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England's Top 5 Football Songs since 1966

England fans are still pinching themselves after Harry Kane’s winning goal against Denmark catapulted their team into the final of Euro 2020, and football songs can be heard echoing in streets far and wide.

 From Penzance to Penrith, hopes for a first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup are running high and Gareth Southgate’s men appear to be hitting form at just the right moment as they prepare to face Italy in the final at Wembley.

The fans have plenty to sing about and no shortage of songs to choose from when it comes to ditties all about their team, who have had a number of hits in their honour despite a shortage of silverware for more than five decades.

To help you decide on a suitable anthem to honour Gareth and the boys, here’s a rundown of our top five England songs of the last 55 years.

5.Vindaloo – Fat Les

Vindaloo – Fat Les

 It might have a really annoying melody but Vindaloo has somehow stood the test of time since it was released back in 1998 as England were heading to the World Cup in France.

Penned by Fat Les, a supergroup featuring Blur bassist Alex James and comedian Keith Allen (Lily’s dad!), the song’s lyrics involve lumps of cheddar cheese, buckets of curry, and a repeated claim that England are going to score one more goal than whoever is listening.

It hit number two in the UK singles chart, which is a better performance than England’s at World Cup ’98, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Argentina on penalties.

4. Southgate You’re The One – Atomic Kitten

Southgate You're The One – Atomic Kitten

 England went into the 2018 World Cup in Russia still smarting from their humiliation by Iceland at Euro 2016. But they had a new manager at the helm, with the kindly uncle-like charms of Roy Hodgson having been replaced with the well-fitting waistcoats and soft-spoken press conferences of Gareth Southgate. The former England defender guided the team all the way to the semi-finals – their best World Cup performance since 1990 – and the fans showed their gratitude by creating a song about him to the tune of Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again.

 It has become so popular that the group released a new version of the song especially for Euro 2020, with updated lyrics in honour of the man who is being hailed as England’s saviour.

3. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

 Released in 1969, reaching number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline originally had nothing to do with football. But since Wembley Stadium DJ Tony Parry played it after England beat Germany 2-0 in the round of 16 at Euro 2020, it has become the team’s adopted anthem. Indeed, the players were belting it out in unison with their adoring crowd after the 2-1 semi-final victory over Denmark, and it seems set to be part of the England crowd’s songbook for many years to come.

2. World In Motion – New Order

World In Motion – New Order

 Musical purists are likely to argue that New Order’s World In Motion is the greatest England song of all time, given the calibre of the band behind it, the quality of the songwriting involved, and the fond associations it has with halcyon memories of England’s run to the semi-finals of World Cup Italia ’90.

The England team took part in the recording of the song and winger John Barnes even performed a rap that is beloved by ardent England fans. Italia ’90 will always be remembered for Gary Lineker’s goals, Gazza’s tears and Chris Waddle’s heartbreaking penalty miss, and the soundtrack to those memories will always be World In Motion.

1.Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds

Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) – Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds

 Lightning Seeds songwriter Ian Broudie came up with a melody when he was asked by the Football Association to create an England song for the 1996 European Championships. He enlisted the help of Frank Skinner and David Baddiel when it came to writing the lyrics. That proved to be a masterstroke as the pair, who at the time were hosts of comedy show Fantasy Football League, penned an homage to the trials and tribulations of being an England fan that resonated throughout the entire country – and beyond.

England reached the semi-finals of Euro ’96 and it seemed there was not a person in the land who didn’t know the words to Three Lions. Even the Germany players, who knocked England out on penalties, admitted to listening to it on their team bus! Now, 25 years later, it remains the ultimate England anthem and this year fans are singing lyrics like “we still believe” and “it’s coming home” with more gusto than ever.

Just in case your favourite isn’t listed, here are a few more that may or may not have troubled the charts as the team battled for glory on the pitch in the past:

Sing 4 England – Chris Kamara

We’re on the Ball – Ant and Dec

Shout – Dizzee Rascal

All Together Now – The Farm

And of course, we have had the England squad’s themselves in the studio too:

We’ve Got the Whole World at our Feet – 1970 Squad

This Time We’ll Get it Right – 1982 Squad

Those last few won’t be troubling the fans on the terraces, but we are sure to hear the sound of Three Lions resounding from the terraces. All that remains is to wish the England Euros squad of 2021 the best of luck.

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