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EUROS 2020 CHART: Most Played UK National Football Anthems

Three Lions written by PRS for Music members David Baddiel, Ian Broudie and Frank Skinner tops the chart

David Baddiel Ian Broudie Frank Skinner ©IconicPix Alamy
Above L-R: David Baddiel, Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds, Frank Skinner ©IconicPix/Alamy

As competition to reach the UEFA EURO 2020 knockout phase heats up between the UK nations, PRS for Music reveals which football anthems score highly for fans.

Topping the Most Played UK National Football Anthems Chart is 90s football anthem, Three Lions, performed by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds.

This year marks 25 years since the original version was the official song of the England team at EURO ’96. With its popular “It's coming home” refrain, the single has spent 45 weeks in the UK Official Singles Chart, peaking at Number 1.

Written by PRS for Music members Baddiel, Skinner, and Ian Broudie, the song has been re-imagined numerous times in its 25-year history. An enduring favourite with the British public, it was re-released as an unofficial anthem for England's FIFA World Cup campaign in 1998. More recently, Lucozade Sport rewrote the lyrics as a powerful soliloquy to support the England team at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, where it was aptly renamed Three Lionesses.

Based on exclusive data collected by PRS for Music, the organisation which represents the rights of over 155,500 songwriters, composers and music publishers, the Most Played UK National Football Anthems Chart ranks the official Football Association, FIFA World Cup, and UEFA EURO songs for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, based on streams and downloads across online music and video-on-demand platforms in 2020. 

Wales’ official football song for EURO ‘16, Together Stronger (C’mon Wales), written and performed by Manic Street Preachers, appears in PRS’ Most Played UK National Football Anthems Chart at Number 4. While Scotland’s official song for the FIFA World Cup in 1998, Don't Come Home Too Soon, performed by Del Amitri and written by founding member, Justin Currie, places eighth on the chart. Northern Ireland’s 1982 official FIFA World Cup song, Yer Man, performed by Dana and the Northern Ireland World Cup Squad, is composed by Gerald Brown and husband and wife duo, Dana and Damien Scallon and comes in at Number 15.

Also featured in the chart is England’s 1970 World Cup song, Back Home, and Scotland’s 1974 World Cup song, Easy Easy. Both songs were co-written by Phil Coulter and his longstanding writing partner, Bill Martin, who sadly passed away in 2020.

No tournament would be complete without an unofficial anthem taken on by fans. Fat Les initially found fame when they released parody song, Vindaloo, in the summer of 1998 ahead of the FIFA World Cup, which England supporters adopted alongside the re-imagined Three Lions ’98.

The success of both, overshadowed England's official song, (How Does it Feel to Be) On Top of the World, performed by supergroup England United, and composed by Johnny Marr alongside Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant. McCulloch and Sergeant joined Simon Fowler (Ocean Colour Scene), Space, and the Spice Girls, to record the song for England’s 1998 FIFA World Cup campaign and places at Number 14 on the chart.

Not making it into the Most Played UK National Football Anthems Chart, but worthy of honourable mentions; The Tartan Army belts out Yes, Sir I Can Boogie, a 1977 disco tune by Spanish duo Baccara in support of Scotland, while during EURO ’16, Northern Ireland supporters chanted the internet sensation, Will Grigg’s on Fire, set to the tune of Freed From Desire by Italian singer-songwriter, Gala.

Throughout the years, unofficial singles have also raised money for charity. Dizzee Rascal and James Corden’s, Shout, from 2010 was in support of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the London Northern Ireland Supporters’ Club released, Making Our Way to Paris, in 2016 in aid of the NI Cancer Fund for Children.

Cover songs, although official anthems, have not been included in the chart as they were not originally penned for football tournaments. Some of these include; folk song, Wild Mountain Thyme, retitled, Purple Heather, and performed by Rod Stewart and the Scotland Football Squad for Scotland’s EURO ’96 song; England’s EURO 2000 song, Jerusalem, a version of William Blake’s hymn, performed by Fat Les; All Together Now, originally released in 1990 by The Farm, and re-released featuring the SFX Boys’ Choir as the FIFA World Cup 2004 song; and Take That’s 2008 single, Greatest Day, covered by Gary Barlow, Gary Lineker and a host of celebrity friends, for EURO ’14 in aid of Sport Relief.

As last year’s postponed tournament finally gets underway, Welsh rock band, The Alarm has released, The Red Wall of Cymru, as Wales’ official EURO ‘20 song, while Krept and Konan’s official England song, We Are England, is due to tackle the UK Official Singles Chart any day now.

PRS’ Most Played UK National Football Anthems Chart

Chart Rank

Song

Performer(s) 

Football Tournament

1

Three Lions

Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds EURO ‘96

2

World in Motion

Englandneworder 1990 FIFA World Cup

3

This Time (We'll Get it Right)

England World Cup Squad ‘82 1982 FIFA World Cup

4

Together Stronger (C'mon Wales)

Manic Street Preachers EURO ‘16

5

We're on the Ball

Ant and Dec 2002 FIFA World Cup

6

World at Your Feet

Embrace 2006 FIFA World Cup

7

Back Home

England World Cup Squad '70 1970 FIFA World Cup

8

Don't Come Home Too Soon

Del Amitri  1998 FIFA World Cup

9

We Have a Dream

The Scottish World Cup Squad 1982 FIFA World Cup
10

We've Got the Whole World at Our Feet

England World Cup Squad ‘86 1986 FIFA World Cup

11

Big Trip to Mexico

The Scottish World Cup Squad 1986 FIFA World Cup

12

All the Way

England football team featuring the 'sound' of Stock, Aitken & Waterman EURO ‘88

13

Sing 4 England

Chris 'Kammy' Kamara featuring Joe Public Utd EURO ‘12

14

(How Does it Feel to Be) On Top of the World

England United 1998 FIFA World Cup

15

Yer Man

Dana and the Northern Ireland World Cup Squad 1982 FIFA World Cup

16

Ole Ola (Mulher Brasileira)

Rod Stewart & Scottish World Cup Squad '78 1978 FIFA World Cup

17

Easy Easy

The Scotland World Cup Squad 1974 FIFA World Cup

18

Come On Northern Ireland (We'll Support You Evermore) 

Northern Ireland Football Team 1986 FIFA World Cup
NB: Chart rank based on data from streams and downloads across online music and video-on-demand platforms collected by PRS for Music for the period 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world.  On behalf of its members, it works to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music, with £699m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. 

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music. 

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