Mighty Royal Albert Hall organ roars ‘It’s Coming Home’ ahead of England football match

7 July 2021, 15:32 | Updated: 7 July 2021, 18:30

Royal Albert Hall organ
Royal Albert Hall organ. Picture: Royal Albert Hall / Getty

By Kyle Macdonald

A ‘Three Lions’ fanfare on a huge pipe organ, as a nation raises its voices in support of its football heros.

One of the biggest musical instruments in the world has lent its support to Gareth Southgate's England team on the eve of their crucial semi-final Euro 2020 tie with Denmark.

The organ is played by one of the country’s finest organists, Robert Quinney, Organist and Tutor in Music at New College, Oxford. And he knew just the tune of the occasion: swapping Bach for Baddiel, he thunders out the English football anthem ‘Three Lions’.

Read more: Three Lions: A rigorous musical analysis of the iconic football anthem

With the roaring organ at full volume, Quinney plays the song’s iconic refrain ‘It’s coming home’ on the solo pipes, rattling the walls of the Royal Albert Hall.

Hours before the knockout game and with a nation in anticipation, we’re sure it’s going to rattle some nerves too.

‘Thee Lions‘, played on the organ of the Royal Albert Hall by Robert Quinney

It has not been the only musical tribute of this nature.

In the lead-up to the game, and at the request of HRH The Prince of Wales, the Band of the Coldstream Guards played the same tune outside Clarence House in London.

Read more: Prince Charles asks royal band to play Three Lions ahead of England v Denmark

Band of the Coldstream Guards play Three Lions outside Clarence House to wish England luck

In 2021, the Royal Albert Hall celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Described as ‘the voice of Jupiter’, the hall’s organ was once the largest instrument in the world. It now features 9,999 and stands 70 feet high.

‘Three Lions’ was written and released by English comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, and the rock band the Lightning Seeds, in May 1996, when England was hosting the European Championships.

The song, and in particular the chorus ‘It’s coming home’, has been a fixture of England’s championship exploits ever since.

As England advanced in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the song went viral with performances, among many, from superstar composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Norwich Cathedral Choir, the Bands of the Guards Division at Buckingham Palace and many others.