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Single by Seven Mary Three
from the album American Standard
ReleasedJanuary 9, 1996
FormatCD single
RecordedJune–July 1995
at Morrisound Recording
in Tampa, FL
Songwriter(s)Jason Ross, Lenny Scrafter and Jason Pollock
Producer(s)Jason Ross, Jason Pollock, and Tom Morris
Seven Mary Three singles chronology
"Water's Edge"
Music video
"Cumbersome" on YouTube

"Cumbersome" is a song by Seven Mary Three and the lead single from their breakthrough album, American Standard. It was originally included on their independently released debut, Churn, in 1994. The single was released in 1996 and became the band's most popular and well known song. "Cumbersome" reached #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, #7 on the Modern Rock Tracks, #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, and on their list of Top Mainstream Rock Songs of the Decade, the song ranked in at #5 for 1996.[1] An acoustic version of the song is included on the "Cumbersome" and "Water's Edge" CD singles. A live version appears on Live in the X Lounge IV, released in 2001.


The original six-minute version of "Cumbersome" served as the opening track to Churn. After airing on a Florida radio station and generating great response, the song propelled Seven Mary Three to a record deal with Mammoth Records. The band then re-recorded "Cumbersome" for their Mammoth label debut album, American Standard, and the song catapulted the album to platinum status.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The lyrics describe regret over a couple's separation, particularly a woman's disinterest in her significant other. It also arguably highlights the group's songwriting abilities.[2] The song opens with guitar chords which are strummed conventionally and then strummed muted between every chord transition. This pattern carries on throughout the song. A prominent bassline is highlighted during the bridge.


Despite proving commercially successful, as the band's debut single and most popular song, "Cumbersome" has, according to some observers, pigeon-holed Seven Mary Three among the one-hit wonders of the 1990s. In a 2005 interview, drummer Giti Khalsa called the song "a blessing and a curse." He added, "It definitely was the beginning of our success. We were able to sell a lot of records because of that song and a couple others on that first record. But, at the same time, with each record that we've made - it's like the 'monkey on the back.'"[3] This was reinforced in 2003 when the band opened for 3 Doors Down on tour. The latter group, having surpassed Seven Mary Three in popularity, claimed to have covered "Cumbersome" among other Seven Mary Three songs during their early days. Khalsa also expressed disappointment in a 2003 interview where he stated that a considerable number of people leave their shows after "Cumbersome" is performed.[4]

As of 2008, "Cumbersome" allegedly receives over 500 plays a week on popular radio.[5]

Music video[edit]

The "Cumbersome" video was produced by MMG and directed by Julie Hermelin. A stripped down performance video with little-to-no story concept or special effects, it revolves entirely around the band playing the song in a bar during the day.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Cumbersome" (LP version)
  2. "Cumbersome" (acoustic version)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 8 1995
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 7 1996
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 39
Australian Singles Chart[6] 80
New Zealand Singles Chart[7] 31


  1. ^ "Top Mainstream Rock Songs Of The Decade" (December 3, 1999). Retrieved on September 6, 2008.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas Seven Mary Three - American Standard AllMusic. Retrieved on September 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Singer, Kristi Seven Mary Three comes to SpeedPark Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine The Sun News (June 24, 2005). Retrieved on September 7, 2008.
  4. ^ Cartwright, Keith Ryan Giti Khalsa of Seven Mary Three (November 2003). Retrieved on September 7, 2008.
  5. ^ Best of 2008: Seven Mary Three Ryan's Smashing Life (September 6, 2008). Retrieved on September 7, 2008.
  6. ^ "The Australian ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 02 Jun 1996". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved December 11, 2017. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  7. ^ " > Seven Mary Three in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 11, 2017.

External links[edit]