Jarvis Cocker Shares New Version of “Running the World” in Campaign for UK Christmas #1 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Jarvis Cocker Shares New Version of “Running the World” in Campaign for UK Christmas #1

New Version Features Kaiser Quartett; Proceeds Go to Homeless Charity Shelter

Dec 19, 2019
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Pulp's Jarvis Cocker has shared a new version of his 2006 song "Running the World," made with Kaiser Quartett, a string quartet based in Hamburg, Germany. It is timed to the fan campaign to make the protest song (its full uncensored title is "Cunts Are Still Running the World") the #1 song on the UK singles chart on Christmas Day in response to last week's British election results, in which Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won in a landslide, in large part because of Brexit. As we previously reported, the Christmas #1 single is a big deal in the UK and a Facebook group has been launched by fans Michael Hall and Darcie Molina to help get a 13-year-old solo song into the top spot. Cocker has previously endorsed the campaign and said he will donate any proceeds from the song to the British homeless charity Shelter. Listen to it below. And if you're in the UK, you don't have long left to download and stream the song (you have until midnight UK time for it to count to the Christmas charts).

Here's what Cocker had to say about the new version of "Running the World":

"So here's the story: about a month ago the Kaiser Quartett sent me a recording of their arrangement of "Running the World" & asked if I'd consider singing on it. So I did. The song will feature on one of their upcoming record releases but - given the current campaign - we thought you might like to get a sneak preview right now. Merry Xmas! Jarvis xx"

"Running the World" is perhaps even more relevant now than when it was released in 2006 in the time of President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. It was one of best protest songs of the era with a chorus that went: "If you thought things had changed/Friend, you'd better think again/Bluntly put, in the fewest of words: Cunts are still running the world."

The Conservatives are not traditionally supported by British indie musicians and others in the arts, who tend to be more left-leaning. If the song gets enough official streams or downloads in the UK then it does have a shot of making it to #1 or at least re-entering the charts. If you're in the UK then stream it below if you'd like to see this happen.

"Running the World" was released as a single and then was a bonus hidden track on Jarvis, Cocker's 2006 solo debut. The song also appeared in the end credits to the acclaimed film Children of Men, which was a dystopian sci-fi film set in a world where everyone was sterile.

It's been 10 years since Further Complications, Cocker's second and most recent solo album. Although in 2017 he teamed up with Chilly Gonzales for a collaborative concept album, Room 29, inspired by room 29 in the iconic Hollywood hotel Château Marmont, which has had many famous guests (the hotel opened in 1929). In 2017 Cocker also guested on "Century," the standout track on Feist's last album, Pleasure, and teamed up with Iggy Pop to cover the Nick Cave classic "Red Right Hand" for the TV show Peaky Blinders.

In May of this year Cocker shared a new song, "MUST I EVOLVE," under the band name JARV IS. The band also features Serafina Steer, Emma Smith, Andrew McKinney, Jason Buckle, and Adam Betts and have been playing shows since late 2017, including ones in caverns and at last year's Desert Daze festival in California. It was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our 2017 print magazine article on Cocker and Gonzales' Room 29.

Read our 2017 extended Q&A with Cocker on Room 29.

Read our 2009 cover story interview with Cocker on Further Complications.

Read our 2007 interview with Cocker on Jarvis.

View this post on Instagram

What a strange couple of days! I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone involved in this campaign to get "Cunts Are Still Running The World" to #1 for Xmas. What a lark! I'm so proud that people have chosen the song as a means of protest against the social, political & environmental situation we find ourselves in. We've been playing this song at the recent JARV IS... shows & I often sing "but not for long" at the very end. I truly believe that, as long as we don't give up, that is true. These are cold, hard times but initiatives like this campaign make me feel all warm & hopeful inside. Christmasy even. All proceeds go to Shelter too - so it's also doing some practical good. All being well we should have a musical Christmas pressie to share with you later today or tomorrow. It's another way of saying thanks. Keep the faith x #jarvis4xmas #shelter #butnotforlong #letsdothis

A post shared by @ jarvisbransoncocker on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:45am PST

 

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