30 Songs in 30 Days: day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate

They Might Be Giants covers Chumbawamba

I don’t know that I ever actually loved this song, but I will admit that when it first hit the radio (back when I was still listening to the radio), I enjoyed it. It was loud and anthemic and easy enough learn the words to for singing-along-in-the-car purposes. I even bought the CD. Listened to it a few times, read a little bit about the “collective” that is Chumbawamba… and finally decided I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s because it was being played 14,000 times an hour for a while, but eventually I realized that the song is pretty vapid.

Really, there’s nothing there. It is not musically innovative. It is not lyrically interesting. It isn’t even “fun,” in any sense of the word that I can understand. Maybe it’s supposed to be some sort of satire on hooliganism or British alcoholism, in which case… nah. It’s bullshit. There’s really nothing that can redeem this song – which is all the worse because it has a tendency to become an earworm and burrow into your brain if you hear it.


This morning, Jim turned me on to the one thing that could possibly make this song worth listening to: a cover by They Might Be Giants, performed for The Onion’s A.V. Club. The two Johns rarely disappoint. I’m not going to spen a lot of time with it, but this version is at least enjoyable. The people in the video actually seem to be having some fun.