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We supported Aerosmith and their show was full of bombast and laser effects and we knew we couldn’t compete. So we gathered round one microphone and sang an a cappella song about fascism.

Chumbawamba was an anarcho-punk band formed in Leeds, best known for their 1998 song Tubthumping. They were active from 1980 to 2012. Members included Boff Whalley, Danbert Nobacon, Lou Watts, Dunstan Bruce, Alice Nutter, Harry Hamer, Dave Dillon, Paul Greco, Jude Abbott, Neil Ferguson, Phil Moody, and Matthew Surina.



Shhh, 1992

  • I'm not so brave, and I'm not so crazy
    And I'd rather be a coward than pushing up daisies.
    • "You Can't Trust Anyone Nowadays"

Anarchy, 1993

  • Nothing ever burns down by itself; Every fire needs a little bit of help.
  • Smoother words, nicer suits — don't be fooled, they're still wearing jackboots!
    The words get tired when you hear them every day!
    The Nazis changed, but they never went away!
  • Alcohol, testosterone, and ignorance and fists
  • Beware the Holy Trinity: Church and State and Law
  • In a world full of no ones
    I am a someone.
  • So if you meet with these historians, I'll tell you what to say:
    Tell them that the Nazis never really went away.
    • "The Day the Nazi Died (Acapella)"
  • I get knocked down
    But I get up again,
    You're never gonna keep me down.
  • We live for words and die for words,
    Principles we can't afford.
    • "One by One"
  • If any ask us why we died
    We tell them that our leaders lied
    Sold us out down the riverside
    Whose side are you on?
    • "One by One"
    • compare Rudyard Kipling's Epitaphs of the War: Common Form, "if any question why we died / we tell them that our fathers lied".
  • You see me
    You hear me
    There are millions
    Think just like me
    • "Outsider"
  • This is tearoom England. They'll kick your face in so politely.
    • "I Want More"


  • Where do you want to go today? Somewhere you can never take me.
  • Send this song to twenty people.
    Add your name, don't break the cycle.
    Pass it along, by word of mouse.
    Save the world, don't leave the house.
    • "Pass It Along"
  • By the time we got to Woodstock
    It was going up in flame
    In June, under the silvery moon,
    Why do all your songs turn out the same?
  • We've got that old-time religion
    Where we still won't cross the picket line
    You've got Rush Limbaugh on your side,
    But I've got Ricky Tomlinson on mine.
    • "I'm Not Sorry, I Was Having Fun"
  • It's a long walk to the gallows
    It's a small step to swing free

    Crying in the tower for my conspirators and me
    Gunpowder and modem and a dream of liberty.
    • "Don't Try This at Home"

Un (2004)

  • There are those paying fancy prices
    To pretend they have fancy lives
    But at every charity banquet
    The majority stay outside.
    • "When Fine Society Sits Down To Dine"
  • That stuff inside your houses and that stuff behind your eyes.
    • "On eBay"
  • The people at the top have further to fall.
    • "Laughter in a Time of War"
  • I was taught by Adam, but I blame it on Eve.
  • Say 'amen', and shoot to kill.
    • "Walking into Battle with the Lord"
  • Look at the small print: it's what we agreed
    Sign your name before we teach you how to read.
    • "The Land of Do What You're Told"
  • Take the train,
    A last goodbye,
    Throw your rhymes at passers-by
  • Back in Leeds, The news we heard
    No-one killed, And no-one hurt
    Wish all the young men used only words.
    • "Word Bomber"




  • [W]ithin the band, we’d all still have to hold tight to the rigging and make sure we were still heading in the same direction, make sure we were doing what we wanted to do together. And enjoying it! Because all this talk of Pitching in and Taking Advantage makes it sound like no fun, like Mao-suited Communists chirping the Party Line. Chumbawamba (despite what a lot of people might think) was never like that. We were too busy laughing to not have fun.


  • We'd be much less likely to object to MP3 than to a bootlegger because selling records without our permission is vastly different to people having access to our stuff for free.
  • And have you ever noticed how it's never poor or working class people who object to someone else making a living from work?
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