The 5 Worst World Cup Anthems

What’s the point of world cup songs? Who likes them? They’re always, always honking embarrassments – little more than an opportunity to bleed cash from the unrealistic dreams of Budweiser-addled cretins, who will most likely smash the CD to dust the second their team gets dumped out in the second round.

Russell Brand and Serge Pizzorno, photographed for the new issue of NME

How the players themselves must hate them. Does anyone believe that footballers’ hearts swell with pride and patriotism when a tuneless cash-in pop ditty is recorded in their name? Sensibly, the FA have decided not to bother with an official anthem this year, although plenty of artists have rushed in to fill the void with unofficial tracks.

Most notably Mark E Smith, whose lo-fi effort ‘England’s Heartbeat’ is a sorry mess of half-arsed bleating and mixed metaphors (“Your heartbeat never wanders/Like a rainbow through the storm” – so true!), apparently recorded on a budget of about 15p.

Here are a few more memorably crap world cup tunes.

Germany Squad – Wir Sind Schon Auf Dem Brenner
Nothing says “there is no God” like the fact that the England anthem in 1990 was the brilliant ‘World In Motion’ – and yet we lost in the semi-finals to Germany, whose musical effort came with a video in which the team resembled a police line-up of dangerous paedophiles.

Del Amitri – Don’t Come Home Too Soon
It says something about the Scottish national character that their France 1998 “anthem” was a dismal, weep-in-yer-whisky folk dirge that brooded on the inevitability of defeat. ‘Three Lions’ it was not.

Ant & Dec – We’re On The Ball
No doubt this soundtracked some beerily optimistic good times in the run-up to the Japan world cup in 2002, but listening to it now is as depressing as watching re-runs of England’s donkeyish collapse at the hands of Brazil in the quarters.

England Squad – This Time We’ll Get It Right
This one’s just flat-out awful – a tuneless mish-mash of gruff, disengaged shouting and parping brass that summons images of Chas and Dave getting crushed beneath a marching band. Is it any wonder England’s performance that year (1982) was one of the worst ever?

Read more on the World Cup in our football and music special, on sale June 2