Euro 2020: Three Lions single roars back into UK top 10

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

  • Published
Screen grab from music video for Three Lions '98Image source, Sony BMG
Image caption,
Three Lions is still sung on the terraces, 25 years after its debut

As Gareth Southgate's England team prepare to face Italy in the Euro 2020 final, fans have been volleying football songs back into the charts.

Three Lions is the most popular song in the run-up to the match, jumping 18 places to number four.

Five more anthems have been pulled off the subs bench and placed in the Top 100, including Fat Les's Vindaloo (36) and Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline (48).

But Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits saw off the competition to remain at number one.

His new single spends its second week at the top with 103,000 chart sales, including 10.9 million streams - an improvement on its opening week performance.

Olivia Rodrigo is at number two with her pop-punk anthem Good 4 U, while her debut album Sour returns to the top of the album chart.

The US teenager, previously best known for starring in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, has become this year's break-out star since releasing break-up ballad Drivers License in January.

Football songs in the top 40. Week ending 8 July 2021.  .

Earlier this week the Official Charts Company confirmed she had scored the biggest-selling album of 2021 so far, with 170,000 copies sold in total.

Rodrigo managed to see off a challenge from '70s rock legends Queen, who released a 40th anniversary edition of their Greatest Hits album last Friday.

The collection - already the biggest-seller of all time in the UK - leapt back up the charts to number two, with most of its sales coming on CD, cassette and vinyl.

Chart record

Regardless of England's fortunes in Sunday's big game, Three Lions could end up topping next week's charts.

Originally recorded for Euro '96, it has already reached number one a record-breaking four times - most recently after England's semi-final defeat in the 2018 World Cup.

The song's famous "football's coming home" chant was written by The Lightning Seeds and comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, who have sold more than 1.6 million copies of the song in the last 25 years.

Three Lions: Three Facts

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966
  1. The lyric "Jules Rimet still gleaming" refers to the original World Cup trophy - named after the Fifa president who set up the tournament. England lifted the cup in 1966, but it was stolen from Brazil in 1983 and never recovered.
  2. The fans chanting at the start of Three Lions '96 are actually supporters of Danish team Brøndby. The Lightning Seeds' frontman Ian Broudie captured them on his cassette recorder when they played at Anfield in 1995.
  3. There are four versions of Three Lions, including a BBC-only edit that replaces commentary from rival broadcasters with clips from 5 Live. The one you're most likely to hear on radio today is Three Lions '98, which references England's current manager Gareth Southgate.

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