Happy Monday’s frontman Shaun Ryder released his new song ‘We Are England’ yesterday under the band name ‘Four Lions’. The song is the brainchild of DJ and long term Happy Mondays collaborator Paul Oakenfold and also features Ryder’s Black Grape bandmate Kermit and legendary drum n bass producer Goldie.
The song has already been dubbed as England’s unofficial anthem for the Euro 2016 tournament which is fitting as England do not currently have an official anthem this year. It has been hinted that ‘We Are England’ would have perhaps received the backing of the football association if it were not for references to drug taking in the lyrics (something Ryder has never shied away from).
The song has a very classic Happy Mondays sound with a funky piano loop and Ryder’s signature snarling spoken word vocals, however despite the song being a football anthem Ryder has confessed not knowing much about the game in general.
Ryder said of the collaboration with Oakenfold: “He emailed me and said he wanted to do a tune for the Euros, but he didn’t want it too football-y,” “He didn’t want it political or religious; he really wanted it to be for the heroes of this country, which is the working men and women of England.”
“I always say, ‘whatever you’re writing about, know your subject’. So it’s good that Oakie didn’t want a football song. What I do know is that we’ve got the youngest team in the Euros and that, to me, is a good thing – the naivety of youth.”
Ryder has taken time out of working on the new Black Grape album to record the song and hopes it will get people excited about following England this summer. Many have said that the 1996 song ‘Three Lions’ has effectively killed off the football anthem but perhaps Ryder’s efforts will breathe new life into it.
Watch out for a guest appearance from legendary dancer and maracas player Bez in the video.