At KitSound we love to celebrate great music. But there’s also a place in our heart for songs that are so wonderfully terrible, they are just as instantly recognisable as the biggest hits. There are simply no better examples of this than England Football songs.
Believe us, it’s not until you start compiling a list that you realise just how many bad ones there are….and we mean really painful.
And with World Cup 2018 now well underway, we also thought it would be a good idea for everyone to practice joining in the songs for when England get to the final. (What do you mean it will never happen?).
So are you ready to take a musical walk down a rather potholed memory lane?
1: “We’re on the Ball” by Ant and Dec (South Korea and Japan 2002)
More famous now for hosting, back in 2002 Ant and Dec were just as known for their stop-start music career, beginning with the “classic” Let’s get ready to rumble” in 1994. Funnily enough, We’re on the Ball actually reached number three in the charts, becoming their highest-peaking single of all time.
But the song itself lacks any sort of catchy chorus and is crammed with too many attempts to re-tread ground laid down by the Three Lions. We would honestly rather listen to a stadium full of incessant vuvuzelas.
Ok maybe not, but it makes the list anyway.
3: “Sven, Sven, Sven” by Bell & Spurling (Just because we beat Germany, 2001)
You may have forgotten about this little gem. Performed not for the World Cup, but simply because beating Germany 5-1 in qualifying became one of the most iconic England performances of the 21st century.
The song however would become slightly less remembered than the game. The band itself even described their music as ‘Thoughtful Manure’. Hmm…
It’s a little catchy, but the song is simply so ridiculous it had to make the list.
5: “(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World” – by England United feat. The Spice Girls (France 1998)
We think we’ve saved the best, sorry worst, till last. On Top of the World is an example of how sometimes you can just try too hard when making your team’s tournament anthem.
The result is a boring, repetitive, clash of music that was not well received. If too many cooks spoil the broth, then too many musicians can wreck an England song.
It was also the last Spice Girls song to feature Geri Halliwell’s vocals, at least until their reunion in 2007. What a shame she had to go out like that…
So there we have it. But it begs the question: Where are all the England songs now?
Perhaps creating an England football song has become more of a poisoned chalice than managing the team. Or maybe there’s a feeling that “they just don’t make them like that anymore”.
We think there is clearly a formula to making an England song stand the test of time. Either make it so good that it unites the nation, like Three Lions or New Order’s “World in Motion” (John Barnes rap aside), or make it so bad and catchy that nobody can ever forget it.
With that in mind, we think CBBC’s “Kicky kicky kick kick” could be an absolute classic in the making. No doubt in our minds.