What Are The Best England Football Songs?
From player-led efforts to surprising collaborations, England football songs range from iconic to cringeworthy.
1. Three Lions (1996)
Top spot was a no-brainer. ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’ is the definitive England football anthem.
First released for Euro 1996, the song by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds hit top spot in the singles charts and was number one again two years later for the World Cup in France.
The mix of tournament heartache and self-deprecation in the lyrics encapsulates the experience of supporting the England men’s team.
No other football song has influenced the sporting lexicon like ‘Three Lions’. ‘It’s Coming Home’ has become a common phrase whenever England compete in a major tournament, and it is hard to escape the song in pubs and bars.
The sensational campaigns under Gareth Southgate at the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros had England fans playing ‘Three Lions’ on loop, with the song again appearing at the top of the charts in 2018.
2. World In Motion (1990)
‘World In Motion’ was never going to be lower than second, partly because it was the last song released by the England squad.
New Order and Keith Allen wrote this timeless classic, which features the incomparable rap from John Barnes.
Quite rightly, ‘World In Motion’ topped the charts in 1990 and even got up to 22nd in 2010.
Efforts to re-release the song, potentially with David Beckham performing a rap, never came to fruition, but the original remains immensely popular among England fans even over 30 years after Barnes’ rap hit the charts.
3. We’re On The Ball (2002)
In the early part of their careers, Ant & Dec reached number three in the singles charts with ‘We’re On The Ball’ released ahead of the 2002 World Cup. The lyrics and video are upbeat and fun without being too corny.
Reference to Emile Heskey’s goal in the 5-1 drubbing of Germany warrants a few extra points. Unfortunately, England’s 2002 World Cup campaign was not as enjoyable as this track, with a David Seaman error contributing to a quarter-final exit at the hands of Brazil.
4. All Together Now (2004)
First released in 1990, ‘All Together Now’ was tweaked for Euro 2004 and got as high as fifth in the UK singles chart. Everton had their own version for the 1995 FA Cup final, and the Labour Party used the song during their General Election campaign in 2017.
DJ Spoony brought out a remix for Euro 2004, including vocals from St Francis Xavier Boys Choir of Liverpool. Ahead of the World Cup two years later, Atomic Kitten recorded a cover for Goleo VI Presents His 2006 FIFA World Cup Hits album.
5. Vindaloo (1998)
Football songs shouldn’t be too serious. ‘Vindaloo’ checks that box, given that it was initially a parody. The video and lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, but that is part of the charm and what made ‘Vindaloo’ the cult hero of football-themed tracks.
Controversial for its subject matter and Keith Allen’s involvement in a racial incident on the BBC, ‘Vindaloo’ has stood the test of time to remain a staple of playlists when England are in a Euros or World Cup.
6. Sing For England (2012)
A charity single ultimately endorsed by the FA, Chris Kamara released ‘Sing For England’ with Joe Public for the 2012 Euros. There are a few references to Kamara’s trademark ‘unbelievable’ catchphrase, inevitably.
The video is typically light-hearted, and it really isn’t as bad as you might expect. We can confidently say Kammy isn’t winning a Grammy any time soon, though.
7. Shout For England (2010)
Dizzee Rascal and James Corden’s ‘Shout For England’ wasn’t officially an England song, but they were allowed to use the logo and footage from matches, which is enough to qualify for this list.
Despite reaching the top of the charts, it is fair to say this song divided opinion among England fans (and not just because of Corden’s presence).
England, of course, exited the 2010 World Cup at the round of 16.
8. Back Home (1970)
‘Back Home’ was the first official England song released for a major tournament. The video begins with Bobby Moore and the rest of the squad sporting tuxedos before breaking to some clips of game action.
Written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, ‘Back Home’ topped the UK singles charts and the tune was reused over 20 years later for Fantasy Football League.
While not the most memorable on this list, ‘Back Home’ earns some bonus points for being very different from what we’ve seen and heard in recent decades.
9. This Time (1982)
Reaching number two in the singles charts ahead of the 1982 World Cup, ‘This Time (We’ll Get It Right’ was part of a 16-track LP, which also featured Glenn Hoddle’s rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’.
The title was appropriate after England failed to quality for the 1974 and 1978 World Cups and fell at the group stage of the Euros in 1980. Unfortunately, they did not get it right, and were knocked out at the second group stage after goalless draws with West Germany and Spain.
10. Three Lions (It’s Coming Home For Christmas) (2022)
An update of ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’ was brought out in 1998 for the World Cup in France.
David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds were at it again for the World Cup in Qatar with a winter-themed twist on England’s most frequently-played football song.
Baddiel and Skinner performed a version of Three Lions for the women’s Euros win in the summer of 2022, which features in the festive edition for the men’s World Cup.
Numerous Christmas references are included throughout, with Geoff Hurst even dressing as Santa in the music video.
Fans are always going to prefer the original, but how this song is remembered will depend on how England fare in Qatar.