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.

30 Songs in 30 Days: day 09 – a song that you can dance to

Yeah, yeah, yeah… ok, “daily” is kind of a… palindrome! Yeah… no, now, wait, the palindrome of “daily” would be “yliad”… a METAPHOR! That’s it. A metaphor for… no. I give up. I guess “daily” is just a target that I have missed pretty severely. But really, I’m only nine days behind, so maybe I’ll try to catch up.

A song I can dance to? I went for a very long time thinking I couldn’t dance, because when I was nine years old, at summer camp, my girlfriend said so. She said so in order to deny another girl’s request to dance with me, and if I had been a little quicker on the uptake, I could have cruised through the rest of that summer with a much better girlfriend. Give me a break; I was nine. Anyway, that was the end of our summer romance and the beginning of a long period of self-consciousness. Which was too bad, because I actually have a pretty good sense of rhythm.

I’ve mostly recovered from that reticence. I still prefer a decent quantity of alcohol enhancement before I will get out and start moving, but once I’m out there, I don’t really care if I move around like a spastic rhinoceros. As long as I’m not actually crushing anybody underfoot, it’s all good. I’ve danced at weddings, parties, and I’ve even been known to hit a club once in a while.

There will be no pictures.

So this was a tough category to decide. There aren’t too many songs that automatically get me up and moving. In the absence of a clear winner, I give you this one, which came on during a long party when I was in law school, prompting me and a dozen of my classmates to bop around like… well, like very drunk law students: