Song Review by Liana Jonas

Sometimes the beauty of a song lies in its frivolity. Human nature dictates that people want to mindlessly escape every now and again, and what better aid in doing so than an upbeat, completely nonsensical song? Upon its release in 1997, the U.K. electronic-pop group Chumbawamba had audiences wondering what the hell "Tubthumping" meant, the title of their first single release from the album Tubthumper. The strange word is not even mentioned in this song, whose chorus, "I get knocked down/I get up again/You're never going to keep me down," helped the song land some television commercials and even a couple of movie soundtracks. Devoted entirely to imbibing the night way, "Tubthumping" is shamelessly contagious and irresistibly winning. Who didn't get a kick from the Celtic-like female vocals that sing, "Pissing the night away/Pissing the night away"? Then there are all the alcoholic references -- "He drinks a whiskey drink/He drinks a vodka drink/He drinks a lager drink" -- strategically pasted together in verses that are nothing short of funny. Listeners relished in singing, word for word -- especially the "Oh, Danny Boy" bridge -- this 1997 tribute to drinking and the human spirit. Its musical arrangement, which closely resembles an electronic-pop version of a sports rally chant, added to the revelry. "Tubthumping" found success in its silliness and party nature -- a must in a world that can get too heavy too often.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Tubthumper 1997 Universal Distribution / Republic 4:38