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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
England's Euro 2004 song revealed
England fans in full voice
The FA hopes England's Euro 2004 song will be a chart and a terrace hit
The Farm will perform the official England anthem for this summer's European Championships, the FA says.

The song, a new version of the Liverpool-based band's 1990 hit Altogether Now, is released on 31 May.

It has been edited by DJ Spoony and features additional vocals by the St Francis Xavier Boys Choir.

It has been a hit twice before, hitting number four on its original release and number 24 when recorded by Everton FC for the 1995 FA Cup Final.

Positive message

The BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show played the track for the first time after DJ Spoony delivered a copy to the studio in person.

It was originally inspired by the unofficial armistice on the Western Front on Christmas Day 1914, which saw British and German troops play a game of football in no-man's land.

With England fans set to travel in large numbers to Euro 2004, which takes place in Portugal in June and July, the Football Association used the song's title as its slogan for the tournament, to send a positive message and encourage good behaviour.

Peter Hooton, the singer of The Farm, who split up in 1994, told Radio 1 that news of the song's selection by the FA had been "a bolt out of the blue".

"They told us the slogan was Altogether Now and they'd like to use the song," he said.

"We've added extra bits to the original and I think it sounds fantastic."

The St Francis Xavier Boys Choir of Liverpool, which features on the track, recently performed at the 15th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Asked how well he thought the latest version of the song would fare in the charts, Hooton said: "That depends on the England team's performance but I think it could go all the way."

Three previous songs recorded as England's official anthem for a major tournament have reached the top of the chart, the most recent being Three Lions by Baddiel and Skinner and the Lightning Seeds in 1996.

A reworded version called Three Lions '98 reached number one during the World Cup two years later, outselling the official release by England United, who featured the Spice Girls among their line-up.

Ant And Dec's We're On The Ball, which reached number three, was the nominated song for the World Cup campaign in 2002.

It had to battle for sales against more than two dozen unofficial releases and it is likely that a similar number of tie-ins by a wide range of artists will hit the shops in the coming weeks.

England's first match at the championships is against France on 13 June, in Lisbon.

England's road to Portugal
12 Oct 03  |  Photo Galleries

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