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Brazilians Listened to the Song ‘Happy’ a Lot More After Their World Cup Disaster Against Germany, Per Spotify Data

Jason O. Gilbert

Brazilians Listened to the Song ‘Happy’ a Lot More After Their World Cup Disaster Against Germany, Per Spotify Data

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof! (Getty Images)


Anyone watching the World Cup semifinal between Germany and Brazil saw how devastating the 7-1 loss was for Brazilians. Stunned fans cried openly in the stands; photos of tearful Brazilians proliferated; and bleak newspaper front pages dominated the newsstands the next day.

Now here’s another depressing data point from the rout. According to Spotify, in the hours following the World Cup match, the Pharrell song “Happy” was played far more often in Brazil than it had been before the match started. 

Per a Spotify spokeswoman, “Happy” was the biggest mover on the Spotify Brazil charts in the aftermath of the World Cup semifinal:

“Comparing the top tracks in Brazil before and after … the two versions of Pharrell’s “Happy” jump from #21 and #27 to #10 and #13 — sounds like they needed some cheering up!”

The other major change: Brazilians did not want to listen to any soccer-related tunes. 

“MC Guime’s World Cup song ‘País do Futebol’ drops from #3 to #16,” the spokeswoman wrote Yahoo Tech in an email. 

“País do Futebol” was sort of the unofficial anthem of Brazil’s World Cup; the video touts the redemptive power of soccer, and the chorus includes a mention of Brazilian soccer star Neymar scoring a goal. Neymar, of course, did not play in the Germany match due to a broken back vertebra suffered in the previous game against Colombia. 

You can understand, then, why Brazilians might not want to listen to that particular song after their team’s ouster from the home-field World Cup. 

On the victorious German side, meanwhile, Spotify data scientists only found one meaningful leap: The two versions of Andreas Bourani’s patriotic anthem “Auf uns” jumped from #22 and #24 to #8 and #10. A line of the chorus, “Ein Hoch auf uns” translates to something like “Congratulations to ourselves” or “Here’s to us.”

It’s a celebratory song, in other words. Again, you can see why plays might have spiked after a German football victory. 

Spotify had already found that residents of the countries whose teams won the game listened to more music than residents of countries whose teams lost, presumably as they partied. 

Now we know how fans on one losing side consoled themselves: by clapping along, feeling that happiness was the truth. 

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