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November 20, 2007

Mystery Solved

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Great song, of course. But, as people have been wondering for generations now: What the hell are those lyrics about?

Now we know.



posted by Michael at November 20, 2007


This answers the question of what the lyrics are, not what they are about. Intelligibility, alas, does not equal interpretation.

Posted by: Dylan on November 20, 2007 9:53 PM

Well, thanks for clearing that up...

Posted by: JewishAtheist on November 20, 2007 10:21 PM

I waited over forty years for this information. I'm not sure it was worth the wait.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on November 21, 2007 12:18 AM

So the song is about an extraordinarily horny Jamaican guy en route to England? Wonderful.

Posted by: do on November 21, 2007 1:05 AM

John Kerry's rockin' that guitar.

Posted by: Brian on November 21, 2007 7:11 AM

I hate to break it to you guys, but you've waited way longer than you needed to:

Posted by: Jon S. on November 21, 2007 8:02 AM

Louie, Louie was folklore in that it's indeciperability led to the belief that it was a "dirty" song and its subsequent banishment from many Midwest radio stations. This just heightened the excitement among pimply adolescents causing many of us to actually buy the record, play it on 33rpm, and attempt to decode its scandalous meaning (ala. C. Manson et. al. and the Beatles).

The song's popularity was further enhanced by the fact that is was musically bereft and easy play for most any bar band ("requests? yeah, we know that one").

Posted by: Mike Mitchell on November 21, 2007 2:54 PM

Now I wonder why we all thought "Louie, Louie" was soooo nasty? Our junior high scok hop was not allowed to play it per strict orders from the principal.

Remember when the Byrds', "Turn, Turn, Turn" was also banned at teen parties?

For an era that thought itself so outrageous, we were also quite censored...

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on November 21, 2007 3:42 PM

Great YouTube for old reunited Byrds

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on November 21, 2007 3:47 PM

Louie is the bartender he is addressing.

Posted by: Jim O'Sullivan on November 21, 2007 4:44 PM

The best story about a censored record has to be the one I heard about the Kingston Trio's "Greenback Dollar." The chorus went "I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar." So radio stations blanked out the word "damn." When the song was play in school cafeterias, guess which word kids substituted in place of "damn"?

By the way, rock writer Dave Marsh wrote an entire book on "Louie Louie."

Posted by: Tony S on November 22, 2007 12:04 AM

I remember doing the slow play-decoding thing as a kid -- bunches of us giggly girls trying as hard as we could to make it as "nasty" as our limited little imaginations could get it. Somehow we turned "we gotta go" into "wake up cold." None of us had the vaguest idea what that was supposed to mean, but we were certain that our secret knowledge made us sophisticated and mysterious to boys who were cool enough to detect such things.

Posted by: Flutist on November 22, 2007 9:54 AM

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