VIDEO: The good, the bad, and the ugly...A brief history of England's World Cup songs (From Swindon Advertiser)
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VIDEO: The good, the bad, and the ugly...A brief history of England's World Cup songs
ENGLAND'S official World Cup song, raising money for Sport Relief, is a cover of Take That's Greatest Day. It features Gary Barlow, a solo by Gary Lineker - particularly difficult to listen to, as well as Emma Bunton, Mel C, Pixie Lott, Katy B and Glenn Hoddle. It’s fair to say it’s not quite hitting the heights of the other World Cup anthems over the years...
1966: World Cup Willie, Lonnie Donegan
Back in 1966 – the year England lifted the Jules Rimet trophy, as if we would ever forget, came the first official FA-sanctioned tune for the tournament.
Lonnie Donegan, "Britain's most successful and influential recorded artist before the Beatles," according to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, was the man tasked with the track, and he chose the mascot, Willie the Lion, as his theme.
Bizarre lyrics, including lines such as: "He's tough as a lion and never will give up, that's why Willie is favourite for the cup," raised some eyebrows.
1970: Back Home, England squad
Written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, Back Home was sung by the whole England squad ahead of the World Cup in Mexico, badly.
In the tournament itself England were beaten in the quarter finals by old foes West Germany.
1982: This Time (We'll Get it Right), England squad
In 1982 England team promised a lot, at least according to the squad’s ‘song’. On the pitch the Three Lions were knocked out in the second group stage.
1986: We've Got the Whole World at Our Feet, England squad
The song featured a marching band (again) and includes the opening line: "We've got the whole world at our feet, there is not a single team that we can't beat."
It was penned by Tony Hiller, Stan James and Bobby James, and reached a record-low 66 in the charts.
1990: World in Motion, Englandneworder
Penned by New Order and Keith Allen (more of him below), the England squad and the band combined to make Englandneworder. Clever, huh?
Winger Barnes' cameo is certainly unique and folk of a certain age can still repeat it by heart. The line: "You have to hold and give, but do it at the right time. You can be slow or fast but you must get to the line," has never successfully wooed the heart of the intended recipient.
It was the first song since Donegan's effort reached the top of the charts.
1998: (How Does it Feel to be) On Top of the World?, England United
England United were a made up band fronted by Ian McCulloch.
Though it reached nine in the UK charts the song was rather overshadowed by two unofficial offerings: Vindaloo, by Fat Les – and the eponymous Three Lions '98, a rehash of the cultish David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds' official FA anthem from Euro '96.
2001: On Me Head Son, Not Off Me Head Son, England Squad and Atomic Kitten
There was no tournament in 2001 I hear you say. True, but Mike Bassett England Manager did come out. It featured this song, which is arguably better than many others on this list.
2002: We're On The Ball, Ant & Dec
We're On The Ball is one of the odder official England World Cup offerings. TV duo Ant & Dec, then better known for Byker Grove and Let's Get Ready to Rumble fame, penned the hit and it reached number three in the charts, amazingly.
2006: World at Your Feet, Embrace
This tune from West Yorkshire rock band Embrace, reached number three in the chart, faced tough competition from Crazy Frog to become the 2006 team's official anthem. That’s really all that you need to know about it.
2010: No official selection
Shout, by Shout for England Feat. Dizzee Rascal and James Corden was adopted by some. It features extracts from the Tears for Fears song of the same name and also Backstreet's No Diggity. It actually topped the charts, unlike Capello’s men who were embarrassed by Germany.
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