Put to an initial vote on liquidfootball.net, and then a final round @liquid_football, here are the Top 10 England Football Anthems…
10 Who Invented Fish & Chips – Fat Les Featuring Lilly Allen (2002)
In at number 10, “Who invented Poo?” is one of the lines from this effort by Fat Les, featuring his daughter Lilly Allen, and it’s quite ironic as the answer is; ‘you did, mate, with this song. Whilst it is a little bit catchy, this effort from the 2002 World Cup is a surprising entry into the top 10. The lyrics centre around everything that England, as a nation has invented and given to the world, but chips were supposedly invented in Belgium, so I’m not sure what he’s on about.
Other fish and chips fact: John Lennon liked his smothered in red sauce. And Michael Jackson liked his accompanied by mushy peas – I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere.
9 We’ve got The Whole World at Our Feet – World Cup Squad (1986)
Modified on Nottingham Forest’s ‘we’ve got the whole world in our hands’ from their period of European dominance, ‘We’ve got the Whole World at our Feet’ was recorded by the England squad, featuring the likes of Shilton, Robson, Hoddle and Waddle for the infamous 1986 World Cup. It reached number 66 in the UK charts, but it makes our Top 10.
8 All Together Now – The Farm (2004)
Written about the 1914 Christmas Day truce during World War I, The Farm’s ‘All Together Now’ has been adopted as an English football anthem. It was originally released in 1990, and then again by Everton in 1995, but was re-released for Euro 2004 and reached number 5 in the UK charts.
7 We’re On The Ball – Ant and Dec (2002)
PJ and Duncan (AKA Ant & Dec) went back to their boyband routes for the 2002 World Cup, recording what would prove to be their biggest hit since 90’s pop staple ‘Let’s get Ready to Rumble’. Selected to record the official England World Cup song of this year; ‘We’re on the Ball’ reached number 3 in the charts – which says everything you need to know about chart music.
6 Shout for England – Dizzee Rascal Featuring James Corden (2010)
Let’s face it, with the obvious choices aside, England football songs aren’t supposed to be good (as is proved by some of the songs in this Top 10) but Dizzee Rascal’s effort for the 2010 World Cup isn’t half bad. Whilst not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, the English public were fans as it reached number 1 in the charts. The song also features roly poly ‘comedian’ James Corden, but don’t let that put you off.
5 Jerusalem – Fat Les (2000)
Into the top 5, and it’s Fat Les’ second entry into the Top 10 – and of course it won’t be the last. Released for Euro 2000, Keith Allen fronted his own rendition of the well-known hymn. Allen chose the London Gay Men’s Chorus to record the track, as a reaction to far-right political groups adopting the hymn as their own anthem. Lovely stuff.
4 Vindaloo – Fat Les (1998)
In at number 4, and it’s Fat Les again, with his 3rd entry in this Top 10. Vindaloo, which is basically one big parody, is now an English football staple. Recorded for the World Cup 1998, it reached number 2 in the charts – beaten by 3 Lions ’98 (which didn’t even make this Top 10… just saying!). In later years, Fat Les changed his name to ‘Fit Les’ – it’s political correctness gone mad.
3 Noble England – Rik Mayall (2010)
When this was originally released for the World Cup in 2010, it didn’t even reach the charts, but our boy Rik Mayall’s Noble England reached number 7 following his death (4 years ago to the date – RIP the People’s Poet) after a campaign from The Young Ones and Bottom fans to get it to number 1 came up short. Noble England definitely deserves its place in the top 3, with a rousing chorus and fire-in-the-heart Shakespearean lyrics – belted out by Mayall – the man, the myth, the legend.
2 World in Motion – New Order (1990)
I don’t know about you, but I can feel a John Barnes rap coming on – It was always going to be a toss-up between this anthem and 3 Lions for the number 1 spot, and New Order’s World in Motion has lost out by the definitive vote. But at nearly 30 years old, it has still stood the test of time. Alongside New Order, writing credits also go to Keith Allan AKA Fat, sorry Fit Les (so his 4th entry into the list), it features the likes of Bierdsley, Walker, Gazza and of course John Barnes. My personal favourite and also the first ever record I owned.
1 Three Lions – Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds (1996)
And here it is, the Number 1 England Football Anthem of all time – as voted by the masses*. Released for Euro 96 by Baddiel and Skinner, during the height of their Fantasy Football fame – and the Lightning Seeds, Three Lions was a huge hit, and is still sung loudly at England games today. Although it was stolen by the Germans after they knocked us out of Euro 96 in the semi-finals, it’s an unforgettable classic, with a great video to boot. After now 52 years of hurt, is football coming home in 2018? Of course it fucking isn’t.
*may not be true.