Jarvis Cocker’s 2006 single ‘Running The World’ could be set to cause a remarkable chart upset. In the hours following the election the song – with its refrain “cunts are still running the world” – began gaining more and more traction, with Jarvis Cocker’s astute but savage lyricism seeming to touch a chord with disaffected voters in the light of the Conservative party’s landslide victory.
Two fans – Michael Hall and Darcie Molina – began using the song as a means to haul themselves out of this malaise, this “post-election horror haze of tears and self-reflection and recrimination.”
Speaking to Clash, Michael Hall reflects: “We started talking about the perfect song to soundtrack this coming Christmas - this came up, humorously of course, and we decided we'd start a Facebook group to see if anyone else was interested in doing something to show solidarity on the left after such a disastrous election result. The one thing all reasonable human beings can agree on is the sentiment of this song.”
In a matter of hours the Facebook group began to explode. Now containing more than 19,000 members and counting, it has caused a surge in support behind the song. Right now, iTunes places ‘Running The World’ at No. 3 on its streaming and download charts, with Jarvis in second place on Amazon Music, and pole position on 7Digital.
“We thought it had gotten a little bit overwhelming on Sunday but knew if it was going to really go over the top it would happen Monday morning,” Michael Hall explains. “We still weren't prepared for what happened in terms of those increases and the deluge of group members.”
“We've managed to add some emergency admin and now as the song is in the Top 3 on all the download charts in the UK we're really giving it our best to see this at No. 1 for Christmas. It's been so incredible to see people banding together and getting behind something fun that also feels like a kick against the pricks.”
Jarvis himself is said to be a fan of the campaign – “one of our group members spoke to him in person and apparently he was taken aback but seemed pleased by the gesture” – while record label Rough Trade “are all for it - and why wouldn't they be?”
It bares a passing resemblance to previous viral campaigns, including the successful push to get Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ to Christmas No. 1. Indeed, the successful architect of that campaign Jon Morter has already been in touch with Michael and Darcie to offer advise.
Both Michael and Darcie are long-term fans of Jarvis Cocker’s work, with the former citing ‘Underwear’ has his favourite Pulp song. “Absolute filth. Love it.”
“I think that wonderful, wry British humour that Jarvis Cocker embodies really speaks to a spirit of camaraderie among British people,” he continues. “People seem really happy to have a pet project to focus on at such a dark political time. It's not the answer to anything - but maybe more conversations can be started when it is made clear just how many people are against the regime we currently have in power here.”
“Also isn't it just delicious to call Tories cunts in public at every given opportunity? Now you can sing along to it too! We want the world to know that this country isn't about what the Tories want you to think it's about - we're about inclusion, representation, love and acceptance. We'll never bow to them.”
If Jarvis Cocker’s ‘Running The World’ does indeed become a festive smash, then the team behind the Facebook group intend to make a donation to the Trussel Trust, a charity who work with foodbanks to stop UK hunger and poverty.
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Jarvis Cocker has confirmed to the Facebook group that all proceeds from this week's sales will be donated to Shelter.
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