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EURO 2022: 'Sweet Caroline' is this year's soccer anthem

Silke Wünsch / kbmJuly 31, 2022

England and Germany are in tonight's final of EURO 2022. The women footballers have thrilled the world and British fans are celebrating their team with one particular pop anthem.

UEFA Women's EURO England 2022 | Englische Fans
Will the Lionesses join the fans chanting 'Sweet Caroline' on Sunday night?Image: Thor Wegner/DeFodi Images/pictures alliance

When England's women's football team, the Lionesses, walk out to play Germany in the final of the Euro 2022 at London's Wembley stadium, they will be hoping to hear one song at the end of the match: "Sweet Caroline."

Made popular during last year's EURO 2020 men's competition, with England losing the final to Italy in a penalty shootout, the anthem has now been belted out after every Lionesses win in their run to the EURO 2022 final.

Originally performed by Neil Diamond in 1969, "Sweet Caroline" has replaced former England football anthem, "It's coming home," in part due to the uplifting verse and chorus that England fans hope will ring around the stadium Sunday night.

"Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you" go the lyrics before the main refrain: "Sweet Caroline … Good times never seemed so good … Oh! Oh! Oh!"

The song is so catchy that even the fans of opposing teams are said to sometimes join in.

From 'Yellow Submarine' to 'Go West'

The Neil Diamond classic is the latest in a long line of British fan songs — even if the national team often goes home empty-handed from international competitions, having not won since the 1966 World Cup.

Well-known pop melodies like "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles, "Que Sera Sera" by Doris Day, or "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys often form the basis of a catchy fan song. The tunes are pimped with freshly coined texts — which can vary depending on the score and the opponent.

Even in Germany, these melodies are part of the standard repertoire. Fans of the Schalke 04 team based in Gelsenkirchen have decorated the "Go West" melody with their own text: "Steh auf, wenn du ein Schalker bist" ("Stand up if you're a Schalke fan").

At the EURO 2012, with Ireland trailing Spain 4:0, the Irish fans joined together for their anthem, "The Fields of Athenry," a song about famine in Ireland in the 19th century.

Stadium anthems borrowed from pop music

Every football club has its own anthem. And here, as well, England leads the pack.

Either existing pop tracks are converted into soccer ditties, or stars write their own songs especially for the stadium. There's "Three Lions (Football's Coming Home)" from Lightning Seeds, or, of course, "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers didn't write the hit song, which was originally from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel," but covered it in 1963 — shooting the number to world-wide fame. At some point, Liverpool fans started singing it in the stadium and have kept up the tradition, both in victory and defeat.

"You'll Never Walk Alone" has also been adopted by numerous other football clubs in Germany, Europe and beyond — including Borussia Dortmund.

In a quarter-final match of the Europa League in 2016, Dortmund was playing Liverpool, whose coach is former Dortmund trainer Jürgen Klopp. When the Liverpool manager entered his old home stadium, all 65,000 Dortmund and Liverpool fans came together to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Since the Euro 2008, "Seven Nation Army" by American band The White Stripes (2003) has been a football staple.

After Belgian fans picked up the song, Italian football spectators sang the at the World Cup in Germany in 2006. Two years later at EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, the number was played at every entrance of every team — another football anthem was born.

This article was adapted from a 2016 article titled, "The songs of soccer, from stadium anthems to Ronaldo's solo"

Editor: Stuart Braun