55 years of hurt. To some extent, England fans stopped dreaming until very recently.
As a nation, we thought we’d finally learned not to get our hopes up. But the truth is, we always believed.
It’s impossible not to when you hear those three immortal words: football’s coming home.
A rush of patriotism consumes you. Could we actually do it?
As England prepare to face Italy in the Euro 2020 final tonight, LIVE on talkSPORT, we are hoping and praying the answer is yes.
Anyone under the age of 55 in England will have absolutely no idea what the day of a major tournament final is supposed to feel like.
All we know is that by listening to the following tunes on repeat all day, you can’t go too far wrong.
So turn the volume up as loud as it goes, because these tunes have never seen an England final – and it’s what they were made for.
8. This Time, We’ll Get it Right – England World Cup Squad (1982)
Let’s start off slow, with a nod to history.
England didn’t get too much wrong in 1982.
They were knocked out in the second round without actually losing a game – and they nailed the tune.
It would rank higher if the title wasn’t a misleading lie. Hopefully it’s an appropriate one for today instead.
7. Back Home – England World Cup Squad (1970)
World champions and chart-toppers: was there anything Sir Alf Ramsey’s men couldn’t do?
They even chucked a couple of key changes in there to show off their fine vocal range.
Unfortunately they couldn’t retain the trophy after their 1966 triumph, but this excellent effort offered some consolation.
6. We’re On The Ball – Ant and Dec (2002)
IT’S Neville to Campbell. The greatest goal ever recorded in song form.
Now, we know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.
Irritatingly catchy and a stark reminder of how disappointing the golden generation were.
But Ant and Dec wrote a song about England beating Germany 5-1 and it got to number three.
5. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (1966)
As Gareth Southgate said earlier at Euro 2020, nothing beats a bit of Sweet Caroline.
It left Harry Kane speechless after the Germany victory in the last-16, but England football fans are actually quite late to the party on this one.
It’s been used at American sporting events for decades – and Northern Ireland made it famous in the UK, ironically using it to celebrate beating England in the football in 2005.
Meanwhile, cricket fans in this country have been belting it out for years, too. So it wasn’t exactly a stroke of genius from the Wembley DJ.
“I was going to play ‘Vindaloo’, but went with my gut,” he said. His other option is certainly more traditional…
4. Southgate You’re The One (Football’s Coming Home Again) – Atomic Kitten (2021)
Finally! After years of waiting, Atomic Kitten have reformed. Oh, and England have a proper football tune for the first time since 1996.
Ever since the FA stopped doing official tracks, the genre has gone a bit stale.
But whoever decided to re-imagine cheesy pop anthem ‘Whole Again’ with thoughts of Southgate and ‘Football’s Coming Home’, we’re so grateful.
It first emerged during the 2018 World Cup, it’s now an actual single you can listen to, and nothing illustrates the power of football more than thousands of grown adults belting it out with no shame.
3. Vindaloo – Fat Les (1998)
Can I introduce you please, to a lump of cheddar cheese? Knit one, pearl one. Drop one, curl one. Kick it.
An utterly bizarre song. But somehow it works.
Virtually impossible not to go a little bit mental when it comes on.
2. World in Motion – New Order (1990)
NAH NAH NAAAH. Sorry, where were we? Ah yes, World in Motion.
The John Barnes rap is a rare moment in musical history.
For 30 seconds, two worlds collide.
Imagine Jay-Z scoring an overhead kick in the World Cup final. It’s that in reverse. Truly remarkable.
An important thing to remember on days like this: it’s ING-GER-LUND, not England.
1. Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – Baddiel, Skinner and Lightning Seeds (1996)
Three Lions is as iconic as it gets.
More a prophecy than a song, it perfectly captures the unique experience of being an England fan.
That tradition of writing the team off, but maintaining a slither of hope deep inside.
24 years on, Baddiel and Skinner still give us reason to believe.
COME ON ENGLAND!