Each tournament has its own song. Except in England where the refrain of Football’s coming home has made the country vibrate every two years since 1996. A song that is not based only on the facts of glory of the selection, far from it.
After the victory of the Three Lions against Denmark (2-1 ap) in the semi-finals of the Euro, Wednesday July 7, all of England sang with one and the same voice as the “football go homeFrom the red and white stands of Wembley, to the bustling pubs of Manchester, to the Royal Guard Orchestra, the whole country has stepped in. Yet at every tournament it’s the same paradox. Three Lions supporters like to remind the whole world of the origin of football through this song, the lyrics of Football’s coming home also look back on fifty-five years of disillusionment since England’s victory at the 1966 World Cup.
The song resonated in English pubs for the first time in 1996. The Three Lions played the Euro at home and the English Federation (FA) asked the group The Lightning Seeds to compose a song to accompany the selection. For the lyrics, she called on comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, then presenters of a comedy program on football. That year, the adventure at home des Anglais starts at Wembley against Switzerland and ends against Germany on penalties, in the semi-finals, at Wembley again. Ironically, it was a certain Gareth Southgate, now England coach, who took the last penalty kicked out by German goalkeeper Andreas Köpke.
But even before this disillusionment, the Baddiel-Skinner duo seemed to have predicted this wreck in their lyrics: “Everyone knows the result, we have seen it a thousand times, we know, we are sure, that England will ruin everything, will screw everything up.” Premonitory?
With simple rhymes and a catchy beat, the lyrics of the 1996 song kept evolving as the Three Lions entered (or left) competitions. In 1998, the lyrics were updated for the World Cup and reflected on the trauma of the 1996 semi-finals: “Nothing planned for the final, except to stay in bed and let go”, “we were strong and had grown”. But the English put an end to their adventure in the round of 16 against Argentina and returned home without having been able to “dance in France”.
With a touch of humor and English self-mockery, the song also returns to the mockery of which the English are victims. Because every year, it’s the same story. Football is coming home ignites the pubs, the stadiums and the spirits, before the English selection comes up against stronger than it. In the last four major international tournaments, the English have fallen against Croatia at the 2018 World Cup (semi-finals), Iceland at Euro 2016 (round of 16), in the group stage in the 2014 World Cup and against to Italy at Euro 2012.
“So many jokes, mockery and we were almost there” write Baddiel and Skinner. The list goes on for the Three Lions. Most recent: Kasper Schmeichel, the Danish goalkeeper, before his meeting against England on July 7. Asked about the famous song, he replies: “Has he (football) gone home yet? I mean, have you ever won the Euro?“. Response to Wembley, against Italy, July 11. On the Italian side, we are already enjoying the slogan of the English, transformed into” Football’s coming Rome “.