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“It’s coming home”: how the song of 1996 became the main English meme due to World Cup 2018

The English sing their “unofficial hymn” on the streets and stadiums of Russia, it is performed by the royal guard, and in social networks David Beckham and politicians joke about him.

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July 7 in Samara was a match 1/4 finals of the World Cup, which played teams of England and Sweden. At the 30th minute of the meeting the defender of the English Garry Maguire scored after the corner – and thousands of fans began to sing: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, football’s coming home” (he returns home, football returns home). And this could be seen in any Russian arena, where England played.

English footballers defeated the Swedes and reached the semifinals of the World Cup for the third time in history. And the song “It’s coming home”, recorded more than 20 years ago, again became a hit in the UK – and at the same time the main theme for jokes in social networks.

Song History

In 1996, the English, which are considered the ancestors of football, hosted the European Championships in their country. But, despite the historical status, the national team did not have big victories behind it – the only time it won the World Cup in 1966, beating the team from Germany in the finals. Therefore, the fans were expecting a home tournament with skepticism.

The English Football Federation offered to record the official song of the 1996 European vocalist Ian Broudie, The Lightning Seeds, and he teamed up with comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. The result of the joint work was the song “Three Lions”: three lions – a reference to the English coat of arms.

In the text “Three Lions” with irony, long-term failures of the England national football team and the attitude of the fans to them are played out. In the song it is sung that the fans “already know how it will end – England will fly [from the tournament]”, but the authors of the single believe that “thirty years of pain will end”, and the team will again win something. Chorus “It’s coming home, football’s coming home” means that during Euro-1996 football returns to its historical homeland, which means that England has a chance.

The song became a hit during the championship, where the English reached the semi-finals. For the 1998 World Cup and World Cup 2010, Brody, Skinner and Baddiel recorded new versions of the song. They became relatively popular, but optimism about the new victories of the national team did not correlate with the results.

Conversion into a meme

Before the start of the World Cup in Russia, the British did not even believe in their own fans and the media. On the mundial went a very young team with inexperienced coach Gareth Southgate, who on Euro-1996 remembered an unbeaten decisive penalty in the semifinals. However, the fans still came to the tournament – and on the streets of Russian cities the lines “It’s coming home” sounded.

The song became much more popular after England left the band without problems. Then representatives of the founders of football defeated Colombia in a series of post-match penalties and thus destroyed the famous English “curse” 11-meter. And on July 7 the team for the first time since 1990 was in the semifinal of the World Cup.

The English believed in their team, and the lines “It’s coming home” had a different meaning – it’s not football or England after the defeat, but the World Cup returns. The song became the “unofficial anthem” of the team.

Nizhny Novgorod, after the match England-Panama (6: 1)


Volgograd, after the match England-Tunisia (2: 1)


Moscow, during the match England-Belgium (0: 1)
In England, the song is also sung in the streets.


For a few weeks mundialya song became the main English meme. Users of social networks began to substitute the refrain «Three Lions» in excerpts from films and serials.


Links to the song were made by former England football players, including David Beckham, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand.


During the World Cup 2018 “unofficial anthem” of the national team sang at concerts of British performers.


After the match with Sweden, the song was performed by the royal guard of Windsor Castle and the Royal Air Force Orchestra.


About “Coming Home” also joked British politicians, media and ordinary users of social networks.


“Russia is playing at home, Italy has stayed home, Neimar is heading home, football is coming home”


“-I saw 14 million versions of the future / – And in how many of them does football return home? / – In all”


“Paris Hilton:” Tell me something that I do not know. ” Fan: “He’s coming home” ”


“If he comes home, then our employees deserve to be home too! Join the Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbin and tell the Conservative Party that they will make a possible day for England to win the World Cup a national holiday! ”


“Every time I hear” He’s coming home, “I imagine that the World Cup tells them that he went for cigarettes 50 years ago”

“The English retired to the locker room and left a note” He’s coming home “”

By July 9, the song “Tree Lions” topped the authoritative British chart Vodafone Big Top 40 and the British top service Spotify. Footballers of the national team could not help noticing the popularity of the single.


“No, Mom, I’m not coming home”


“When you can not throw out the melody of the song” He’s coming home “from the head”

Reaction of the song’s authors

During the World Championship in Russia, the band The Lightning Seeds travels around the UK with concerts. At all the speeches the same song sounds. According to Brody, he is proud of his hit and the success of the team: “Could I dream that England will win on penalties? What will people sing our song across the country? Yes, we did it, and so do they. “

Baddiel and Skinner also actively support the joke in sociost and follow the success of the team. The quarter-finals with the Swedes of the comedic watched together, after which they published a snapshot on Twitter with the signature that “he is still coming home”. “When we wrote the song, we meant the mystical idea of ​​victory rather. But now the song means that we really can win. We got rid of the stifling burden of history. So yeah – I believe football is coming home, ” Buddyel added .


July 12 England plays in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup with Croatia: the winner of the match will be the winner of the pair France-Belgium. Two matches separate the national team from the title, which was waited 52 years in the country. So, maybe, football really comes home.

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