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‘Three Lions’ football song tops UK charts despite England defeat





Britain ’ s best known football song “ Three Lions” topped the British pop charts on Friday — two days after England was knocked out of the World Cup semi – finals by Croatia .
The song , by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds , containing the line “ Football ’ s coming home ” , and has become the de facto anthem of English football since 1996 .

England gave its best World Cup performance since 1990 in Russia earlier this week reaching the last four of the tournament .

It is the first time in the British charts ’ 66 -year history that a song has racked up four spells at number one , each time with the same artist line -up .

The original 1996 version topped the charts twice ; a 1998 version with updated verses went to number one , and now the original version is back at the top spot .

Comedians Baddiel and Skinner penned the lyrics to the tune written by The Lightning Seeds ’ frontman Ian Broudie .

It was originally written for the 1996 European Championships — the last time England reached for the semi – finals of a major tournament .

The “ football ’ s coming home ” refrain , originally referring to England hosting the Euros , came to represent the hope that the sport ’ s founding nation could win the World Cup, and was sung with gusto by fans throughout Russia 2018 .

“ England gave us everything at this World Cup, ” explained BBC radio chart host Scott Mills.

“ The whole country got swept away with it , and ‘ Three Lions ’ being the official number one shows how we really got behind our amazing team . ”

– Hope over experience –

Baddiel told a 2016 BBC documentary about what lay behind the song’ s bittersweet sentiment .

“ The lyrics were that thing of trying to chime with the real experience of an England football fan , which is not that we ’ re going to win — but nor that we think we ’ re going to lose : it ’ s somewhere in between , ” he explained .

“ It ’ s hope over experience . We ’ re probably going to lose , but you never know ; you never know . ”

The track racked up 80 , 000 “ combined sales” this week , made up of 43 , 000 sales , 6 . 8 million audio streams and 5 . 2 million video streams .

Baddiel said on the song returning to number one : “ Well , this is awkward . ”

Skinner added : “ I must say , as consolation prizes go …”

The song in in the top 35 best – selling singles of all – time in Britain , having racked up more than 1 . 6 million sales.

The only other songs to have managed four stints at the top of the British charts are “ Do They Know It’ s Christmas ?” , “ Unchained Melody ” , “ I Believe ” and “ Singing The Blues ” .

Beaten 2 -1 after extra time by Croatia , England face Belgium in the third – place play – off on Saturday .

The two sides met in the group stage , when Belgium won 1 – 0 .

Both had already qualified for the knock -out stages and fielded weakened teams to preserve their best players .

( AFP )

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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