VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It was the song that defined the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and two years later, you’re still hearing that “I Believe” song played over and over again.

There are multiple versions from instrumental to a new 2012 edition performed by the Canadian Tenors for the London Games. But what is it about music that brings out emotion and moves people?

SFU music professor David MacIntyre says Olympic songs can be a powerful tool which can bring people together. He believes they kind of work like national anthems, uniting people in a country.

“The whole idea of the Olympics is the idea of unification,” notes MacIntyre.

He points to “I Believe” as an example.

“The lyrics and the music come together to express the idea of oneness and the idea that we can all be part of one world, and that of course is an Olympic ideal.”

A good Olympic song is one that speaks directly to you, tells a compelling story in about three minutes, and of course, are catchy which gets you hooked.

“So it goes into people’s minds. They begin to think of it as something that’s like an earworm and it stays with them all the day long,” adds MacIntyre.

Olympic music often has elements of nostalgia as well. MacIntyre says “I Believe” was such a success during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, he’s not surprised it was re-invented in 2012 to bring people back in time.

But he does say some songs have an expiration date and he’s predicting a new song will be created for future Games.