On 16 July, the team’s coach, all the players and even President Macron himself sang the song by the Rotterdam-based student band at the tops of their lungs in front of the Élysée, the French President’s palace, where the footballers had just been honoured for their FIFA world title. Mark Snijders, a former member of the Hermes House Band, could not believe his luck. “This is happening to us because of the French football team. And the best thing about it is that an entire country is singing our little student ditty.”
‘I Will Survive’ has been a hit all summer, as it was in 1997 and 1998 (when France also won the World Cup). “It was the world title that did it. Everyone in cafés, streets and squares in France was going la-la-la,” Snijders told us.
The Hermes House Band released the song in 1994, having paid for the release itself. A few years later it was a No 1 hit in the Netherlands. “It didn’t become an international hit until a couple of years later. And despite the fact that we had a few other hits abroad, we were never able to get a repeat of that first No 1 ranking.” Until now, that is, thanks to Les Bleus singing the song on a very public occasion.
It should be noted that the song continues to be popular in the Netherlands, as well. At the Feyenoord stadium, the ‘la-la-la’ bit has been played whenever Feyenoord scores a goal for years.