Three Lions for No 1?

Do you back England, or attack an American Idiot?

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It's coming home? England fans adopt Three Lions as their Russian anthem

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

There is no official World Cup song for the England football team this year. Over the years, there have been many novelty records, from John Barnes rapping (yes, really) in New Order's World in Motion to Keith Allen apparently being contractually obligated to appear again and again and again (World in Motion, Fat Les' Vindaloo, Jerusalem, and even in the 2001 film Mike Bassett: England Manager with the song 'On Me 'Ead, Son').

But the England has not needed an official song this year, because their fans have voted with their feet - or rather their voices - and adopted the Euro 1996 classic, Three Lions, for the 2018 World Cup.

Social media has been awash with the phrase "it's coming home", featuring in memes, viral videos and just about every England fan's Facebook and Twitter feeds. Whether it was an edited clip of Vladimir Putin playing The Lightning Seeds' hit on the piano, or Del Boy Trotter ringing Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate with the tune, it is a song that fans have taken to their hearts.

Southgate admitted his own 20 years of hurt with the song, featuring comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. The former England defender, who missed a penalty in the shootout against Germany in the Euro '96 semi-final, said he couldn't listen to the song for two decades.

He said: “Football’s coming home, I couldn’t listen to it for 20 years, frankly. It has a slightly different feel for me, but it’s nice to hear people enjoying it again.

“Of course, the tournament ended in disappointment and it is nice to be able to put a different frame on it now. I still look back on it as an incredible life experience and to be involved with it, I just needed a bit of time to get over it."

Southgate added he would avoid the song by walking out of the room, saying: “It is an anthem and has followed the team for a long time but involved some difficult moments as well.”

So is football really coming home? The lyric was actually referring to England as hosts of the European Championship that year. However, as the Guardian notes, it has "evolved to refer to both England’s hopes of bringing home the World Cup trophy but also the disputed spiritual home of football".

Before the tournament started, there were doubts whether the young England side could perform in Russia. But, as they progressed through the World Cup, securing their only third semi-final in the competition's history, the optimism has increased, and England fans have turned up the volume to hear Three Lions blasting out.

Three Lions - The Lightning Seeds/Baddiel & Skinner - lyrics in full

(I think it's bad news for the English game)

(We're not creative enough)

(We're not positive enough)

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home (we'll go on getting bad results)

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

Everyone seems to know the score, they've seen it all before

They just know, they're so sure

That England's gonna, throw it away, gonna blow it away

But I know they can play

'Cause I remember

Three lions on a shirt

Jules Rimet still gleaming

Thirty years of hurt

Never stopped me dreaming

So many jokes, so many sneers

But all those 'oh so near's

When your down, through the years

But I still see that tackle by Moore

And when Lineker scored, Bobby belting the ball

And Nobby dancing

Three lions on a shirt

Jules Rimet still gleaming

Thirty years of hurt

Never stopped me dreaming

(England have done it, in the last minute of extra time)

(What a save, what now)

(Good old England, England that couldn't play football)

(England have got it in the bag)

I know that was then, but it could be again

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

(England have done it)

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming

Football's coming home

Three lions on a shirt

Jules Rimet still gleaming

Thirty years of hurt

Never stopped me dreaming

Three lions on a shirt

Jules Rimet still gleaming

Thirty years of hurt

Never stopped me dreaming

Three lions on a shirt

Jules Rimet still gleaming

Thirty years of hurt

Never stopped me dreaming

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Digital Spy

England football hit 'Three Lions' heading to No.1 spot

England's run of World Cup wins has already sent 'Three Lions' back into the charts, but with a semi-final game on the horizon it looks like The Lightning Seeds' hit could soon be hitting that number one spot all over again, 22 years on.

According to the Official Charts Company, the song is currently sitting at No.1 in the midweek chart update, having accumulated 24,000 downloads and 2.6 million audio streams since last Friday (July 6).

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