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Listen To The Best England Football Anthems

Discover our classical selection of the best England football anthems including ‘God Save The Queen’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Nessun Dorma’.

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For Sunday’s beyond historic game against Italy – for most of us, the biggest in living memory – it’s not just all about the resurgent 1996 Number One hit, ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’, or the newly-crowned sporting anthem, ‘Sweet Caroline’. No – the classical music world has been supplying the soundtrack to our most significant sporting and national moments for centuries. Scroll down to discover our classical selection of the best England football anthems. Come on England – on to victory this Sunday!

Listen to the best England football anthems on Spotify.

God Save The Queen

To begin with, there’s THE anthem. ‘God Save The Queen’, a pre-match must-have to stir the blood and stoke the soul. First published in the mid-18th century, the composer is unknown; some musicologists point to medieval plainchant for its origins, others to composers from the 1600s – and centuries later, it serves to inspire passion in countless crowds and teams, wherever in the world they may be playing.

Abide With Me

No FA Cup Final would be complete without the traditional performance of ‘Abide With Me’ – written by a vicar from Devon in 1847, and first performed at the occasion at the request of King George V – it being the favourite hymn of his wife, Queen Mary.

Jerusalem

Hubert Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’ (to a setting of the poem ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ by William Blake) is simply an English classic – often regarded as the nation’s favourite hymn, it remains fit for multiple sporting occasions and is one of the best England football anthems.

You’ll Never Walk Alone

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, taken from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel, is forever linked with association football clubs around the world – and has been adopted during the pandemic as the unofficial anthem of support for medical staff and first responders – most notably, going to Number One in the Official UK Singles Chart in a version by Michael Ball and Captain Tom Moore in 2020.

The Dam Busters

Suitably anthemic and rousing British film music has been picked up on terraces, in stands, and in homes over the decades – think of Eric Coates’ glorious march from The Dam Busters (1955), and Elmer Bernstein’s can’t-stop-whistling classic from The Great Escape (1963).

Nessun Dorma

But it’s an Italian operatic classic that has emerged in recent decades as the best classical football anthem that can most suitably muster passion, pride, the emotion of a game, and the will to win. Since Italia ’90, ‘Nessun Dorma’ – ‘None shall sleep… at dawn, I shall win’, has been inextricably linked with the beautiful game – who can ever forget the tragedy of penalty shoot-outs, the sadness of Gazza’s tears, and, of course, the birth of THE Three Tenors. ‘Nessun Dorma’ was suitably re-anointed as a favourite for Euro 2020, following Andrea Bocelli’s memorable performance at the opening game, and stands as the classic amongst classics – capable of taking on any pop, rock, or other anthem and emerging victorious. Sorry, Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds – this is Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras’s game.

So come on, England – on to victory this Sunday, with an Italian classic ringing in your ears and super-charging you. Let music inspire you, let football finally and absolutely come home, and let the classics – both English, Italian, and others – play their part.

Listen to the best England football anthems on Spotify.

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