I have always been a fan of Italy’s national football team, but there are other national teams that I find myself cheer when Italy doesn’t play. England is one of them. And I also really love the whole English football culture. Their ingenious football chants, the brilliant commentators, the jokes. I suffer from the fact that I know only three languages – Hebrew, Russian and English, and therefore I can’t understand a thing the Italian football fans say or sing 😦 So it may well be that they are just as ingenious as the English fans, I’ll never know.
Having said that, there’s a piece of music that I consider to be the finest out of everything in music that is sports-related. Before the 1996 European Championships, that was held in England, the comedians David Baddiel, and Frank Skinner, together with the group The Lightning Seeds recorded England’s official anthem for the tournament – “Three Lions” it was called.
And boy, was it fantastic!
That amazing English bi-polar attitude towards their national team, as reflected in the song’s opening lyrics:
“Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before
They just know, they’re so sure
That England’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away…”
And then they reminisce about the good old time when they won the 1966 World Cup, but then once again are reminded of the 30 years that has gone by since then without any real success, not even a major tournament’s final:
“So many jokes, so many sneers
But all those “oh so near’s”
Wear you down, through the years…”
I just love it. And the video clip for the song is great, they meet the actual national team’s players and get to reenact some of England’s most memorable plays, which are mentioned in the song.
Hands down, best football and sports related song EVAR!
Close second – Three Lions 98!
After England reached only the semi-finals of Euro 96, a new version had to be recorded for the 1998 World Cup, held in France. And this version was awesome in its own right. The video clip starts with actual footage from the stadiums during Euro 1996, when the fans actually chanted the original “Three Lions”, and proceeds to show Gareth Southgate’s agonizing penalty miss, which sent England home.
“Tears for heroes
Dressed in grey
No plans for final day
Stay in bed drift away…”
Damn, those lyrics are right in the feels! Even though I’m not an England fan.
At the end of the video clip the English fans encounter some German ones, and they engage in a football match. When the match ends, Frank Skinner creates a great image when he imitates the World Cup by using his hand, a melon, and some custard. Just watch it!
But nothing beats the original, though. And now England already added 20 more years of unsuccess. So the new version, should they record one for the upcoming Euro 2016, can go “50 years of hurt”… Kinda sucks. I’m glad Italy managed to win a major trophy in the 20 years I support them (2006), and reached the final on two other occasions (2000; 2012)
Damn, I wish I knew some Italian…