The Ten Best Things About "World In Motion" by New Order
They'll always hit you and hurt you, defend and attack/There's only one way to beat them, get round the back.
This article originally appeared on THUMP UK.
Let's start with an apology: sorry to any Welsh THUMP readers out there, but Rob Brydon, Tom Jones, Pam Ferris...your boys took a hell of a beating!
Now that's out of the way, let's get onto the nitty-gritty. Which is dissecting "World in Motion" by New Order, a song so good that it turns even the staunchist anti-patriot into a blubbering, tear, sunburnt mess. Like "Three Lions", there's something strangely melancholy about it, something that's already accepting defeat just as it's daring to dream about victory, and as such it's a nigh-on perfect musical interpretation of this mawkish, grubby, tea-stained nation. And John Barnes does a rap for good measure!
"World in Motion" isn't just the best football song ever: it's genuinely of the best records ever made by anyone ever. And as such, let's cut it ten ways and work out exactly what makes it just so godlike.
1. It Has One of the Greatest Music Videos of All Time
The video for "World in Motion" is as important here as the song itself. In fact, the two are symbiotic. Even if played in the dark you'll soon discover that the tune will summon the video in your mind, frame by frame, note by note. There are goal compilations, high-rises, reckless shifts between black and white and colour, Bernard Sumner's head fading softly into the corner of the frame, and some of the best casual sportswear sourced in the last century. Yet more than that, the video is a glorious canonisation of the last truly aesthetically pleasing era of football.
2. It's a Song About Itself That's Somehow Not Smug and Shit
"World in Motion" is a song about a song called "World in Motion" being sung, but it isn't the kind of meta-shitshow that people on Reddit get excited about because apparently being able to understand reference points is now worthy of self-praise.
3. Gazza Shouting "EXPRESS YOURSELF"
It's hard to talk about Gazza without sounding like either a Mock the Week reject (Chicken! Fishing rods! Cans! Raoul Moat! Love it! Please release me from this awful life!) or a football fantasist who wants to reel you into their deathly dull alternate history where the affable Geordie signs for Man United and goes on to win thirteen consecutive Champions Leagues and eventually gets elected to venture into deep space as Earth's finest specimen, so instead, just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching Gazza mouth "EXPRESS YOURSELF" in the video.
4. Bernard Sumner's Summer Look
If you aren't dressing like big Bernard every time you take a not-quite-fully-pumped-up tatty ball out to the park for an aimless five minutes of practicing "long passes" before just seeing who can kick it the highest, then you're doing Summer 2016 terribly, terribly wrong.
5. John Barnes' Peculiarly Stiff Cadence
John Barnes raps like people on Radio 4 panel shows rap, i.e. not like any actual rap that's been made since 1985. His deadpan, bordering on drab, delivery works somehow, and while he always seems just one line away from saying "My name's John and I'm here to say," there's something incredibly charming about his seminal verse. And the pleasure largely derives from the vocal stress patterns he works with. Without Barnes, there'd be no Young Thug.
6. The Line "Catch Me if You Can 'Cos I'm the England Man"
Need we say more?
7. Peter Beardsley's Palpable Sense of Awkwardness
Beardsley, for all his goal scoring prowess, is a living reminder that football was different back when Hooky and Keith Allen were doing keepy-uppies in the park with Des Walker. Football was, to be blunt about it...uglier. Poor old Peter's always going to be regarded as a man provided by providence with a face only a mother could love, and watching the glorious "World in Motion" video on repeat makes it obvious that the man who ended his career trotting out twice for Melbourne Knights doesn't really want to be on camera. Somehow it's incredibly charming rather than repugnantly unwatchable. That's the magic of "World in Motion" right there!
8. It Has the Best Chorus Ever
Go on, right now, on the spot, sing me a better chorus than this one. Do it. Sing it in my face and look me in the eyes while you're doing it. You can't. You won't. Because there isn't one.
9. "England" Continually Being Pronounced as "ENG-URRRR-LUUUUND"
In the distant future, when alien archeologists uncover the dismal remains of dear old England, they'll find—amongst the Diana memorial tea towels, the VHS copies of The Best of Roy 'Chubby' Brown, and the old, pissed-in bottles of Kia Ora—a recording of a bloke from Dagenham chanting "ENGURRRLUND, ENGURRRLUND, ENGURRRLUND" over and over until his voice is hoarse and barely audible and the words are replaced by wheezes and chokes and at one point you can actually hear a section of lung rise up through his throat. And the alien archeologists will thank "World in Motion" for their find.
10. It's the Only Football Record You'd Ever Want to Hear in a Club
You're not gonna find yourself crying with joy after half a pinger if "Golden Balls" by Bell and Spurling comes on, are you?