It is England’s most famous football anthem, chanted at games for more than 20 years by fans dreaming of national glory.
Now, Three Lions becomes Three Lionesses, rewritten to support the team in this summer’s Women’s World Cup.
Comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, who wrote and performed the original with the Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie, are supporting the reworked version for Lucozade Sport’s new campaign around the tournament.
While the 1996 original laments the low expectations surrounding the men’s team and the lack of trophies since the 1966 win, the new version tackles sexist attitudes surrounding women’s football.
The line “That England’s going to throw it away, gonna blow it away” is replaced with “That we don’t have the skill in their eyes, well we’re tired of the lies”, while “So many jokes so many sneers, but all those oh-so-nears, wear you down through the years” is replaced with “So many jokes, so many sneers, all those ‘well done, girls’, wear you down through the years”.
Some of the famous names referenced have also been swapped, including Jade Moore for Bobby Moore, Nikita Parris for Gary Lineker, Steph Houghton for Bobby Charlton, and Jordan Nobbs for Nobby Stiles.
Lucozade is trying to inspire the nation to get behind the women’s team, and is also offering women the chance to try football by giving away 90,000 minutes of free pitch time through Powerleague and Goals football centres nationwide.
Nobbs, an England Lioness with 53 caps, said: “I know the players love the Three Lionesses track and I hope it inspires the team to World Cup glory.
“This is an incredible time for women’s football as awareness and popularity continues to grow and initiatives such as the 90,000 free minutes make it easier than ever for more women to give football a go.”
Baddiel has tweeted to back the new version, saying: “We gave our permission for this. I think it’s great.”
Many social media users have also shown their support, with one saying in a reply to the star’s tweet: “As a dad of 3 daughters I think that takes the song to a different level, it’s now a statement of empowerment that we all need to hear!”
The England women’s team, coached by former Manchester United and Everton star Phil Neville, start the 2019 world cup, hosted by France, against Scotland on 9 June.