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It’s Coming Home: the story behind England’s World Cup anthem

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Susan Devaney
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Ah, so that’s what the ‘It’s coming home’ chant means…

It’s the first time since 1990 that the England team has reached the semi-finals of a World Cup, which is why we’ve heard the song It’s Coming Home blaring from passing cars, pubs and restaurants. It has even infiltrated our office radio. 

Essentially, spirits are up and hopes are high.

But where exactly did the song come from?  

The song actually first appeared in the 1996 song Three Lions by The Lightning Seeds. Created by well-known comedians, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, the song was released in line with England hosting the 1996 European Football Championship, its first hosting gig since the 1966 World Cup, according to the BBC

What does it mean?

The well-known chorus line refers to football returning to England, its birth home. That’s right, football was created in England. According to FIFA, the game was inspired by rugby in 1863 and the launch of the Football Association in the UK followed shortly afterwards.

And, as most people know, the ‘Three Lions’ reference is a nod to the design sewn into every England football shirt. 

The three lions makes the England shirt instantly recognisable

It may be over 20 years old, but people will be singing the tune out loud tonight as they cheer on their national team. And, of course, people and celebrities have taken to Twitter to spread the song before the game officially kicks off by sharing the hashtag, #ItsComingHome

You can watch England play Croatia at 7pm tonight on BBC One or ITV.

Images: Getty 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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