Entertainment

Three Lions gets Christmas version with new lyrics ahead of Qatar World Cup


David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightening Seeds have re-recorded their football anthem Three Lions, with festive lyrics, ahead of the World Cup.

The aptly named Three Lions (It’s Coming Home For Christmas) is said to have been inspired by England winning the UEFA Women’s Euros back in July.

“At last it’s between me and Mariah Carey for who really is the voice of Christmas,” comedian David Baddiel said.

“We just had to do it. Christmas World Cup songs are not like buses. If we’d let this opportunity pull away, it would have been a very long wait for the next one,” Frank Skinner added.

The original tune was recorded more than 25 years ago ahead of England hosting the 1996 Euros tournament. An updated version then came out to mark the 1998 World Cup in France.

Three Lions remains the only song to have reached the UK number one spot on four separate occasions with the same artists, the most recent during the 2018 World Cup where it made chart history by moving up from number 24 to number one in a week.

During the 2020 Euros, the tune missed out on the number one spot but spent four weeks in the top 10 and during the final day of the tournament – and had more than three million streams on Spotify.

Lyrics in the updated song have the trio take aim at Qatar being chosen by FIFA as the host nation, with final preparations under way before the tournament kicks off on Sunday.

Baddiel sings: “When they decided on Qatar. Should have checked VAR.

“It’s too hot and too far. So we will be snowflakes watching it here.”

The Middle Easter nation has faced unrelenting scrutiny of its treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ+ community, prompting the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to accuse detractors of double standards and fabrications.

“Three Lions on a sleigh, with She-Lion’s Inspiration, Santa says let’s play, the Christmas tree formation,” is another of the new festive verses that will aim to get the country up on their feet chanting “It’s Coming Home”.

In the music video, Lionesses heroes Jess Carter and Beth England recreate their celebratory dance from the 2022 Euro tournament and former England striker Sir Geoff Hurst swaps his England kit for a Santa suit.

Baddiel, Skinner, and lead guitarist and vocalist of The Lightening Seeds, Ian Broudie, also feature in the feel-good video alongside younger versions of themselves taken from the original 1996 recording.


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