Why did England fans sing Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark at The Euros?

Virgin Radio

21 Jun 2024, 08:46

L: Bruce Springsteen, R: England fans at the Euros

Credit: Getty / X @talkSPORT

It’s one of the all-time classics, but when Bruce Springsteen wrote Dancing in the Dark, he probably didn’t imagine that England fans would be re-purposing the song over 40 years later.

The single from The Boss was released four decades ago in 1984, but it has stood the test of time to the point that it is now being sung by England fans in the stands - and bars - in Germany during Euro 2024. 

But why was the song by the legendary American artist taken to the hearts of England fans on their team's route to the final?



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Well, simply because, thanks to a bit of tinkering with the lyrics, fans of the Three Lions created a terrace chant about England’s attacking midfielder, Phil Foden. 

“Can’t start a fire / Can’t start a fire without a spark / Phil Foden’s on fire / he’ll be playing the Germans off the park,” the chant goes.

The Manchester City star was one of the key players as Gareth Southgate's team made to to final of the competition.

Foden had a second-half equaliser ruled for offside in the last-16 match against Slovakia, and the Three Lions had been seconds away from going out as they still trailed 1-0 in the sixth minute of injury-time. A moment of genius from Jude Bellingham took the game to extra-time, before captain Harry Kane scored the winner.

After overcoming Slovakia, England then beat Switzerland in a dramatic penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, and then took on Netherlands in Dortmund in the semi-final on Wednesday 10th July.

The match represented Foden's best performance of the tournament, as England once again came from behind to win dramatically in injury-time thanks to Ollie Watkins' injury-time strike.

England lost 2-1 to Spain in the final on Sunday 14th July in Berlin. 

While fans in Dortmund were singing Dancing in the Dark, back in Blighty, pubs were heaving with fans belting out Three Lions, England’s official Euro 96 song by The Lightning Seeds and David Baddiel and Frank Skinner

Joining the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar recently, the comedy stars spoke about their unparalleled footy anthem, with David saying: “We thought, ‘We'll write a song that is authentically what it's like to be an England fan.’

"And that is not, ‘This time more than any other time,’ it's actually ‘We're probably gonna lose. But somehow or other, magically, we think this, we're gonna win, maybe, if we're lucky!’”

Meanwhile, The Killers helped fans celebrate in a big way during during their massive show at London’s O2, which just so happened to be taking place at the exact same time that England were battling the Netherlands in Dortmund.

The band paused their show and put the final few minutes of the match on the big screens at the venue, with ITV’s commentary playing out.

When the final whistle blew and England’s place in Sunday’s final was confirmed, red and white streamers exploded into the ecstatic crowd from the stage and The Killers launched straight into their iconic hit, My Brightside.

Watch footage of the EPIC moment here.