The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Saturday, April 13, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Just one street lamp, please

Alison Krug

Newsroom director Alison Krug

am considering purchasing Spotify Premium so I can choose the soundtrack to my own inevitable murder.

I walk home late a lot. After a long night of editing in the basement of the journalism school, I brace myself against the cold of the night, pop in my headphones and put on a playlist of carefully curated songs.

Each song is hand picked so that if I, on my short trek home, am horrifically murdered (Or not horrifically. The degree of horror isn’t really the point here.), it won’t be too embarrassing when I’m found by a passing jogger and/or my murderer returning to the scene of the crime to hide in plain sight.

Because I don’t want to be known as the “Tubthumping Murder Girl.”

“Tubthumping” is a 1997 rock song from British band Chumbawamba off the album “Tubthumper.”

If I am murdered while listening to “Tubthumping,” this column won’t matter. My body of professional work won’t matter. The plays I’ve painstakingly written, the short stories I’ve meticulously crafted, the satirical advice column I wrote between classes on Tuesday mornings — they’ll all be forgotten by the headlines.

My identity will dissolve to this singular moment and this breakaway pop-rock single.

“Tubthumping (Remix)” was released in 2003 by The Flaming Lips and Dave Fridmann. I’m not sure if it would be better, worse or ambivalent if I were to become the “Tubthumping (Remix) Murder Girl.”

I can foresee the ledes of the front page — OK, downpage front — OK, inside page — OK, online-only listicle stories. “She got knocked down, but she didn’t get up again.”

“Tubthumping” was Chumbawamba’s most successful single, peaking at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Its prominence in my murder will undoubtedly drive sales and lend to a second renaissance of the song, so at least some good will come out of this.

So I listen to my “safe” playlist, full of Gregorian chants and Josh Groban singles. But every so often, I find my way back on my normal playlists. So, like, a few reasonable questions might be, “How many playlists do you have ‘Tubthumping’ on?” And also, “Why can’t you wait until you get home to listen to it?” And the answers are “More than you’d think but fewer than I’d prefer,” and “Life is too short to listen to only the music you’d want to be listening to when you are found in a sewer!”

So I’m left to choose between my curated safe music and the music I like. Or paying for Spotify Premium and the ability to quickly hop over to another song so I can be known as something I’d prefer, like the “Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine present ‘On Your Feet! The Musical — The Story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’ Murder Girl.”

Or, you know, the town of Chapel Hill could invest in a few more street lamps so the feelings of imminent doom on late-night walks home would subside a bit. Either would work.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.