If you've watched each of the last two postseason runs orchestrated by the Philadelphia Phillies, you probably have found yourself humming the team's rally song — one that has been played everywhere in Philly and just recently eclipsed one billion streams on Spotify.
Callum Scott's version of "Dancing On My Own" — the original artist is Swedish pop star Robyn, who released the song in 2010 — is now a certified breakup banger among MLB fans, and the fact that it's been a hit with the Phillies for two Octobers straight is a testament to just how catchy it is.
But what some fans might not realize is that the song is an iconic gay anthem that's been heard in queer nightclubs around the world for years. Add in the fact that Scott is openly gay, and you can almost see the rainbow shining over Citizens Bank Park when it's played.
But how did this song come to be the team's playoff anthem, and why is it a favorite among the girls and gays?
"Dancing On My Own" is a Loner Anthem
Every member of the LGBTQ community has felt alone at some point in life, and the song embodies that. It's about seeing a lover with someone else, featuring lyrics like "I'm right over here, why can't you see me?" and "you don't see me standing here" while embracing dancing on your own.
Robyn released the song in 2010 and it was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the Grammy Awards in 2011. It won Best Song at the Grammisgalan in Sweden. It reached No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart but didn't see quite the same success in the U.S. until years later. It was featured in the show "Girls," when Lena Dunham danced to it, and it didn't reach platinum status until 2019. Calum Scott performed it on Britain's Got Talent and made Simon Cowell smash his golden buzzer.
Robyn has embraced the song being a gay anthem.
"Gay culture has always had to embody outsidership," Robyn told OUT magazine in 2011. "I think it's a song about being on the outside — very physically — and if it feels like a gay anthem then I take that as a super compliment."
Scott's version made its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017, and now the Tiësto remix of it is being sung all around Philadelphia. Scott, who is gay, explained why the song means so much to him.
"I've tried to write in a way that transcends beyond just sexuality and is more about letting go of our fear and trusting the people around us," Scott told The Sun in 2017.
"I purposely didn't change the pronouns in Dancing On My Own, so that it was from a gay man's perspective.
"It's happened to me plenty of times where I've taken a fancy to a bloke and he's turned out to be straight, because you just can't tell sometimes. You can feel like you're never going to find anybody."
How the Song Made Its Way to Philadelphia
"Dancing On My Own" is actually stolen goods, if you ask Boston.
The Red Sox were the first team to use it as their clubhouse anthem during the 2021 postseason, and it came to Philly after Kyle Schwarber — who left Boston to sign with the Phillies in 2022 — introduced his team to it.
The reason Boston used it in the first place? Kevin Plawecki, who was a catcher for the Red Sox in 2021, told MLB.com that he and teammates Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland and Kevin Pillar listened to it during the covid-shortened 2020 season.
"From then on, me and Benny and Pillar and Mitch Moreland lived together last year and we just played this song all the time," Plawecki said. "It was kind of as a joke because Moreland didn't really care for it. He's a country boy and was like, 'This song sucks, yada yada.'"
"We had a scrimmage game and we had walk-ups for the scrimmage," Plawecki said. "I'm like, 'I'm just going to mess with Mitch today.' He was on the other team playing first. So my first at-bat with it as my walk-up song, I hit a homer and I'm singing it to Mitch as I'm running around first, and then, I obviously kept it as my walk-up for the whole year last year and then throughout this year.
"I'm always playing music on the speaker, on the bus and stuff. Everybody's like, 'Play that one song.' So I always play it. Everybody has just gone overboard now. I never would have thought everyone would sing it like that."
When Boston advanced to the 2021 American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, Red Sox players celebrated and sang the song. Robyn even tweeted seeing that was "bonkers."
— Robyn (@robynkonichiwa) October 13, 2021
Boston one-upped that and brought Scott to throw out the first pitch alongside knuckleballer Tim Wakefield before Game 4 of the ALCS.
Two years later, the Phillies have completely adopted the song as their own. Maybe it's time for Scott to throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park now.
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