Frank Skinner and David Baddiel have released a reworked, festive version of their 1996 football anthem Three Lions, ahead of the 2022 men’s World Cup beginning on Sunday.
Discussing the release of the track, the pair said that although their famous refrain “football’s coming home” had become redundant after victory for the England women’s team earlier this year, they would give it “one more go for the blokes”.
“We could not resist the fact that the World Cup was at Christmas, and people have said in the past that football songs are a little bit tacky, and obviously Christmas songs are a bit tacky,” Skinner told the One Show on Thursday.
“In maths two negatives make a positive, so we think there’s so much tacky in this that it’s going to be a classic.”
Baddiel added: “The Lionesses brought it home, football came home and some would say that’s the end of the song, stop singing it. But we decided to give it one more go on the basis that the blokes have not brought it home.”
The men’s tournament, taking place in Qatar, is due to run from 20 November until 18 December.
The music video shows Skinner and Baddiel dressed in Christmas jumpers while superimposed next to their younger selves, and decorating a tree with Lioness baubles while singing.
Part of the new lyrics are: “The blokes seem cursed whatever they try and I think I know why, they’re just jinxed in July.
“But it’s December … three lions on a sleigh. With she-lions inspiration, Santa says, ‘Let’s play’.”
Speaking about the performance of the Lionesses, who won the Euros after defeating Germany in July, Skinner said: “The fact is, the best I’ve ever seen an England team play was this summer and it was the Lionesses.
“It wasn’t like: ‘Oh yes we’ve got to support the women’s game’ – no, this was brilliant football.”
Three Lions was first released by Skinner, Baddiel and Ian Broudie in 1996, becoming a popular British song at major international football competitions since.
England’s first game in the 2022 World Cup is due to take place on Monday against Iran.