Song of the Day #5,172: ‘Amnesia’ – Chumbawamba

The one-hit wonders I’ve featured so far this week all had their big songs appear on their debut albums. That has to sting, achieving massive success right out of the gate and seeing that promise fade over subsequent years and albums.

Chumbawamba is a different story. The English alt-rock band formed in 1982 and released eight albums before they dropped Tubthumper, the one that made them (temporary) household names. The hit was ‘Tubthumping,’ better known as the “I get knocked down, but I get up again” song.

That album also featured the band’s second most successful single, ‘Amnesia,’ which reached the top ten in the United Kingdom and Canada.

The beat-heavy track is about duplicitous politicians in general, and Tony Blair’s New Labour party specifically. Despite the heady subject matter, it boasts a chorus almost as catchy as that of their big hit.

[Verse 1]
Goodbye to the summer
Sold down the river
Unhappy ever after
Well, did you ever?

[Pre-Chorus 1]
Did you ever reach for the glued-down penny?
Same old joke and it’s not funny
Burns are red, bruises blue
Out with the old, cheated by the new

[Chorus]
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)

[Verse 2]
You sing the same old verse
Stick like glue, for better or worse
What goes around comes around
Again, again, again

[Pre-Chorus 2]
This heart, pulled apart
Hydra fighting, head-to-head
Burns are red, bruises blue
Out with the old, cheated by the new

[Chorus]
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)

[Bridge]
(Ooh-ooh)
Amnesia
(Ooh-ooh)

[Chorus]
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)

[Outro 1]
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)
Do you suffer from long-term memory loss?
(I don’t remember)

[Outro 2/Interlude]
(Cut the head in half using a bandsaw)
(And scoop the brains out)
(Blast the brain out with water or air)
(Suck the brain out through a hole in the head)
(What about free speech?)
(What about free speech?)
(What about free speech?)
(Look, that’s not the point)
(You’re giving this place a bad name)
(I’ve got my position to think of)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,172: ‘Amnesia’ – Chumbawamba

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Curious if the outro 2 was played on the radio.

  2. Amy says:

    Maybe I’m in a “glass half full” mode this morning, but I’d say those bands that strike gold on their first release have secured their ability to keep making music as a profession. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. The fact that today’s band was able to create so many albums without getting a song on the charts is also gratifying. It puts the whole “greatest hits” business in perspective. If some people are listening to and enjoying your music, does it matter whether everyone is?

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