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« Fact Attack | Main | Elsewhere »

May 06, 2005

"Louie Louie"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Ah, 1964-65 ... One of the things I remember best about the era was trying to figure out the lyrics of The Kingsmen's song, "Louie Louie." My friends and I knew -- along with much of the rest of the country, we were completely convinced -- that these lyrics were dirty. But what were they, exactly? Because the Kingsmen's vocalist used a slurry, drunken-sounding voice, the lyrics were maddeningly hard to make out. So we'd listen to the song yet another time.

Thanks to DazeReader (who's back after a break) for pointing out this wonderful your-tax-dollars-at-work item: FBI agents also spent 1964-65 trying to puzzle out the lyrics of "Louie Louie." Interesting to learn that the FBI was never entirely sure what the lyrics were either.

Here's one of FBI's best guesses:

Tonight at ten I'll lay her again

We'll fuck your girl and by the way

And ... on the chair I'll lay her there

I felt my bone ... ah ... in her hair

"Your girl"? "Your girl"? I never guessed that one.



posted by Michael at May 6, 2005


Hmmm. I always thought it was "that girl," and later, "I felt way low . . . "

But what do I know, compared to the FBI, who are highly trained in this kind of cryptology?

Posted by: missgrundy on May 6, 2005 1:17 PM

One of my favs! But usually I just madly danced and never paid attention to the lyrics. It was the beat, man, the beat.

Posted by: susan on May 6, 2005 1:42 PM

One of the local talk-radio stations interviewed a member of the Kingsmen yesterday afternoon (three of the five original members are still touring, BTW). He never committed to what the actual lyrics were, though he was remarkably adept at avoiding the questions.

According to him, the song was intended as a reggae (!) audition tape for a gig on a cruise line (it failed in its original purpose). It gained prominence because it kept winning "worst song" contests on one local (to the band?) radio station.

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on May 6, 2005 4:20 PM

Doug - Interesting that it was a reggae tune; one of the best covers is by Toots and the Maytals.

Posted by: Brian on May 6, 2005 5:37 PM

And here I thought it was about some sailors trapped on a long road trip who have to pee.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on May 6, 2005 5:52 PM

Paul McCartney somewhere said he though it was "I blew my load, ah, in her hair", which is plausible.

Posted by: Lexington Green on May 6, 2005 7:49 PM

Plausible, but gross . . .

Posted by: missgrundy on May 7, 2005 2:31 AM

I am pretty sure that Cecil Adams laid out the lyrics in scientific detail at long ago, I will have to look it up there,

Posted by: John Cunningham on May 7, 2005 2:52 PM

You mean there were...uh...words to that song other than 'Louis Louis'??? Okay, seriously now; we drank cheap red wine and danced to this at top volume and never gave a fig what it said (except we were sure that it was quite dirty, too lol)

Posted by: Pris on May 7, 2005 7:16 PM

Huh. I didn't even know the song had lyrics. When the bandmates and I played it during high school pep rallies--even with the cheerleaders doing suggestive moves at the same time, I don't think anyone suspected. Maybe a lot of us (or maybe it was just me) were too innocent/oblivious back then.

Posted by: sya on May 8, 2005 9:07 PM

I hate shattering illusions, but I believe these are the actual lyrics:

The last time I actually danced to this song was at a fraternity toga party at Dartmouth – the same fraternity that Animal House’s “Delta” was based upon, supposedly. And my partner was a dead ringer for Bluto Blutarski. And I lost my toga. How did I live through the 70s?

Posted by: Searchie on May 8, 2005 9:27 PM

From the link above:

Louie Louie, me gotta go
Louie Louie, me gotta go
A fine girl, she wait for me
Me catch the ship across the sea
I sailed the ship all alone
I never think I'll make it home
Louie Louie, don't leave me
Louie Louie, me gotta ride

See, it is about a sailor who has to pee.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on May 9, 2005 10:30 AM

I had a cousin; From a wince she was astounding and beautiful. Just the purpose of her shell was enough to let terror slip. She turned out to be my friend and her name was "Lava". I never had any kids but would have with her, except for the siphylus that she gave. She was a chinese star.

Posted by: Beetle on May 9, 2005 4:16 PM

Woah. Don't bogart that thing, dude.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on May 12, 2005 4:33 PM

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