England anthem Three Lions translated into Latin ahead of Euro 2020 final

A version of Three Lions performed entirely in Latin has won the approval of one the original song’s writers.

The football anthem, first composed for Euro 96 by comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel along with Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds, has become the go-to chant for England fans.

And to celebrate England’s achievement in reaching the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, when they will face Italy, two classics scholars have translated it into the language of ancient Rome.

Tres Leones, written for classics journal Antigone, won the admiration of Baddiel, who tweeted his appreciation of the Latin lyrics.

He wrote: “Love it. Particularly Stilem Saltantem (And Nobby dancing. Obviously).”

A spokesperson for Antigone told PA: “It’s not too difficult to translate the song into Latin, as the general themes of failure and frustration are universal and timeless.

“And even the Eternal City had to pick itself up from some hard losses: fixtures against the Parthians in Carrhae in 53 BC or against Germanic tribes in the Teutoburg Forest were absolute shockers for them.”

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In the translation, “all those oh-so-nears” becomes “ludis Tantaleis” (all those tantalising games), while “when Lineker scored” is “Linecrem aequantem” (Lineker equalising).

Meanwhile “30 years” becomes “sex lustra”, or six five-year periods.

Some lyrics did prove trickier to translate than others.

The spokesperson said: “For ‘tackle’, for which there is no ball-game-specific verb in Latin, we have Moore ‘stealing the ball’ (pilam furantem).

“The Romans had no verb for ‘score’ in the sense of ‘win a point with a ball’, so for Lineker scoring we have ‘Lineker equalising’ (Linecrem aequantem).”

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While there is no ancient Latin word for football, the translation “pediludium” is taken from the Latin of medieval England.

The song was performed by singer Hayley Canham, also known as cannibal.

The lyrics in full:

Domum redit,
domum redit,
redit nunc
pediludium! (x IV)

homines fingunt quae fiant:
viderunt prius omnia.
hoc sciunt,
hoc aiunt…
quod Angli semper perdere amant,
dissipare parant,
sed scio quam ludant
quod reminiscor:

TRES LEONES togae,
Iulio nitente.
sex lustra curae
numquam non sperabam.

tantis iocis, tantis rhonchis,
ludis Tantaleis
defessa per annos,
cerno MOOREM pilam furantem,
LINECREM aequantem,
CHARLTONEM pulsantem,
STILEM saltantem.

TRES LEONES togae,
Iulio nitente.
sex lustra curae
numquam non sperabam.

sic praeteritum
veniat iterum…

domum redit
etc.