The World Cup semifinals are now set with England set to play Croatia and Belgium playing France. With the first semifinal a few days away, we talk about England and it's fans obsession with the song "It's Coming Home" and where it originated.
We discuss that and more in our latest World Cup Daily podcast. Listen to the full episode below, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes to hear each episode throughout the 2018 World Cup.
Here's a snippet of the latest episode:
GRANT WAHL: What do you think about England?
BRIAN STRAUS: They were really good today. It's just remarkable and there was a—I watched that game in a little restaurant down the street from my haunted hotel. And there was a really really large, very Russian guy in there, wearing an England shirt that barely covered his multiple bellies and he was just screaming with just guttural passion for England. I couldn't have talked to him, I was just intrigued that he was so fired up for the Three Lions.
GW: Are you sure it wasn't Paul Gascoigne's old buddy, Jimmy Five Bellies, but in Russia?
BS: (laughs) No, maybe his kid. The other thing is this, so yesterday I went for a little walk in the rain and I passed a little World Cup gift shop. Like a little pop-up, they've got them all over here, right? The little World Cup pop-up gift shops where they sell that dog.
BS: And so I walked in just to check it out just to like check it out because maybe I wanted to pretend I had a loved one to buy something for. ...
BS: See what they had. And they were playing—this is like an official World Cup thing—and they were playing Three Lions in the shop. And there's just been so much talk and, of course, they played it in the stadium. They're the only team—and I've been to 10 or 11 games now and I've seen a lot of goals and I don't think any team has their own theme song via official channels beside England. And I just find this remarkable because there is some notable tension between England and Russia and there aren't a lot of England fans here. You know, Colombia fans outnumbered them 78 to 1 the other night when I went to that game and yet you hear this song everywhere. And they're the only team to have a soundtrack accompanying them through the tournament. And it's just kind of wacky and cool.
GW: Can you help me out with something here? Because everyone here seems to think that everyone from around the world seems to know what this is about, this whole "It's Coming Home" thing with England. What the heck does that mean?
BS: It was the theme song for Euro 96. So when they hosted Euro 96, a musician and a couple of comedians actually wrote this catchy jingle how we always fail but we always dream and "Jules Rimet still gleaming" is one of the lines. They've always got hope, despite their failures and football is coming home. And so, of course, it was around Euro 96 when they lost to Germany on penalties. And it's sort of been kind of this haunting, ironic refrain ever since. And now it's just taken over the World Cup. It's like a "Waka Waka" of this World Cup. You hear it all the time and to hear it in the World Cup gift shop in St. Petersburg, it just kinda blew my mind.
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