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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Anthems vie for World Cup glory
As the battle for the World Cup heats up in Germany, there is another keenly-fought contest taking place in the UK charts.

At least 30 England football anthems are flooding the music market, with all of them making a bid to take the number one spot.

Six of the leading contenders - including the Football Association's official England World Cup song - are detailed here.

Click on the links below to read more about them and listen to the songs.


Embrace singer Danny McNamara

Huddersfield indie rock band Embrace were handed the task of recording the official England World Cup song.

Singer Danny McNamara said he was "very, very nervous" when he unveiled World at Your Feet in April.

He said the lyric, "You're the first in my life to make me think that we might just go all the way," was inspired by a team he thought had "every chance" of winning the World Cup.

But some critics have given the song a lukewarm response, saying it lacks the gumption to become an anthem to inspire chanting from the terraces.

Sham 69 frontman Jimmy Pursey, who has also recorded a World Cup song, has branded Embrace's effort as "embarrassing".

Tony Christie

The veteran crooner has reworked (Is This the Way To) Amarillo, which topped the charts last year in aid of Comic Relief and revitalised Christie's career.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles urged Christie to record the song after receiving a demo from Ian Stringer and George Webley, the BBC Three Counties Radio presenters who wrote the new lyrics.

Christie says the original has been a terrace chant in Germany for years, and hopes England fans will reclaim it with the new version.

Whether the singer can turn this version into another hit single remains to be seen - his subsequent efforts to capitalise on the success of Amarillo have proved less fruitful.

Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey

Punk band Sham 69 have reworked their 1978 hit Hurry Up Harry, with ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon joining to form Sham 69 & The Special Assembly.

Virgin Radio listeners voted the song the "people's anthem" to accompany England's World Cup bid.

Singer Jimmy Pursey said he found Embrace's effort uninspiring: "As a football fan supporting England I'm not roused by it. The unofficial songs are always better than the official ones and this year is no exception."

Hurry Up England will reach the top of the charts "if the people want it to", according to musician Pursey.

Crazy Frog

The love-him-or-loathe-him amphibian has given the 1977 Queen classic We Are The Champions a World Cup twist.

Crazy Frog's Axel F kept Coldplay's Speed of Sound off the top of the UK singles chart last year, with the popular ringtone spending four weeks at number one.

His Crazy Hits album went on to sell 150,000 copies in the UK, to be followed later this year by More Crazy Hits.

But the character's chart-topping magic faltered with an assault on the Christmas chart last year - his version of Jingle Bells landed at number five.

The theme tune to the classic sitcom Dad's Army has been reworked as a lighthearted challenge to Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Tonedef Allstars members Martin Peters, Frank Bruno and Sir Geoff Hurst

With vocals by 1966 World Cup winners Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, ex-boxer Frank Bruno and Dad's Army star Bill Pertwee, it won a competition in The Sun newspaper to find an alternative World Cup anthem.

They have since been championing the song, while Embrace singer Danny McNamara recently told the newspaper it was "brilliant" and likely to beat them to number one.

The single describes England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson as the "Swedish master" - but will the accolade prove justifed?

Joe Fagin

The former frontman of 1960s Merseybeat band The Strangers has reworked his solo hit That's Livin' Alright, which was the theme tune of television series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Joe Fagin says the new version with its World Cup twist "captures the spirit of the true England fan".

Its early, bold lyrical claim "we're gonna beat them all out of sight", is later tempered with the more realistic acknowledgment: "With a little luck, we could win the World Cup."

Other chart stars of years gone by who are making a bid for World Cup chart glory include Showaddywaddy, while Neil and Christine Hamilton have also thrown their hat into a very crowded ring.

Which is your favourite World Cup song?
Tony Christie
Sham 69
Crazy Frog
Tonedef Allstars
Joe Fagin
2811 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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28 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Punk star records World Cup song
11 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
TV theme reworked for World Cup
05 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
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30 May 06 |  Cumbria

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