Top 10 Football Songs:
Players releasing FA Cup Final anthems these days seems to be a thing of the past, but one craze that seems certain to never die down is a flood of artists releasing songs loosely based on football ahead of major international tournaments, so with Euro 2012 just around the corner here is a look back at some corkers from the past, the list is dominated by England tournament anthems of course, but some FA Cup classics could not be overlooked...
10) Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle – Diamond Lights:
Spurs and England teammates, Hoddle and Waddle, wracked their mullet laden brains and came up with this horrifically slushy 80’s pop song. Only a penalty in the 1990 World Cup semi-final could save Chris Waddles blushes, oh wait...
9) Fat Les – Vindaloo
Blurs’ Alex James and comedian Keith Allen brought out this parody for the 1998 world cup in France, England fans fell in love with it though and we were all soon screaming ‘Vindaloo, Vindaloo’ coupled with chants of, ‘nah nah nah’. The lyrics won over the heart of the nation, with everyone believing ‘We're England, we're gonna score one more than you’ and in fact, ‘we all like Vindaloo’. More of a Korma man myself.
8) Bell and Spurling – Sven Sven Sven 2002
‘Sven, Sven, Sven, he’s a lovely geezer but don’t forget that he’s from Sweden.’ These ingenious lyrics, inspired by England’s 5-1 win over the Germans in 2001, saw Bell and Spurling reach number 7 in the UK singles chart. Clips from Jonathan Pearce’s commentary on that legendary win in Munich were used in the song to great effect...’Gerraaaaarrrrrd!’. Incidentally, the ‘Bell’ from Bell and Spurling, went on to appear in the pilot show TOWIE, but pulled out before the series was filmed. Mark Wright had a lucky escape.
7) Scotland World Cup Squad 1982 – We Have A Dream
No, this is not a packed studio of Susan Boyle wan-a-bees, this is the Scotland 1982 world cup squad with their rendition of ‘We Have A Dream’. The sound quality is a little dodgy on this clip, which is probably a good thing. Jock Steins squad including the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Alan Hansen failed to deliver the ‘Dream’, being knocked out in the group stages on goal difference.
6) Status Quo and Manchester United – Come on You Reds
This song holds a place in my heart, not because it reached number one, not because it stayed in the charts for 15 weeks, I’m not even a Manchester United fan. This was the song blaring from a university housemates Ipod when me and another burst into his room, to find him engaged in a moment of passion with a young lady, beneath a ‘Red Devils’ duvet and pillow set. Come on you Reds!
5) New Order – World In Motion
Ahead of the 1990 World Cup, the England squad teamed up with New Order to give the band their one and only chart topping single. Rumour has it that Liverpool midfielder John Barnes went head-to head with Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle to see who would perform the rap. Visions of the FA pitting these four against each other, spitting lyrics in some sort of Eminem ‘8 Mile’ style rap battle...
4) Liverpool FC – Anfield Rap
Barnes went into the World In Motion production fresh from releasing the ‘Anfield Rap’ with Liverpool before the 1988 FA Cup Final, this saw native Scousers John Aldridge and Steve McMahon mocking other members of the squads accents. ITV football pundit, Brian Moore got in on the act recording one verse with quotes from the late, great Bill Shankly. Liverpool went on to lose the cup final against Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’.
3) England World Cup Squad – Back Home
After being crowned world champions in 1966, the England squad headed to Mexico in 1970. This was the first song to celebrate the England team’s involvement in a world cup, ‘Back Home’ reached number 1 in the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks, ironically the squad tumbled from number 1 in the world rankings, being knocked out to West Germany in the quarter finals.
2) Chas n Dave and Spurs ‘81 Cup Final Squad - Ossie’s Dream
Chas and Dave got in on the act for this cup final song, remembered fondly for Ossie’s solo line, ‘In de cup for Totting-ham’. The Argentine was a fans favourite at White Hart Lane and obviously amongst the squad too, with lyrics like, ‘Ossie we're gonna be behind, you, altogether man for man, we know you're gonna play a blinder...’ Ossie’s dream came true with Tottenham beating Man City in a replay at Wembley, his singing legacy lives on though, as even last year he was still quizzed about the song on Sky Sports programme ‘Sunday Supplement’, stating he needed a couple of ‘stiff’ drinks before being brave enough to do his solo!
1) The Lightening Seeds (Baddiel and Skinner) – Three Lions
Undoubtedly the greatest football song ever released. 1996 saw the European Championships being held in England, 30 years since this country had last hosted a major international competition and 30 years since England had lifted a trophy. The Lightening Seeds combined with Baddiel and Skinner to release this Brit-Pop classic, every boy of my generation can re sight the words whilst jumping uncontrollably and pumping their arms in the belief that after 30 years of hurt, football will one day come home. The song features pessimistic comments from pundits Alan Hansen, Trevor Brooking and Jimmy Hill regarding English football, but the lyrics go onto to instil belief that England’s time may come again, ‘I know that was then, but it could be again.’ The song was re-released with slightly different lyrics for world cups in ‘98 , where it reached number one, and then again in 2010, but the 1996 version, celebrating that tackle by Moore, Bobby belting the ball, when Lineker scored and of course Nobbys dancing, brings back great memories, penalty shoot out dramas, a country united in both the victories and the inevitable tears, ‘Everyone seems to know the score, they've seen it all before...’