Thirty years old this year, this House of Pain classic "Jump Around" has become an undeniable Irish American anthem.
“Jump Around” made frontman Everlast and the rest of House of Pain a household name. The magic has lasted to this day, 30 years after the record was released.
The music video for Jump Around was filmed during the 1992 New York City Saint Patrick's Day parade. Fittingly, the head of Guinness, Connie Doolan, was Grand Marshal. Portions of the video were filmed during the parade route as well as in Central Park and Old Town Bar and Restaurant.
The song has been featured in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, The Rookie, Rush Hour, Happy Gilmore, Kiss of Death, Detention, Ready to Rumble, Black Hawk Down, Jack Reacher, Turbo, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, War Dogs, Central Intelligence, and Bridget Jones's Baby.
It has been used as well in the television series "My Name Is Earl," and in a Pringles commercial in the late 1990s. It also features as darts player Gary Anderson's walk-on music. Also, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon lip-synched the song in an annual "Lip Sync Battle" against actor and former NBA Basketball player Shaquille O'Neal on April 3, 2017.
It is danced to at home football games at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, students Jump Around to the song between the third and fourth quarters.
But not generally known is that composer DJ Muggs first offered it to a Latino group Cypress Hill instead.
“I’ll tell you a little story that I don’t tell many people," Cypress Hill's Sen Dog told Cueball of Medium in August 2016.
"Muggs gave us the music to 'Jump Around' first for some reason. It was the only time in my life that I could not come up with a good idea to one of Muggs’ songs. So I gave it back to him and told him to give it to Everlast and… boom. That was the last time I told myself I can’t or I won’t. I would not allow another [mental] block after that, because I missed out on a great song (laughs).”
House of Pain portrayed themselves as rowdy Irish American hooligans. They toured with various rap and alternative-rock bands such as The Ramones, Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine after their breakthrough. They participated together with Helmet, along with several other rap acts, on the influential 1993 rock-rap collaborative "Judgment Night" movie soundtrack (Everlast also played a villain in the film). The group eventually disbanded in 1996, and Everlast once again pursued a solo career.
As Maxim magazine noted, in that summer of ‘92, "Jump Around" became the coolest hit.
“Something about ‘Jump Around’ hit in the summer of '92. Maybe it was the genre mash-up of hip-hop, punk, and jazz. Maybe it was song's edge, which was harder than Vanilla Ice but more palatable to N.W.A. Or maybe it was the clear, understandable directive to ‘jump around.’"
"Danny Boy" has his own explanation, as he told Spin in 2012: "It’s the kind of shit you can put a lampshade on your head and act an idiot to."
In 2016, however, Everlast took aim at Donald Trump for using the song: "I've been informed [Donald Trump] is using 'Jump Around' at his rallies.
"Stop playing my song, you ignorant racist piece of s--t. Lawyers are already on it. I don't want your money. No amount you offer will get the license. I would love to meet you and smack that comb-over right off your scalp, you scumbag!!!"
* Originally published in 2017, updated in March 2022.
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