Fat Les or Rik Mayall?

06.12.14

England World Cup Songs In Last Minute Penalty Shoot out

Last minute dash to see which song will win prize for English hearts

The World Cup, as you may have noticed, starts to day.

And yet, if you are an England fan, you might think that it doesn’t really feel like it.

Why not?

After all, all the usual elements of World Cuppery are in place—disastrous logistics, half-built stadiums, shabby pitches, early tactical own-goals, even the ancient tradition of name-calling of  Italians.

Yet something feels a bit … lacking.

What could it be? Hmm…Vindalo, Vindaloo…Of course! It’s the music, stupid.

For while the English have been busy slagging off the Brazilians for their APPALLING preparations, we, as a nation, have made an unforced error on a far easier issue—we appear to have forgotten to get a national team song organised.

The person to blame for all this is the anodyne British pop star Gary Barlow.

Gary, formerly of Take That, had organized an all-star ditty named “Greatest Day” but, after he was ordered by the High Court to pay back millions of pounds he had avoided in tax, the song was withdrawn from iTunes and plans to release it as a single dropped.

No-one wants to be singing along with a tax cheat, do they?

Today, however, Keith Allen, the man behind the most absurdist team song of recent years, the aforementioned Vindaloo (sample lyric: “Where on earth are you from? / We're from England / Where you come from? / Do you put the kettle on?told the Times that his 2010 song—“Who Invented Fish And Chips?”—written (and passed over) for the 2010 World Cup in Japan could fill the gap.

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The song is a paen to British brilliance and feature the wordy chorus, “50% of the inventions invented after the Second World War have been English. Trains, Boats, Planes, Computers, Penicillin, Connect Four, Countdown, Generation Game, Telephones, Parliament, National Health, Luddites, Bessemer Converter, Spinning Jenny, Steam, Internal Combustion, Hovercraft, The Clash, Blur, Oasis, Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Capstan Full Strength, Navy Rum, Hipsters, Hippies, Flares, Vera Lynn and Chris Kamara.”

But now, in extra time, so to speak, fans of the recently deceased comedian Rik Mayall have dug out a football song he recorded in 2012, “Noble England,” and are pushing his song to the top of the chart this week.

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“Noble England” stars Rik in full regal get-up, inspiring the nation’s footballers to win for St George. The song also includes some subtly altered lines from William Shakespeare’s Henry V: “Once more unto the pitch, dear friends,” the comedian declames.

Informed of the rivalry from beyond the grave by Mayall, Allen tells the Times, “I am well aware of Rik’s love of Shakespeare but I had no idea he was so passionate about football. There is no battle between his song and mine. There is room for Henry V and fish and chips in any Englishman’s heart.”