Glastonbury 2022: The history of Lily Allen's F**k You following her surprise Olivia Rodrigo duet

Never released as a single in her native UK, Allen's jaunty, explicit kiss-off has become a political anthem.

It may have took many by surprise this weekend when Olivia Rodrigo (taking a cue from her beloved idol, Taylor Swift) paused her first-ever set at Glastonbury to welcome to the stage another artist, one who she deemed "someone I absolutely adore" and an "incredible" songwriter.

That artist was Lily Allen, the equally-beloved British pop queen who, decked head to toe in Chanel, led the vast Other Stage audience in a rendition of her quirky 2009 track F**k You, taken from her graceful second album It's Not Me, It's You. 

Olivia dedicated the explicit kiss-off track to the five US Supreme Court justices who last week voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, in a widely criticised move. Naming each by name, Olivia deftly re-purposed F**k You's original political message (which criticises the far-right politician's views on gender, sexuality and race) for 2022, allowing old fans to re-experience it and for new ones to discover it (and Lily herself) for the first time.

Going widely viral over the weekend, Olivia's performance proved that the magic of Lily Allen's music career is still fondly remembered by many both in the UK and beyond. F**k You was never actually released as a single in the UK, but it still forms an intrinsic part of It's Not You, It's Me and its modern-day resurgence is only further proof that the explicit lambast - originally written to dunk on former BNP head Nick Griffin and US President George W Bush - is totally malleable in its deployment.

Written by Lily and the song's producer, Greg Kurstin (who worked on the entirety of It's Not Me, It's You and proved to be her most valued collaborator) F**k You's jaunty, kitschy production, all piano and jagged synths, is a merry juxtaposition to its lyrics. The main hook of the song is, of course, not for the delicate of hearing. Not only is it entirely memorable but it, like a large portion of Lily's second album, is very, very funny. It makes a serious political point, yes, but in allowing to turn the arguments of the far-right into one big joke, Lily proves she understands the true point of satire... to skewer something so everyone can see how ridiculous it truly is.

After this weekend's Glastonbury performance, we of course had to do some digging on the track. According to Official Charts Company data, to date F**k You has shifted 513,000 chart units in the UK - a very impressive statistic for a song that was never released as a single here (although it was a successful chart hit in many European countries in the summer of 2009).

MORE: Lily Allen's Official Charts history in full

F**k You's UK streaming figures are equally impressive, with 45 million audio and video streams, including just over 4 million plays in 2022 alone - though no doubt after Glasto this number could very well rise. The track also has never quite reached the Official Singles Chart Top 100 (though we will be keeping a close eye this week...)

As for Lily herself, a post on Instagram hinted that the swell of public support for her Glastonbury appearance has re-energised her focus on her music career. She hasn't released an album since 2018's Mercury Prize-nominated No Shame, which peaked within the Official UK Top 10. Since then, Lily left her long-standing record label, Parlophone, and is now apparently operating as an independent artist. To date, she has two UK Number 1 albums (It's Not Me, It's You and the vastly underrated Sheezus) and 15 Top 40 singles including three Number 1s (Smile, The Fear and Somewhere Only We Know).