The Philadelphia Phillies recently went viral for their taste in music.
After clenching an unexpected playoff run, the players celebrated in the locker room with popped champagne and a rallying cry. Their song of choice? “Dancing on My Own.”
How did ‘Dancing on My Own’ became the Phillies song?
“There’s no deeper meaning or backstory to it, other than it’s an absolute banger and we love singing it in the locker room,” Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs — who accidentally became the team’s DJ — told MLB.com. “After a win, we play ‘Dancing on My Own,’ ‘Cold Heart’ and a couple other ones. We’ve been playing those songs since the beginning of the season. They come on in order after wins, so everyone knows what songs are going to play and everyone knows the words to those songs.”
Important to note: The Boston Red Sox first went viral for celebrating a win to the song in 2021, paving the way for the song to be seen as an acceptable victory anthem.
Stubbs added: “I hope when we win a few games here in the NLDS, we’ll have Philly playing ‘Dancing on My Own’ and ‘Cold Heart’ around the bars.”
Days later, the City of Brotherly Love seemed to officially pick the tune as the team’s playoff anthem as they continue to charge on towards the World Series, playing it during games and even in public spaces in the city to get residents pumped up.
However, the city picked Calum Scott’s acoustic version that was later remixed by Tiesto, not the original by Swedish pop superstar Robyn.
The internet quickly internet’d and responded with, “Say what now?” Here, we look back on the song’s storied history and what fans are saying about it.
Who originally sang ‘Dancing on My Own’?
“Dancing On My Own” appeared as the lead single to Robyn’s 2010 album “Body Talk.” Critics praised the song for being so heartbreakingly bittersweet, perfectly encapsulating the melancholy loneliness and exciting freedom of being alone in the corner of a nightclub.
In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked Robyn’s original version of the song as the 20th greatest song of all time. Sandwiched between Billie Holiday‘s “Strange Fruit“ and John Lennon‘s “Imagine,” “Dancing on My Own” is that decade’s highest entry on the list.
“Written with Stockholm producer Patrik Berger, the song made Robyn an iconic cult hero,” Rolling Stone wrote. “But it also became the template for a whole generation of young songwriters, from Taylor Swift to Lorde, looking for the ideal glitter-and-sobs cocktail. ‘This song, to me, is perfect,’ Lorde wrote. ‘Joyous even when a heart is breaking.'”
Over the years, the song has been covered by numerous artists, but it was Scott who gained worldwide recognition for his haunting acoustic rendition. He performed the stripped-down version of the song on his YouTube channel, later belting it as his audition for “Britain’s Got Talent” in April 2015.
Racking hundreds of millions of views, his version quickly became many people’s introduction to the tune and their only understanding of it. In 2016, it was remixed by Tiesto, bringing the song back to the club roots the song was initially intended for.
Now, that version has found itself at the center of the Phillies’ postseason, but many Philadelphia residents and music historians are speaking up that the original should be the one getting the spotlight.
After local newsroom Billy Penn shared an email explicitly saying the cover would be played by a real estate company to celebrate the Phillies’ success, Twitter clamored back.
One person tweeted, “This is Robyn erasure dammit.”
Another fan added, “Please. Stop with Calum. It’s a @robynkonichiwa song and her version bangs and is much better. Calum is soft on purpose, the boys need to go harder. At least give her credit. I cringe when you say Calum’s song…..ugh.”
“Can we agree there’s only one version of Dancing on My Own and it’s Robyn,” one person wrote.
Another had this hope for the future: “If and when the Phillies make it to the World Series could we please switch to the Robyn version of Dancing on my Own?”
While Robyn has yet to address the controversy, she likely doesn’t care considering she’s still making royalties off the beloved track wherever and however it gets played.
But many people have gushed around the fact that “Dancing on My Own” — which initially had a huge queer following and is considered by many to be an LGBTQ anthem — has found its way into the locker rooms of one of America’s most popular sports.
“The #Phillies celebration song being Dancing On My Own by Robyn is incredible,” one person tweeted. “You have 40 year old straight dudes driving around the city blasting a Swedish gay disco club anthem and I’m obsessed.”