Wednesday, 16 June 2010

1966 And All That

THE DECLINING WINTER - Official World Cup Theme 2010

It can't have escaped your attention that we're in the middle of some kind of international football tournament. Although I have no interest in any of the games, I am aware that these competitions are normally accompanied by hideous crimes against music, which are then sold to the gullible residents of the country in the name of patriotism. I'm old enough to remember the full horror of the 1982 England World Cup squad's double-A-sided single, and more recent efforts, despite involving professional musicians, have not been much better. I expect I'm in a minority here, but I would have to rate "Three Lions" as one of the most cringeworthy songs of all time. I have to turn off the radio whenever it comes on. The trend for inviting established performers to write the team's official anthem can be traced back to "World In Motion", which shares the two conflicting honours of being perhaps the first credible football song and also, without doubt, the worst thing that New Order ever recorded.

This year, we seem to be lacking a high-profile team anthem, but Richard Adams of ethereal Leeds popsters Hood has filled the void at the last minute with his side-project, The Declining Winter. Despite its title, the song has no official links to the tournament, and it's only very loosely about football. The lyrics display a sense of nostalgia, hinting that the world may have been a better place when England last won the World Cup, and Richard manages to squeeze in a reference to global warming. The best thing about this record is that it does not feature any footballers attempting to sing.

If England make it past the first round (unlikely, I know) then maybe we should start a Facebook group to get this single into the top 10.

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