World Cup 2010: England’s Anthems
In the extremely unlikely event that you haven’t already noticed, today sees the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As usual anticipation for the event has reached feverish levels as England prepare for their first match against the U.S.A. on Saturday. Traditionally the event inspires a cross section of musicians (and even footballers themselves) to produce musical works that hope to evoke the passion of the occasion.
While every major national team will have their own individual tracks, the concept of a World Cup song seems to take particular resonance with England fans. From the 1970’s squad rabble rousing ‘Back Home’ to New Order’s timeless ‘World In Motion’ – featuring John Barnes’ era defining rap - every major tournament sees a host of artists all vying to conceive the year’s defining anthem.
However, for this year’s tournament things are a little different. In keeping with manager Fabio Capello’s no nonsense approach to management, the Italian has stopped an official theme for this year’s tournament. Undeterred by this, several artists have chanced their hand and tried to capture the public’s imagination before the tournament kicks off. Here are a few of the most interesting attempts:
Shout For England Feat. Dizzee Rascal & James Corden - ‘Shout’
In what maybe one of the most unlikely musical pairings since Eminem and Elton John, UK rap sensation Dizzee Rascal has teamed up with the rotund ’Gavin and Stacey’ comedian James Corden to pen ‘Shout’. Sampling the Tears For Fears classic, the pair have created an anthem that is certain to translate well to the terraces. The track is currently sitting pretty at the top of the iTunes UK chart and has received the backing of a certain Simon Cowell. All proceeds from the single will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The Squad Feat. Robbie Williams & Russell Brand – Three Lions 2010
It’s the England anthem that refuses to die. Originally conceived by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Ian Brodie, ’Three Lions’ perfectly encapsulated the fans desire in the Euro ’96 tournament. Since then ‘Three Lions’ has consistently reappeared each time England qualify for a major tournament. This year the song has had (another) makeover and features the vocal talent of Robbie Williams and, urm, Russell Brand – fresh from playing rock star Aldous Snow in the forthcoming Judd Apatow film ‘Get Him To The Greek’. While you could argue the necessity for another version of this track, one thing’s for sure; this will soundtrack several key moments for England fans.
Terry Venables – ‘If We Can Dream’
Former England manager, ‘El Tel’, lends his distinctive croon to the Elvis Presley classic ‘If I Can Dream’. Backed by a full choir and orchestra, the track will definitely raise the hairs on even the sternest England’s fans neck. Proceeds from the single will be donated to Help For Heroes and Malria No More, it’s is currently available on iTunes.
Chico – ‘It’s England Time’
Not all the World Cup songs released will be bothering the top end of the charts. This attempt from former X-Factor contender Chico seems unlikely to have any lasting resonance with football fans this year. Notable for its inclusion of the mind boggling lyric “put a smile on your face and take you to a place like 1664”, ‘It’s England Time’ takes its cue for Chico’s previous single ‘It’s Chico Time’. The video also features a staggering plethora of D-List celebs including a former Big Brother contestant, Lionel Blair and Bill Oddie.
And for old times sake, let’s hear that John Barnes rap again…