Callum’s 30 Day Song Challenge #8: A Song To Which You Know Hardly Any Of The Words
April 4, 2011
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Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
For those playing at home, today’s song was meant to be “A Song You Know All The Words To.” I had a few problems with this description. As Declan pointed out to me yesterday, one should never end a sentence in a preposition. This is extremely hypocritical of me, given my grasp of English grammar, but this one I did notice. Secondly, there are hundreds of songs to which I know all the lyrics, and to narrow it down to just one would be ludicrous. So I give you a song to which I know hardly any of the lyrics.
This isn’t through lack of trying because it is a rocking good tune, and is one of the most influential tunes of all times. No matter how many times I’ve listened to it I cannot make out words. It appears I’m not the only one as well. In 1964, the song was investigated by the FBI (yes, the FBI) after an outraged parent had written to Robert Kennedy, claiming the song was obscene. After TWO YEARS of investigation, they concluded the song to be “unintelligible at any speed”
One of my favourite things about it is the easiness of it. The band paid $36 for the recording studio, walked in, recorded the song in one take, then left. In fact, at 1.55 in the above recording, lead singer Jack Ely comes in too early and forcing the band to play out of sync for a few bars until covered by a drum fill. It’s these sorts of quirks that really makes older music more interesting.
I’m sure many of you will know this song. It has been covered by countless musicians (including Iggy Pop, and Smashing Pumpkins) but for those less interested in classic rock, just try and interpret the lyrics.