Lyrically Evocative (3)

In January 1979, the number one record in the UK was an unusual song from the band Ian Dury and The Blockheads. They became popular during the Punk era, and managed to continue on after its popularity faded. Dury was a very different front man and songwriter. Witty and clever, he walked with a stick, after suffering from Polio as a child. Already in his late 30s by the time of his success, he was also older than most of his contemporaries in the music scene.

The song was called ‘Hit Me With your Rhythm Stick’, and is a celebration of the international appeal of music, in every land and culture. The lyrics use amusing rhymes, numerous geographical references, and some foreign languages. But the whole thing comes together so well, it is a joy to listen to.
And it makes me think of the ways that music is made and loved, all over the world.

Here are those lyrics.

In the deserts of Sudan
And the gardens of Japan
From Milan to Yucatan
Every woman, every man
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Je t’adore, ich liebe dich,
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
Hit me slowly, hit me quick.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
In the wilds of Borneo
And the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho
Move their body to and fro.
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Das ist gut! C’est fantastique!
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
It’s nice to be a lunatic.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
In the dock of Tiger Bay
On the road to Mandalay
From Bombay to Santa Fe
Over hills and far away
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
C’est si bon, mm? Ist es nicht?
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your rhythm stick.
Two fat persons, click, click, click.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
Hit me!
Hit me!
Hit me! Ow!
Hit me!
Hit me!
Hit me! hit me!
Hit me [Repeat: x 5]

Songwriters: Charles Jeremy Jankel / Ian Robins Dury
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

And here he is, performing the song.

33 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (3)

  1. I played “New Boots and Panties” so much I nearly wore it out when it was released. I was 19, and living in South Wales. I came to live in Essex, then London a few years later, and it seemed weird to see the place names from the album on road signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nearly perfect number of beats per line (and easily could have been). I do like the lyrics, and very much appreciate the musical arrangement. The voice works well. I could have done without the screaming at the end, but it doesn’t hurt the song. It’s one I’ll listen to again!

    Liked by 1 person

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