twitter, under the twitter tag #VoltaWakaWaka — a reference to Colombian artist Shakira’s song that she performed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“What I don’t like about the music is that it’s a poor, dull, generic pop theme,” Gaia Passarelli, a Brazilian music journalist and a former VJ for MTV Brazil, was quoted by AP as saying. “It’s a shame considering Brazil’s rich musical tradition, which is admired all over the world.”
“In the end, we lost a chance to do something rich, inspiring and cool. I’m feeling ‘saudades’ for Shakira,” Passarelli said, using a Portuguese word that roughly translates as painful longing.
Judge for yourself whether you think “We Are One” is more like “We Are Lame:”