I’m still waiting for my official Lionesses' anthem; surely they deserve more than ‘Three Lions’ by now?

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Benjamin Jackson gives his opinion on why at this point in time, and with all their successes, the Lionesses perhaps deserve an official anthem

Congratulations first of all to the Lionesses for their win against Australia earlier today, making their way to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final and one step closer to “bringing it home.” That anthem, of course, first graced our ears in 1996 when England hosted the European Championships in a time where ‘Cool Britannia’ ruled the waves, Sara Cox and Zoe Ball were drinking pints and living up to the term “ladette” and Baddiel and Skinner were the “lad’s lads” as “Fantasy Football League” became quintessential “lad” television.

Insert some more references to that zeitgeist here - lads mags, clubland culture, Spice Girls et. al. 

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I had only moved back to England after living elsewhere for most of my childhood, but given music television was my main source of entertainment over Saturday morning cartoons, I was familiar with Lightning Seeds, whose lead singer Ian Broudie composed “Three Lions” alongside David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. I was familiar with Britpop, and I started to become familiar with “the beautiful game,” having been subjected to rugby a lot of the time in New Zealand.

Needless to say, many years later, “Three Lions” has become a definitive anthem for not just England Men’s Football Team, but England's sporting teams as a whole. I’ve heard it run out at Ashes games and I’ve heard it rung out at Olympic events. There’s a charming, upbeat ubiquity to the song which fosters hope that Britannia will rule the games - whatever that may be.

I like the song; many other songs have come along (“Vindaloo” was a very close second) and tried to capture that essence but the bittersweet nature of “Three Lions” seems to just nail it at sporting events every time. It’s catchy, it’s without question a football chant from the terraces, and that we’re using the refrain “it’s coming home” on social media and in news reports for England’s Lionesses is a testament to that song’s longevity. But…

Where is the official England Lionesses World Cup anthem?

In fairness, the Football Association no longer commissions music for England’s international campaigns, following the 2014 men’s World Cup in Brazil - perhaps because of the popularity of “Three Lions.” But I always felt that sting of excitement buying an “official” anthem commissioned by the F.A to artists that were “on trend” at the time. 

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So why not make an exception this time around? There is the “unofficial” anthem recorded by an 11-person squad, “Call Me A Lioness,” featuring Self Esteem, Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice, Shura and former Spice Girl Mel C which is solid - but still, shouldn’t the success of the Lionesses in this World Cup, on top of their European Championship win in 2022, warrant the Football Association to commission something new?

There is a wealth of female talent in the music industry also, many of which could benefit from being co-signed by some other prominent female artists. Couldn’t a collaboration in the wake of all the successes the Lionesses have had also help elevate some of these newer artists and bring some crossover attention to them? Music fans can get into football, football fans getting into a couple of musicians who collaborated on the track. 

Should the Lionesses win the World Cup, and should Rishi Sunak create a public holiday in the wake of their win, could someone ask the Football Association if the potential reigning champions could possibly get an official anthem leading into their next tournament? 

Or at least, a re-recording of “Three Lions” by Baddiel and Skinner with lyrics changed to reflect the Women’s team? Still means we can chant that “it’s coming home” at least.

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