This song mostly gets hatred from people who simply don’t understand it. Chumbawamba were an extremely political band, and this commercial experiment is no exception. The political content is subtler, veiled just beneath the surface, but this is far more than just a generic drinking song. The triumphantly raucous chorus of “You’re never gonna keep me down”, the snatches of old folk songs between the verses, the atmosphere of a rowdy tavern where the people sing ‘the songs that remind him of the good times’…not to mention the very unambiguous spoken message in the intro to the album version…paint a picture of the unbreakable spirit of the common man. If you’ve ever read Orwell’s 1984, think of the scene where Winston realizes that in a world where the ruling class have been turned into brainwashed lunatics, the Proles have retained their humanity, and that however stupid and vapid they seem, their love and loyalty to each other ultimately renders the Party’s victory null and void, and you have the right idea.
Verdict: Good, but you need a little context to understand why