World Cup 2018: Why English soccer fans chant 'It's coming home'Sporting News — Gabe.Fernandez@performgroup.com (Gabe Fernandez)
For the first time since 1990, England are on their way to the World Cup semifinal against Croatia after a 2-0 victory over Sweden.
Now that the team is just one win away from reaching a World Cup final, a common refrain is ringing from the stands of English supporters: "It's coming home."
For over 20 years this song has endured the ups and downs of English international soccer and is arguably reaching the peak of its popularity. Here's what "it's coming home" means and its origin.
"It's coming home" musical origins
"It's coming home" is the chorus of "Three Lions" by The Lightning Seeds. The song was released in 1996, when England hosted the European Football Championship, to poke fun at the lack of international tournament success the country had experienced since winning the World Cup in 1966. The song's lyrics include lines like "England’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away,” "but all those oh, so nears wear you down through the years," and “thirty years of hurt.” Comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner helped write the lyrics and even acted in the music video — which opens with a montage that builds from England's team low-lights, to highlights.
What does 'It's coming home' mean?
The chorus originated from the fact that England established the world's first governing body of soccer in 1863, according to FIFA. At the time of the song's release, it referred to the 1996 Euros coming to England for the country's first hosting gig since 1966, so the sport was coming "home." It has since developed into a rallying cry, both seriously and ironically, to mean that England are going to bring whatever championship they're competing for back to their country.
The memes and celebrations
Despite over five decades of heartbreak and disappointment, there is a swelling belief among English fans that this could be the year they win it all. "Three Lions" is currently charting at No. 24 on the Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart, tracked by the BBC. Even the creators of the song's pessimistic lyrics are catching the fever.
Across Twitter, users have been inserting "it's coming home" into their display names and have turned a phrase that was once used to mock English teams into a legitimate celebration.