NME Explains: How Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds wrote ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’

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‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’ is practically the National Anthem of the England football team.

Fans have belted out the main chorus line – “it’s coming home” – during countless white-knuckle moments and narrow wins ever since The Lightning Seeds and comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner first released the song in 1996. But how did it become English footie’s staple song?

In 1996, the England football squad didn’t have a great track record. By then, it had been “30 years of hurt” since the national team’s proudest accomplishment to date – bringing home a gleaming gold trophy from the World Cup. From bungled penalty shoot-outs to early tournament exits, every single tournament since then ended with crushing disappointment. And so a plucky group of comedians and musicians – united by a love of the great game – decided to pen a rousing footie-banger to rally around.


The Lightning Seeds teamed up with comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel as co-writers and to perform on the song, and the footie anthem was born. Since then, it’s become a classic, soaring in popularity around almost every major football tournament involving the England squad and hit number one during the World Cup in 2018.

For the latest instalment of NME Explains we take a look back at how the footie banger was created. Watch the full NME Explains video for Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds’s ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’ above.