It’s been 25 years to the day since we first heard this anthem
The iconic football anthem Three Lions was a project for the two with Britpop band (at its peak in 1996) the Lightning Seeds.
If the song’s age is making you feel a certain kind of way, then David Baddiel is right there with you, tweeting a simple reflection: ‘And 25 years go by, like that’.
He also shared a photo of a scrap of paper Frank had sent to him with the lyrics scribbled on from their sessions, suggesting it ‘should be in the British Museum, surely…’.
The earworm of a track, which summed up the heartache and hope of being an England fan, became an instant number one upon its release – although sadly that didn’t save England from a painful loss to Germany during a semi-final penalty shootout.
You can’t keep a good tune down though, as two years later the Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie, David and Frank were back with a new version – Three Lions ’98 – for the 1998 World Cup, which also topped the charts.
In fact, since its debut 25 years ago, this song’s multiple releases have seen it earn the distinction of being the only song in existence to become UK number one on four separate occasions with the same artists – just let that settle in for a moment.
It grabbed two one-week stints at the top in 1996, before three straight weeks in 1998 for the remake, and another stint again in a nostalgic 2018 during the World Cup, where it made history by climbing 23 places to the top spot in just one week.
Again, let’s just allow that to marinate in our minds.
And if you want to mark your appreciation of the anthem in a more tangible fashion, to celebrate the song’s anniversary Sony Music is releasing a special limited edition solid red vinyl on 4 June, featuring both the original version and the 1998 re-recording as its B-side.
Three Lions has also been lovingly embraced by the international football community, with Germany even adopting it as their national football anthem.
Come 13 June and England’s first match of Euro 2020 – against Croatia – we can all take a punt at what song will be in the hearts and minds – and on the lips – of English footie fans once more.