Singing When We’re Winning
England were never going to win Euro 2012 – wasn’t it obvious?
Once again, Germany thrilled and enthralled the crowds and won their way to a semi-final. Just as the clichés say, Germany are always there or thereabouts. And it is an undeniable, cold, pure, scientific fact that this song was the reason for their success in this tournament.
“Tage Wie Diese” by aging Dusseldorf rockers Die Toten Hosen is perhaps not the brash punk vitriol through which they made their name but it’s a perfect football song for the 21st century. It is pure grandeur, pure stadium. It’s U2 with backbone, Muse with more attitude. There is no room for subtlety. This is an anthem.
The song brims with confidence, with self-worth, with arrogance and optimism. Whilst over the top and low-brow, it achieves its aims perfectly; to fire up, inspire and energize the German public. “Tage Wie Diese” is pure passion, that chorus modulation brushing away any sense of embarrassment or doubt. Jogi Loew’s attacking, full-frontal brand of football sits hand-in-hand with his team’s official Euro 2012 song.
No wonder they did so well.
And England? We had this.
But the team song’s not that important right? Surely it’s how good the team is at playing football that really matters? Wrong.
2010 - The abysmal “Sing It For England”, the product of a collaboration between hip-hop’s biggest sell-out Dizzee Rascal and James Corden (not even a singer) saw England slump to a dismal group performance and a thrashing at the hands of our Teutonic rivals.
2006 - Anyone remember Embrace and their whimpering effort “World At Your Feet”? Didn’t think so. Bland, 4-chord embarrassment lead to an early exit against the Portuguese.
1996 - Baddiel & Skinner. The Lightning Seeds. Three Lions. Football came home. England reached the semi-finals and came the width of Paul Gascoigne’s stud away from beating Germany to the final. National pride was high as we remembered the “Jules Rimét still gleaming”.
1990 - The pinnacle. New Order sang for Eng-er-land, proclaiming that Love had the “World In Motion” whilst John Barnes told us “We ain’t no hooligans, this ain’t a football song, 3 lions on our chest, you know we can’t go wrong”. The best football song ever written, in fact one of the best songs ever written, with limited clichés and real romance, coincided with England finishing 4th in the World Cup in Italy. It’s obvious where the credit lies.