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England 2 Colombia 0: Remembering Kirsty MacColl's brilliant World Cup song

England fans are hoping the score might come true in today's match against Colombia

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 03 July 2018 09:16 BST
Colombia v England: World Cup last 16 preview

Football songs are terrible, as a general rule. Most lyrics are dutifully centred around themes of togetherness and overcoming obstacles, which more often than not results in a saccharine, over-the-top ballad with zero substance.

New Order's "World In Motion" was so good that it's barely considered a football song, and, as planetfootball notes, "will never be topped, because no one will be allowed to top it".

"It’s the communal football element to “World In Motion” which gives it residual power, allied to just enough residual New Order magic. It was a sign that the football world was in motion," a piece for The Independent observed.

"Though the FA have given up on anthems for the 2018 World Cup, the tournament’s colonisation of English life for as long as England last during the next three weeks is part of the change which New Order casually soundtracked."

You could state the opposite, then, for another football song that is too often left out of the many rankings of "greatest football songs of all time": Kirsty MacColl's "England 2 Colombia 0" from her 2000 album Tropical Brainstorm.

Set against the backdrop of the 1998 World Cup, the track follows the narrator as she goes on a date to a London pub to watch the match. Her date turns out to be a bit of a s**t. Really, it's just another brilliant track from one of Britain's greatest songwriters, penned after the holiday to Cuba in 1992 that would spark a life-long passion for Latin America and prove an enormous influence on the sound of Tropical Brainstorm.

Where New Order's song is strangely uplifting, MacColl's is typically dry and bitter, and more about a relationship gone wrong than the match itself.

Check out the lyrics in full below:

Oh you shouldn't have kissed me and got me so excited
And when you asked me out I really was delighted
So we went to a pub in Belsize Park
And we cheered on England as the sky grew dark

Oh you shouldn't have kissed me, cause you started a fire
But then I found out that you're a serial liar

You lied about your status
You lied about your life
You never mentioned your three children
And the fact you have a wife
Now it's England 2, Colombia 0
And I know just how those Colombians feel

If you hadn't passed out while I was talking to your friend
It could have really ended badly cause you very nearly had me
If he hadn't taken pity on my heart full of desire
I might never have found out you're a serial liar

You lied about your status
You lied about your life

You forgot you had three children
You forgot you had a wife
Now it's England 2, Colombia 0
And I know just how those Colombians fell

It's not in my nature to ever pick the winning team
Sometimes I think I'm happy then I remember it's a dream

Now it isn't in my nature to ever pick a winner
I always pick a bastard who would have me for his dinner

I can never possess the object of my desire
Cause he's bound to turn out to be a serial liar
OK I didn't mention my kids, I thought I'd wait a bit
But I am free and single and he's a lying git

Cause he lied about his status 
He lied about his life
He forgot he had three children 
He forgot he had a wife
And it's England 2 Colombia 0
I know just how those Colombians feel

So I got into a taxi and sobbed all the way home
Called my friend up in Sao Paulo and cried down the phone
I played some tragic music and I lay down to die
But later I woke and I hadn't stopped crying

You should never have kissed me, you tasted of deceit
Your perfume was Adultery, but I'm not a piece of meat
So I'll be the one that you couldn't acquire
I found out in time you're a serial liar

You lied about your status
You lied about your life
And I pity your three children
And I pity your poor wife
Now you can go to Hell
I'm going to Brazil

Still it's England 2, Colombia 0

- Kirsty MacColl, "England 2 Colombia 0"

Ahead of today's match between England and Colombia, football and music fans alike are hoping that MacColl may have got the score right ahead of time.

You can find live coverage of the England vs Colombia game here and thoughts on the upcoming match from our chief sports writer Jonathan Liew here.

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