I must have been caught up in a FIFA-induced frenzy, what with England and the US both in the second round of the World Cup — House Divided! (it’s a license plate people have here; the reference is to American college football and usually it’s to do with the wife going to Auburn, husband to Alabama, or parents to Bama, child to LSU, you get the idea; it’s not about internal angst, who do I root for?, but, whatever, we had internal angst) — when I downloaded “Tubthumper” by Chumbawamba, which has the excellent lyrics:
He drinks a whiskey drink,
He drinks a vodka drink,
He drinks a lager drink,
He drinks a cider drink.
He sings the songs that remind him of the good times,
He sings that remind him of the betta times.
This song, if it wasn’t a World Cup anthem, might as well have been. It is a good, rabble-rousing rant of a song.
I confuse “Tubthumper,” 1997, with “Vindaloo,” 1998, by Fat Les. One of the great things about the latter, a World Cup anthem of yore, is that my husband and I can still sing this, 12 years on, and it makes us laugh. (But if you want to read a relationship blog, read this one instead.) Moving on…
The not-so-awesome thing about this song, but indicative of the deep chord it strikes in the breast of the England fan, is that, despite its age, when I went to get the video link, there were comments from last week, when England was still in the 2010 World Cup. It was being used as a flashpoint for all things pro-, anti- and “this proves my point” about the England team. Terrible invective with bad language, look away, and not reflective of the people we knew, despite my older daughter’s primary school being sited on the largest housing estate in Europe and, allegedly, a hotbed of hooliganism. In spite of this, our experience of the school was much more accurately reflected in the Mike Leigh film, Happy-Go-Lucky, with committed teachers and Golden Time.
Music, now that I spend so much time in the car, has become a big part of my life again, as it was when I was 12-17 (maybe 19, but it was less self-defining as I entered late adolescence). Nothing takes the sting out of driving to the bad Wal*Mart like a good, loud song by Depeche Mode (who are from Basildon in Essex, so translate Wal*Mart to its UK subsidiary/company ASDA, and you’re going there on the bus for your mum, and art happens, loud clangy, uncooperative music is born.)
In addition to “Tubthumper,” I downloaded Big George Webley’s (sounds like Wembley!) theme for UK version of The Office and the 1996 one-hit wonder song “Spaceman,” by Babylon Zoo.
Driving to my morning step class the other day (more on that later, maybe) I always go by the above sign for a gas station liquor store that I realize, as I am still piecing the city map together with my underdeveloped hippocampus, is the one we went to last summer in the furious, hot rain where I bought bourbon. Buying liquor in Alabama is expensive and makes you feel like a criminal. This is blamed on corrupt local politicians, the church and the government.
The song after “Spaceman” is “Spirits in the Material World.” How apt, I think, sagely.
Good thing I had my camera.