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Secret Anarchist Punk History Of Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping’

“I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA KEEP ME DOWN”

It’s one of the most ubiquitous choruses of the nineties, a boozy chant of a song that, to this day, is instantly recognisable.Related image

Chumbawamba’s ‘Tubthumping’ is one of those freakish one-off singles — the sound of a band consolidating all their best ideas around one song so anthemic and infectious that it turned out to be undeniable, never to be repeated and doomed to “one hit wonder” status.

Both now and then, it’s often seen as a novelty single — and in many ways, that’s understandable. It’s a rowdy anthem, ubiquitous in pop culture and pub alike, pummelled by repetition to the point of cliché. On either side of its three week run at the top of the Australian charts were ‘Barbie Girl’ and ‘Dr. Jones’, two similarly ubiquitous hits. With all due respect to Aqua, 1997 was a pretty frivolous time for pop music.

But under the surface is one of the strangest and most fascinating stories in pop music — a working class anthem purpose-built for chart domination by a collective of British anarchists who, fifteen years into their career, decided to try and play the system — and ultimately won.

Tubthumping     Chumbawamba
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
He drinks a Whiskey drink, he drinks a Vodka drink
He drinks a Lager drink, he drinks a Cider drink
He sings the songs that remind him of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him of the best times
(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get

Fuck The System

To understand the song, you need to understand the band’s history — all the way back to when they first formed in 1982. Continue reading Secret Anarchist Punk History Of Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping’