Get back up again. #PlagueSongs, no. 34

The plague is, alas, not yet over. So, I’ve recorded another Plague Song. Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” a massive pop hit in 1997.

I chose this song because of the lyric’s central contribution to our collective human wisdom: when one gets knocked down, it is generally advisable to get back up again. Or, as Chumbawamba’s lyricist more succinctly puts it, “I get knocked down. I get back up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” That’s an apt sentiment for all of us who feel “knocked down” by plague or any of the malevolent forces at work today (racism, sexism, transphobia, anti-democratic movements, rising authoritarianism, etc.)

I also performed the song because it is a ridiculous choice for acoustic guitar and solo vocal. This should be sung with a large group of people, shouting the chorus — perhaps over their beers, in a pub. I hope the sight of me attempting an acoustic cover made you laugh a bit. Indeed, another reason I chose the song is because playing it made me laugh — at myself, at the repetitiveness of the music and lyric.

Of course, that very repetitiveness is also what makes it so very sing-able. And so I secretly hope that perhaps some of you may also be singing along as you watch the video.

Indeed, why not sing the songs that remind you of the good times? Or even sing the songs that remind you of the better times? The playlist below offers many tunes that (sometimes only tangentially) intersect with our plague era. But turn to the music that sparks your interest.


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