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Top Ten anthems

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Whilst England head to South Africa without an official World Cup anthem, traditionally the home nations have been represented by some of the finest tunes ever committed to record. That's a lie, but from John Barnes rapping to Baddiel and Skinner, the Three Lions are rarely without their supporters in the musical world. Here, picks out ten of the best....

World in Motion - England squad with New Order (1990)

With Hooky and Bernard Summer currently at loggerheads, New Order will all but certainly go to the grave in the knowledge their only No.1 features John Barnes rapping on it. Co-written by Keith Allen, World in Motion is regularly cited as the only football record it's okay to like in a non-ironic sense. Rumour has it that a decidedly chunkier looking Barnes is to reprise his role as football's Snoop Dog for a new Mars TV ad. "Catch me if you can, 'cos I'm the England man..." Probably won't be that difficult these days John.

Back Home - England squad (1970)

No messing around for the then world champions as the Bill Martin and Phil Coulter penned Back Home went straight in at No.1. Alf Ramsey's Three Lions boarded the plane to Mexico with a spring in their step, safe in the knowledge they'd recorded a rousing anthem for those back home with only the wireless for company. Further kudos for some of the meatiest sideburns ever committed to celluloid in the video.

This time (we'll get it right) - England squad (1982)

England celebrated qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1970 with a song that was only ever going to leave Ron Greenwood picking egg off his face. Had Chris Norman & Pete Spencer called their ditty This time (we'll underwhelm again) then the public might have forgiven them. To be forewarned and all that. Norman & Spencer, of Smokie, had previously written "Head Over Heels in Love" for Kevin Keegan in 1979, which was equally crap.

Three Lions - Baddiel and Skinner (1998)

Originally penned to great success for the European Championship in 1996, this iconic tune was revived in 1998 for the World Cup in France. A matey effort that could only have been born from the remnants of Britpop, Three Lions is as cheesy as a Wotsit but still manages to get fat men who should know better than to take off their shirts to come over all misty-eyed. Although it will be forever synonymous with Big Al, Teddy and Gazza in the dentist's chair, Three Lions deserves its place amongst England's finest World Cup songs.

(How does it feel to be) on top of the world - Echo and the Bunnymen and the Spice Girls (1998)

Up there with Elton John dueting with Eminem in terms of being a strange collaboration, this official England ditty for France '98 is not quite the car crash you'd expect. Ian McCulloch also recruited Tommy Scott of Space and Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene for a song that was usurped by both Vindaloo and the re-issue of Three Lions as the terrace favourite at France '98.

Ally's Tartan Army - Andy Cameron (1978)

Released by Scottish comedian Andy Cameron, Ally's Tartan Army sold over 360,000 copies and reached No.6 in the charts. The Scots revelled in England's absence in Argentina as Cameron sang "We're representing Britain, And we're gaunny do or die, England cannae dae it, 'Cos they didnae qualify!" Cameron's optimism was matched by Scotland boss Ally MacLeod. When a journalist asked him "What do you plan to do after the World Cup?" MacLeod replied: "Retain it." Scotland were beaten by Peru and drew with Iran before beating Holland; a remarkable set of results which saw them eliminated at the group stage.

Vindaloo - Fat Les (1998)

Following on from his success in 1990 with World in Motion, proverbial Jack the lad Keith Allen got to work on penning an anthem for France '98. Fat Les was made up of Britpop scenester Allen, Blur's Alex James and Damien Hirst; with the single an undoubted success in rising to No.2 in the charts. The video parodied The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and starred Paul Kaye, Rowland Rivron, Ed Tudor-Pole, Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Accused by some as being little more than a hooligan anthem, Fat Les nonetheless became a fans' favourite.

Put 'Em Under Pressure - Official Republic of Ireland song for Italia '90

U2's Larry Mullen was handed production duties for a song that centred around a sample of Horslips' Dearg Doom. Put 'Em Under Pressure was a favourite catch-phrase of then boss Jack Charlton, with the chorus bearing a striking similarity to universal chant Ole Ole Ole. World Cup fever struck in Ireland at the time to such an extent Put 'Em Under Pressure topped the Irish singles chart for 13 weeks.

We're on the Ball - Ant and Dec (2002)

Ant and Dec came out of retirement for Japan and Korea to get their vocal chords in harmony for the first time since Let's get ready to Rumble. Thankfully they resisted the urge to reprise their body-popping of yesteryear, although this reworking of an Arsenal anthem holds all the appeal of a dose of piles.

We have a Dream - Scotland World Cup Squad 1982

Peaking at No.5 in the Scottish charts, We have a Dream saw Scotland's squad for Spain '82, along with Gregory's Girl actor John Gordon Sinclair, in fine voice. A decent display from the Scots saw them beat New Zealand and draw with the Soviet Union - only failing to qualify from the group stages due to a 4-1 thumping at the hands of Brazil. That said, the Scots still look fondly on David Narey's screamer that gave their side a shock lead over the Samba Boys. We have a Dream was re-released in 2008 and starred Samuel L Jackson, Ashley Jensen, Dougray Scott, Billy Boyd, Chris Hoy, Ally McCoist, Fred MacAulay, Karen Dunbar and Elaine C Smith.

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