It’s Coming Home: the best interpretations of ‘Three Lions’ played on classical instruments

We round up some of the funniest interpretations of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner's Three Lions (Football's Coming Home), played on tubas, organs and sung by cathedral choirs

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Planning your pre-match playlist? Why not avoid the original version and instead go for one of these spicy arrangements of Baddiel and Skinner’s 1996 hit, ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’? Over the last few years, there have been some very entertaining interpretations by everyone from musical theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber and hit early-noughties girlband Atomic Kitten to Norwich Cathedral Choir and The Queen’s Guards.

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Graham Thorpe and Robert Quinney play ‘Three Lions’ on the Royal Albert Hall’s organ

Ahead of England’s game against Russia in the 2018 World Cup, Graham Thorpe – an organ scholar from the Royal College of Music – played Baddiel and Skinner’s legendary tune on the Royal Albert Hall‘s 9999-pipe Grand Organ.

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Royal Albert Hall hosted another performance of ‘Three Lions’ ahead of the England v Denmark semi-final in the 2020 Euros in 2021. Robert Quinney, organist at New College, had the honour of performing the football anthem.

The Ashatones sing a barbershop arrangement of ‘Three Lions’

In their dressing room before a concert, British barbershop quartet the Ashatones quickly thrashed out a rendition of ‘Three Lions’, paying tribute to the final of the 2020 Euros between England and Italy. It’s not the first time the Ashatones have turned their hand to an untraditional barbershop tune, having previously performed arrangements of songs by Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, Green Day and Carole King.

Is football coming home? These four lads seem to think so.

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Norwich Cathedral Choir

Norwich Cathedral’s master of music Ashley Grote arranged ‘Three Lions’ for the Norwich Cathedral Choir to celebrate the 2018 World Cup, complete with four-part harmony.

The Queen’s Guards perform ‘Three Lions’ at Clarence House

In the garden of the official London residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Band of the Coldstream Guards were invited to play ‘Three Lions’ ahead of England’s semi-final match at Wembley against Denmark in 2021.

Violinist Julia Rogers plays ‘Three Lions’ with multitracking

Violinist and violin teacher Julia Rogers arranged and performed a four-violin version of the Baddiel and Skinner anthem ahead of the England v Denmark semi-finals at the 2020 Euros in 2021.

The Epic Orchestra plays an orchestral arrangement of ‘Three Lions’

The 51-strong Epic Orchestra often turns its hand to covers of pop songs, so in 2021 it performed a lush, sweeping orchestral arrangement of ‘Three Lions’ ahead of the 2020 Euros.

Why do England fans say ‘It’s Coming Home’?

The phrase ‘It’s Coming Home’ refers to David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s song ‘Three Lions: Football’s Coming Home’, which was released in 1996 to mark the England football team’s hosting of the 1996 European Championships. Unfortunately though, England was knocked out of the championship at the semi-final stage, when they lost to Germany on penalties.

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It’s now used by England fans to refer to the ongoing hope that the England football fans will bring home a trophy from a major tournament.

Watch the official video of ‘Three Lions: Football’s Coming Home’ by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner