Theme: A Song That Makes You Happy.
Shut up. It does.
Looking at the official rules for the 30 Day Song Challenge, there are a couple of other places I could have put this tune. “Your Favorite Guilty Pleasure” for one. Or “A Song That You Want Played At Your Funeral.” Or “A Song That Describes You.”
It’s a guilty pleasure because, on first listen, it’s a gloriously mindless one-hit wonder from the tail end of the ’90s version of the “alternative era.” I want it played at my funeral because I think that would be hilarious. And it describes me because, you know, I get knocked down, but I get up again. Or something. More to the point, I talk too much and I think I’m really interesting, especially when I’ve had a pint. An’ all that.
But, no: this song by everyone’s favorite musical UK anarchist collective just makes me happy whenever I hear it. It’s the only song I’ve ever heard that manages to be equally cynical and optimistic. And if you’re cynical like me, then optimism can be a hard sell.
Chumbawumba’s always been more clever than you think they are, anyway. If this song is about a guy holding court at a pub (which it is) then it makes perfect sense that first, he sings the songs that remind him of the good times, and then… as the night progresses… no, mate, I was f**king wrong. Them were the BEST times, they was! Which is why he keeps misquoting pop songs. Don’t cry for me, next door neighbor indeed.
I can write all the music-geek stuff you could ever want to hear, but the fact of the matter is “Tubthumping” just makes me jump around and sing whenever I hear it. And that I can’t properly put into words.