THE BEST FOOTBALL ANTHEMS...EVER!
Warning: This post contains football songs that some people may find excruciatingly painful to listen to!
Music and football go hand in hand. Every team’s fans have their favourite chants based on popular songs. On match days around the country, teams walk out to a range of songs that go from the rousing – You’ll Never Walk Alone at Anfield – to the bizarre – The Z Cars theme tune at Goodison Park.
Then there are the songs released to coincide with major tournaments and games. Many of these performed by the players themselves… never a good idea!
England started the ball rolling with Back Home for the 1970 World Cup but it was Scotland who took an early lead with a couple of stone-cold classics.
Comedian Andy Cameron scored with Ally’s Tartan Army for the 1978 World Cup. He managed to take a dig at England not qualifying for the tournament and predicted Scotland would win the trophy. Spoiler: they didn’t.
For the 1982 World Cup, Scotland turned it up another notch with I Have A Dream. Actor John Gordon Sinclair performed the vocals backed by a choir that looked well refreshed when they recorded this…
Sadly, Scotland never hit these heights again. It was England who hit the back of the net through the 1990s with some songs that sound as good today as they did then.
It started with New Order’s World In Motion. The Manchester band had the revolutionary idea that, if they were going to do a song for the England Football Team, they would make it a good one.
World In Motion set the standard for football songs in the 1990s. It’s got the commentary clips, the crowd chants and a huge sing-a-long chorus. And I bet you can remember every single line of the John Barnes rap.
Next, Baddiel and Skinner with the Lightning Seeds released Three Lions for the 1996 Euros. 25 years later (yes it’s that old!) it’s still sung on the terraces when England play.
For the World Cup in 1998, Scotland took the realistic approach with a track called Don’t Come Home Too Soon… Spoiler: they did. England’s official song featured a bizarre mix of The Spice Girls and Echo and the Bunnymen. Not one single person remembers it.
The 1998 song that stands the test of time is Vindaloo by Fat Les. It was supposed to be as a parody of football chants but was so good it was the sound of England games that year and many years after.
After that 1990s peak football songs have been mostly dire. OK, they were mostly dire before but how many football songs of the 21st century can you name?
There’s a little hope in sight with Euro 2021 though. Scotland fans adopted the 1977 Baccara song Yes Sir, I Can Boogie (for reasons too long to explain here). For all the naffness of the original version, it’s incredibly catchy. Now a slew of versions have been released to celebrate Scotland being at this summer’s tournament. Listen to any of these versions and the tune will be in your head all day.
Here’s the Fratellis doing it
A version by LaFontaines
And if you want a huge dance anthem version…
Enjoy the memories and remember… you’ve got to hold and give but do it at the right time…
Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia