The 1996 Euros anthem has experienced yet another resurgence after England made it to the final of Euro 2020, their first major final in 55 years, with the track re-entering the UK top five this week.
Baddiel, Skinner and Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds appeared on Friday night’s The Last Leg Euros special to perform their timeless football anthem, and Skinner revealed that UEFA nixed the suggestion that they perform in Wembley Stadium as it would be too unfair on visiting opponents Italy.
The 64-year-old comedian said: ‘There was a suggestion that we sang it on the pitch before the final on Sunday, and UEFA said it was too partisan and not fair on the Italians to have that.
‘In the opening game, which was Italy against Turkey, Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun dorma before the game!’
In fairness to UEFA, aria Nessun dorma is a bit of a staple of football tournaments, having been performed at the 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and it doesn’t namecheck any Italian footballers – unlike Three Lions, which is an ode to the 1966 England team and praises Bobby Moore, Gary Lineker, Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles.
Three Lions was first released in 1996 and was re-recorded in 1998 for the World Cup, but has crept back up the charts during every major football tournament since, particularly in the 2018 World Cup when England reached the semi finals.
Now that the team is one game away from lifting the trophy, chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’ have been ringing out across the nation, but there has been some criticism of the song claiming that the super-catchy refrain is too arrogant.
Ahead of England’s game against Denmark on Wednesday night, Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel joked: ‘Has it ever been home? I mean, have you ever won it?’ – referring to the fact that England, unlike Denmark, have never won a European championship.
Baddiel, 57, said on The Last Leg: ‘There is a thing that’s happened which is people saying it’s arrogant, which is weird because the song is deeply vulnerable about mainly that we lose but might not.
‘But also it’s a very peculiar idea that a football chant should be full of humility. Every week at Chelsea, I say that Chelsea is the greatest team the world has ever seen, and no one says, “how dare you, that’s arrogant”.’
Regardless of the result, we reckon streams of Three Lions will reach breaking point this Sunday, as England take on Italy for the title.
As of Friday, there were six football anthems in the top 100, with Three Lions sitting at number four.
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Fat Les’s Vindaloo entered at 36, with Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond at number 48 and the 2021 official England song Ole (We Are England) by Krept & Konan, S1lva and M1llionz at number 59.
New Order’s World In Motion reached number 61 – mainly for that John Barnes rap, we’re guessing – and Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again remix, Southgate You’re The One (Football’s Coming Home Again) entered at number 86.