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Could Dwayne (DJ Bravo) Bravo’s single Champion be the new West Indies anthem? Could it challenge David Rudder’s Rally Round The West Indies –– the now accepted standard adopted by the West Indies Cricket Board and recognized across the cricketing world?

Champion, champion, champion, champion. Bravo is
a champion; Chris Gayle is a champion . . . .

If you did not find yourself singing the lyrics to DJ Bravo’s song Champion during the just concluded ICC Twenty20 World Cup, and especially over our two teams’ victorious weekend, then you are truly not a West Indian fan or, at least, a cricket lover.

West Indians at home and abroad have been singing the popular tune. Everyone, from the average man on the street to megastars have been singing the tune and, of course, doing the dance in celebration of the home team’s historic and thrilling win. Everyone, that is, except Ben Stokes and his vanquished England.

The song has found favour with sprint icon Usain Bolt. But that is to be understood. After all, he is West Indian. But retired Portuguese football maestro Luis Figo was caught doing the Champion song and dance this week under the tutelage of DJ Bravo himself.

Twenty20 final hero Carlos Brathwaite arrived in Delhi yesterday, and was met by team management, hotel staff, casual workers and fans. And they were all doing one thing –– belting out and dancing to Champion.

During the World Cup, Afghanistan’s players were among those who adopted the song and dance, and perhaps are today showing it off somewhere in Kabul or Jalalabad.

Champion men are joined by champion women in celebration.

Champion men are joined by champion women in celebration.

Admittedly, the song is short on lyrics. But who cares? Hot Hot Hot by Arrow was no lyrical tour de force either, but today remains the most internationally popular and commercially successful calypso ever made.

Champion is catchy; easy to remember; importantly, comes with an easy dance; and, with the personalized addition of more names, can accommodate and celebrate the prowess of a multitude of other “champions”.

Sometimes on the occasion of West Indies’ victories, the anthem Rally Round The West Indies is played, occasioning a feeling of nostalgia and pride. But while West Indians will stand and listen to Rudder’s ditty, their immediate compulsion on hearing Champion has been
to break out into song and dance.

The melodic selection has now reached over six million views on Facebook, and DJ Bravo has taken to Facebook to offer his thanks and appreciation to the fans.

“3 million yesterday. 5 million today! Is this real life?? I have the best fans! #blessed #champion #wayup #DJBravo,” he wrote.

Though Rally Round The West Indies might not move one to break out into spontaneous dance, or receive four million views on Facebook, its nationalistic flavour and important message will ensure it is not only respected, but stands the test of time.

Perhaps, Champion will find pride of place in the shortest form of the game with which it is now associated, but we don’t think it will replace Rally Round The West Indies, especially for traditionalists. In any event, they are both champion songs and there is a place for them both –– on and off the field.




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