Tubthumping - Environmentalism and Anti-Globalism
Chumbawamba's single is definitely one of those tracks that's become known as an earworm; once inside your head, it's very hard to dislodge. It's also an unusual commercial hit in that it came from a resolutely anti-commercial bunch of anarchic folk-punkers. It even reached number six in the USA, though one can assume that buyers were unaware of the band's socialist leanings. It's also obviously the song's infectiousness (as well as the lyrical refrain of getting back up having been knocked down) that led Nike to offer the band $1.5 million for use of the song. The band said they considered the offer for all of 30 seconds before saying "no". But they still enraged hard-core fans by signing with the major label EMI: seemingly going against their anti-corporate stance. EMI would later drop the band for their political activism.
Tubthumping is lyrically ambiguous, yet the band have adjusted the lyrics in the live setting to offer support to death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamil and to criticise Tony Blair's stance over his refusal to support the Liverpool docker's strikes. The band has also campaigned for the miners, for animal rights and against homophobia. They've questioned Bob Geldof's motives for organising Live Aid and raised money for the Zeebrugge Ferry disaster. They were nothing if not polemical, impassioned and interesting. The band seemed to stand for that classic British trait of fair play and decency.
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Your contributions will play a key part in this episode, take a look at the questions below and send us your thoughts:
- Have you campaigned for environmental issues and what was the catalyst that got you involved
- Do you think pop bands should be involved with or stay away from politics?
- Have you ever been on a march or a protest?
- As a nation, do you think we’re too apathetic about political issues?
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