It’s nearing 1 a.m. The lights are dim in the bar and the opening riffs of Queen’s “We are the Champions” blare from the stereo. Suddenly, it seems like everyone in the bar is singing, “We are the champions, my friends, and we’ll keep on fighting, till the end …”
“I was out on a night out and I saw [several] groups sort of huddled together belting out songs at the top of their lungs. And I was blown away by the all enthusiasm and vigor,” says Alisun Pawley, a musicologist and lecturer at Kendal College in England.
“It had a tribal quality. What is it about this song?”