Get ready, get set as we take you through the 40 best songs about winning. Of course, the emphasis has always been on taking part because nobody likes a sore loser but let’s face it we all want to win.
Perhaps it’s the competitive nature within us that gives us a love of victory songs. Songs about triumph tend to be upbeat and positive, the lyrics uplifting, powerful, and motivational.
Who doesn’t need more of that in their playlist?
So eyes on the prize at the finish line whilst we whisk you through songs for champions, in what we think are 40 of the best victory songs throughout the decades.
40 Songs About Winning
1. Santana – “Winning”
What better way to get the ball rolling on our list of songs about victory than this interpretation of Russ Ballard’s track simply titled “Winning”?
The song explores mistaking lust for love in the past under the guise of gambling terminology.
Love is a risk, but the protagonist is willing to play the game and leave his fate in the hands of “Lady Luck” regardless. For now, at least, he is winning!
2. Queen – “We Are The Champions”
One of the number one winning songs of all time from the late Freddie Mercury with lyrics of comradery that encourage one to never give up. The lyrics explore the highs and lows and the challenges upon a path to victory.
A song for champions ready to overcome all hurdles and succeed no matter what that comes from a bonafide champion himself.
“No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World”
3. Elton John – “I’m Still Standing”
In what was and still is one of his most popular songs, Elton tells of a previous relationship, that he has come through and out the other stronger for having done so.
“Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid”
The lyrics are positive and empowering making a great motivational song about victory. Songs about resilience make for great songs about winning.“
4. Toby Keith – “How Do You Like Me Now”
A catchy country song about triumph.
Sometimes we peak later in life, it takes courage to go for a dream and follow it. Toby Keith sings the perfect ‘look at how far I have come’ song.
Half-chuckling at the fact that a certain someone from his past who overlooked him may well hear it. What would her opinion be now following his success?
5. Starship – “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”
Being in love can change your outlook in an instant, it can be the motivator you need and make you feel invincible.
With the right person at your side, nothing seems impossible. That pretty much sums up the sentiment in this epic song for winners.
“And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing’s gonna stop us now”
6. Joe Esposito – “You’re The Best”
Another unforgettable song for championships to remember is this funky synth-filled motivational piece from Joe Esposito.
It featured in the unforgettable montage of fight scenes in the All-Valley Karate Championships montage in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid.
“You’re the Best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down”
7. Survivor – “Eye Of The Tiger”
Equally as unforgettable is this hard rock single that was the theme music for the 1982 film Rocky III.
Stalone had previously had Queens “Another One Bites The Dust” in mind but the band refused permission of its use.
This was a stroke of luck for Survivor as it was one of their biggest hits and as cheesy as the hook is, it put them among the greatest songs about winning spirit for sure.
8. Bob Dylan – “Paths Of Victory”
This one is a rewrite of a well-known 1800s gospel song called the Palms Of Victory. Given its age and use within the church, there are lots of versions of it floating around with small tweaks here and there. The original song goes by the names “Deliverance Will Come,” and “The Way-worn Traveler”.
“Trails of troubles
Roads of battle
Paths of victory
We shall walk”
Dylan’s version is inspirational, a real ‘if you don’t give up then you are on the path to winning’ song.
9. Carrie Underwood – “The Champion”
Though it was written to celebrate top athletes at their peak the lyrics stay relevant enough to apply to anyone.
You don’t get a trophy on the road to recovery or for overcoming life’s obstacles but it is a victory nonetheless.
Singer Carrie Underwood pairs up with Ludacris in an odd-coupling that makes for a great bonus track and an awesome song about champions of sport as well as the smaller things in life.
10. Mikky Ekko – “Watch Me Rise”
His powerful vocals emote the motivational lyrics of this one. He sings about the higher heights that he is confident he is heading towards once he deals with current obstacles.
“Cuz once I get my head above the cloudy skies
Watch me rise, (oh gonna watch me rise”
11. DJ Khaled – “All I Do Is Win”
A braggadocious hip-hop anthem that was used for numerous sports teams after its release.
The lyrics are pure gloating, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross & T-Pain all give us their best flex and let us know how they make their money. Success and money go hand in hand so this is a song about winning at life from a monetary perspective.
12. Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
Unafraid to share his past and roots, Drake sings about the journey from the bottom to the top. A memorable song about winning that addresses his early career and his pride in his success.
With his typical broody, moody style, Drake packs in hook after hook over a stripped-back piano-led track.
“‘Cause we started from the bottom, now we’re here”
The “we” refers to his crew but gives the listener the sense of inclusion keeping a personal song about success, relatable.
13. Flo Rida – “Good Feelin”
Flo Rida’s high-energy track borrows heavily from Avicii’s “Levels” which is, in turn, based around Etta James’ soulful sixties track “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”. The royalties and writing credits for this one must be a nightmare.
The rapper boasts over the top of this heavily laden dance track that has been used throughout sports including WWE, NHL, Super Bowl XLVI, and Flo Rida himself performed in person for the NBA ALL-Star game in 20121.
14. Macklemore Ryan Lewis – “Can’t Hold Us”
When it comes to sports and other victories sometimes everything relies on one moment that can send it either way. This 2012 anthem is the success fuelling hype music you need to amp yourself up for your next win.
It should be on any ‘songs for championships’ playlist. A winners song that builds and builds.
“Can we go back? This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over
So we put our hands up
Like the ceiling can’t hold us”
15. Public Enemy – “Harder Than You Think”
In what became Public Enemy’s hottest single, we have a can-do, just keep swimming attitude. When life knocks you down their advice is the following;
Just like that
Their strong argument (beautifully) is that when something is “Harder Than You Think” ts a blessing in disguise because it presents you with an opportunity to evolve and improve if you are hungry enough and work for it.
“Harder than you think, it’s a beautiful thing”
The song samples Shirly Bassey’s “Jezahel” and was adopted by Channel 4 for the London 2012 Summer Paralympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics.
16. Imagine Dragons – “On Top Of The World”
Another that has featured at many events including Barack Obama’s 2nd inauguration. It is a song that again discusses the inevitable lows of life but concludes that you can rise to any occasion and succeed.
“And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down
And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground
Get up now, get up, get up now
‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ey
I’m on top of the world, ‘ey
Waiting on this for a while now”
17. The Script – “Hall Of Fame”
The Script plays us the ultimate in pop-rock songs about triumph and success. The lyrics instill the listener with the courage to set goals, follow dreams and succeed with a little perseverance.
“You can go the distance, you can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile
You can be a hero, you can get the gold
Breakin’ all the records they thought never could be broke”
18. The Rolling Stones – “Winning Ugly”
When someone is overly competitive there can be a touch of arrogance there that most find to be an unfavorable trait in a person.
The Rolling Stones coin the term “Winning Ugly” in their mid-80s track fuelled by a bouncing funk bassline. One of just 2 songs written by Jagger on this particular album.
This is a great example of an I am going to win song that doesn’t care about the loser’s feelings.
19. McFadden & Whitehead- “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us now”
It’s a groovy disco tune that not everybody understood the true meaning of.
Written as a hopeful piece about the oppression and emancipation of the African American community. Some wins are team wins and some are much bigger scale. It was adopted as a sort of new black national anthem by some.
“And if you’ve ever been held down before
I know you refuse to be held down any more”
It made accurate commentary on how the landscape at the time appeared to finally be changing in a positive direction, though one could argue we still have a ways to go.
20. The Killers – “The Man”
Remember this glam-rock/new-wave -come-disco track?
It had a lot to unpack musically, utilizing samples from 70’s disco group Kool & The Gang and portraying the idea of the invincible, I can do anything mindset that we have when we are younger. “The Man ” is your younger, unbeatable winning self.
Not an immediate thought when you are looking for songs about winning and success, but a great contender for our top 40 regardless.
21. Weezer – “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”
A song about winning that draws inspiration from just about all over!
It is fair to say that this one was hit and miss for many, with mixed reviews, some pretty negative.
Critiques aside it is certainly one of the band’s most experimental tracks. The production is great and smoothly allows the song to transition through 11 mini-segments that go from a cheesy lazily-rhymed rap intro full of sirens,
Exploring influences from Slipknot, Jeff Buckley, choral music, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and even the sounds of the 1940’s Andrews Sisters!
The lyrics also depart from their usual ‘victim-eyed’ perspective as they brag about winning throughout.
22. OK Go – “Invincible”
“When they finally come to destroy the earth
They’ll have to go through you first”
Strong opening lines from OK Go in their song for champions.
No one really listens to OK Go for the vocal gymnastics, it is really more for the group’s unique and entertaining music video accompaniments. This one doesn’t disappoint with its winning music video.
23. Megadeth – “Victory”
A victory song that came together very quickly according to Dave Mustaine.
The lyrics were formed by taking previous Megadeth track titles and stringing them together with a loose narrative.
For many fans listening it’s about the success, he had leaving Metallica and pursuing something else despite the difficult path and setbacks.
24. Bruce Springsteen- “Thunder Road”
“Thunder Road” brings up the imagery of old school car races, in idyllic locations. This song tells the story of a couple who have one last chance to really get together and make a go of it as they are no longer young.
It is an all-or-nothing song about winning.
“It’s a town full of losers
And I’m pulling out here to win”
25. Tenacious D – “To Be The Best”
In their loveable comedic rock style, Hollywood Jack Black and his buddy Kyle give us this satirical story of how success can affect a rock star!
The captivating music video begins pretty darkly with Kyle escaping from a mental institution and the pair are finally reunited and train “To Be The Best” with some help from a few famous cameos including Dave Grohl.
26. Foreigner – “I’m Gonna Win”
An 80’s rock song about winning with lyrics crammed full to the rafters with idioms. The protagonist has no choice but to win, it is survival of the fittest and they were born for the victory.
A self-assured chorus states it like it is, the power of positive thought will help them prevail as they kick their hard work into overdrive.
27. Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “Taking Care Of Business”
This is one of those songs that is often misinterpreted. It is a song that on the surface is about working hard to earn something but in reality the worker is working hard at slacking off basically.
However, this tune became a popular idea that many sports players coined to imply that they were working hard ever since it hit the charts back in the early 70s.
28. American Authors – “Go Big or Go Home”
Yet another example of a song adopted by sp the sports industry as a mo because of its motivational narrative within.
The lyrics tell you to give it everything you have or not to even bother. In life to win you, there is no half-assing it.
The lyrics are very carpe-diem;
“I’m thinking life’s too short, it’s passing by
So if we’re gonna go at all
Go big or goGo big or go home
29. ABBA – “The Winner Takes It All”
A song about winning and losing that makes for a stark unveiling of truth.
Although many ABBA fans believe it was autobiographically based Fältskog denies the claims. The song’s narrative is about the results of a divorce but Bjorn remains adamant it was fictional and not a reflection of his divorce with Agnetha.
30. Sia – “Unstoppable”
The shy to show her face Australian singer-songwriter is full of self-esteem as she treats us to 3 and a half minutes of empowerment.
It is a fist-pumping, self-hype sort of anthem that many found followed her previous release “Alive” really poetically. The narrative shifting gears from an I’m surviving to and I am thriving and “Unstoppable” one even if it is in a fake it until you make it sense!
31. Katy Perry – “Rise”
On the topic of surviving and thriving, we have Miss Katy Perry promising exactly that as she tells those of little faith not to doubt her as she is on her way to victory.
“When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don’t be surprised, I will still rise”
NBC sports used it during their coverage of the summer Olympics back in 2016, the mid-tempo electronic track. It is another undeniable competitor in our search for the best songs about winning.
32. Rush – “One Little Victory”
This ‘song about victory’ was the first track on the renowned prog-rock legends’ comeback album back in 2002.
It made for a great introduction to the vibe of the album and was in keeping with the group’s high-energy, and explorative style.
The lyrics talk about how rewarding the smallest victories can be in life. The false ending is enjoyable and it never hurts to get to listen to the late Neil Peart drum his heart out.
33. Fall Out Boy – “Champion”
“If I can live through this
I can do anything”
Fall Out Boy sing from the future to their younger self about their channeling their inner rage into something productive.
Taking the hard knocks of life and using the feeling of accomplishment felt after weathering the storm as a reminder that you can “do anything”.
34. Panic At The Disco – “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”
Next up is a song that tells a true story on the path to glory and success. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It ” is an autobiographical account of the singer’s journey.
Some of the lyrics are personal but it is a very relatable song about winning in life. Who doesn’t want to make their mother proud?
The video features a puppet version of him that asks “Are you ready for the sequel?”
35. Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”
This has been called one of the Pet Shop Boys’ most uplifting songs of all time. The video featured the London Rollergirls Roller Derby, specifically centering around Dirty Diana a transgender skater who was their latest addition at the time.
Though the song discusses the victory of athletic feats it is also about a win for the community.
Not all songs about winning are about the moment of success many are about the determination required to get back up on the horse in the face of defeat. That is the case with Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping”.
The group witnessed a man in a bar put away an extraordinary amount of alcohol, and it sparked an idea of determination that led to the creation of this 90’s anthemic get up and try again song.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down”
37. Bill Conti- “Gonna Fly Now”
We already gave the theme for Rocky III a mention pretty early on in this winners hit-list but we couldn’t start to wind things down without mentioning the original movie’s track.
It was written by Bill Conti, who was also involved in writing “You’re The Best” for Joe Esposito for the Karate Kid soundtrack that we have also featured, so it’s his second shout-out. He must have a talent for writing songs about winning.
38. The Charlie Daniels Band – “ The Devil Went Down To Georgia”
When it comes to songs for champions there is no song with a better narrative about victory than this epic fiddle-dueling legend.
The Charlie Daniels Band s recount the time the d Devil himself put on a wager with Johnny a fiddler and had to admit his defeat when faced with his opponents playing skills.
The refrain references famous lyrics from other songs;
“He played “Fire on the Mountain” run boys, run
The devil’s in the House of the Rising Sun
The chicken in a bread pan pickin’ out dough
Granny, will your dog bite? No child, no”
39. David Glen Eisley & Bob Kulick – Sweet Victory
This late-nineties treat with its cheesy lyrics was used for the Spongebob Squarepants movie. It has motivating words that sing about “sweet victory”
With epic screaming guitar solos, classic drum build-ups, and vocal effects; it is a song about winning with a distinctly retro 80’s staple vibe.
40. MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
Featured in the 2020 Superbowl Cheetos popcorn ad, Hammer tells the world that he is untouchable, well in terms of his dance moves at least.
At a time when the hip-hop scene was flourishing and competition was hot, Hammer, a not-so-impressive rapper, made himself a household name by marketing himself strategically.
With his iconic pants, moves, and catchphrases he became a sensation and is still living off of the royalties of this one.
If you sat through all 40 of our best winning songs in one sitting then give yourself a pat on the back and take a virtual trophy!
Not everyone is competing in a specific field. For some, we are striving for that Charlie Sheen-style brand of winning at life itself. He may have been a little deluded at the time but it’s a tangible concept.
This is why many of the best songs about winning are the ones about smaller victories. Songs about being a champion of your life rather than a sport or measurable skillset.
Winning at anything takes motivation, fingers crossed our list of songs about victory will have inspired you today.