Chumbawumba: Tubthumping Meaning
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We'll be singing
I get knocked down but I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
Pissing the night away
Pissing the night away
He drinks a whiskey drink
He drinks a vodka drink
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:
The spoken words at the beginning:
(The truth is, I thought it mattered)
(I thought that music mattered.)
(But does it? Bollocks! Not compared to how people matter)
are sampled from the ending of the film "Brassed Off" which is about the human impact of Thatcher-era coal mine closings. The phrase:
(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)
is a reference to the lead character in that film, the passionate band conductor, Danny Ormondroyd whose speech starts the song.
Given the film's theme of resilience in the face of overwhelming circumstances, and the repeated "I get knocked down, but I get up again," I'd say the song is similarly about living through the worst situations and managing to continue with life.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 28th 2015 report
It is about how all throughout history, the Irish have been oppressed by the British. Danny Boy is a song that people associate with Ireland, even though it was written by an Englishman, and especially sad things about Ireland (many people assume it is about how many people have had to leave Ireland). But one of the saddest and most essential parts of Irish history is that the British have always oppressed the Irish, but the Irish have always rebelled. Even if they fail, they have always kept trying and never given up or accepted British oppression.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous May 5th 2008 report
The song is about how you get knocked down but is about how "me" as they say in the song gets back up again because "me" is going to be taken down. Yes the song has a reference to drinking and but I draw a more powerful meaning from it and that is not giving up and not letting society keep you down, that getting back up again is the most important thing.
anonymous Jul 15th 2016 report
There is a story to most music and the interpretation can vary. I think it would be a good song to play at a sporting event where the score is close and the home team is losing. It's a great way to generate energy through the fans and players, especially in football.
anonymous Oct 20th 2015 report
These days the anarchists chant this at the police when preparing for action. Chumbawamba as a band has deep anarchist roots.
anonymous Nov 17th 2014 report
Firstly it's Chumbawamba not Chumbawumba. Secondly I feel this to be a song about the way politicians alienate us from thew running of this once great nation. Today the message is you are nuffin, you are a fool and a waste of time. Some may consider this to be absolutely bobbins but for these people I have two words. Don't care.
anonymous May 7th 2011 report
I think its more about the old movement-members like punks, rockers and stuff who are just old drunkards now hanging in bars, and tell everyone about their heroic times while getting pissed.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Dec 24th 2009 report
honestly i thought this was about the British ban on rock and roll in the 60s... "we'll be singing when were winning"... and the very beginning the man is speaking "i thought the music was the matter, but its our people that matter" aka he banned the music to stop the people, but they got worse so we lifted it... but it turns out our people matter. im not positive though. "i get knocked down, but i get up again" is how the music was banned, but it was allowed again. i can see the drinking aspect too.
anonymous May 7th 2006 report
It's about getting drunk
"I get knocked down"- he fell down because he was drunk
"I got up again...never gunna keep me down"- he's a proud drunkso he gets back up
"I get knocked down"- he fell again
"I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down!"
We all remember it as the England football supporters official song of Euro '98. Even the band don't know why. They always wanted to be known as a political band, the song is about getting pissed (britspeak for drunk) and then staggering back home when you feel ready to take on the world and the world is ready to be put right. What an astoundingly brilliant song,
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