Song Lyric Sunday – Come On Eileen

Thank you Jim Adams for the series of prompts this week for Song Lyric Sunday. With words like Come, Go, Leave and Stay I new there would be many songs to choose from. My pick is Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. This is one of those songs that always puts me in a place and time when you hear it. The video begins with some footage of 1950’s singer/songwriter Johnny Ray arriving in London. The opening lines of the song refer to him.

Hope you enjoy it and have a great Sunday.

Come On Eileen” is a song by English group Dexys Midnight Runners (credited to Dexys Midnight Runners and the Emerald Express), released in the United Kingdom on 25 June 1982 as a single from their album Too-Rye-Ay. It reached number one in the United States, and was their second number one hit in the UK, following 1980’s “Geno”. The song was written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson and Billy Adams, and was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.

“Come On Eileen” won Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards and in 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s sixth favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV. It was ranked number 18 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s. 

There are various versions of the song, some in addition to the main section featuring either an intro of a Celtic fiddle solo, or an a cappella coda both based on Thomas Moore’s Irish folk song “Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms”.

The main section begins with a Celtic-style fiddle played over a drum beat, with the bass guitar and piano providing accompaniment.

The lyrics of the song begin with the lines:

Poor old Johnnie Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
Moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried, sang along
Who would blame them?

The phrase “Come on Eileen” is used as the chorus to the song, which was loosely inspired by the song “A Man Like Me” by the 1960s British soul group Jimmy James and the Vagabonds.

The bridge of “Come On Eileen” features an improvised counter-melody which begins in a slow tempo and gets faster and faster over an accelerando vocal backing. The chord sequence of the bridge is actually the same as the verses, but transposed up by a whole tone.

Throughout the song, there are numerous tempo changes and key changes:

The 1982 music video was filmed in the inner south London suburb of Kennington in the vicinity of the corner of Brook Drive and Hayles Street, then Austral Street and Holyoak Road. The character of “Eileen” in the music video, as well as on the single cover, is played by Máire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama.

Archival footage of Johnnie Ray arriving at London Heathrow Airport in 1954 was featured in the video.

In a poll by Channel 4 a UK TV channel, the song was placed at number 38 in the 100 greatest number one singles of all time. Similar polls by the music channel VH1 placed the song at number three in the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders of all time,] number 18 in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980’s[5] and number one in the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s[14] (the group had a previous number-one single in the UK—”Geno” in 1980—but “Come On Eileen” was their only US hit). “Come on Eileen” has sold 1.33 million copies in the UK as of June 2013.

The song reached number one in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 charts during the week ending 23 April 1983. “Come on Eileen” prevented Michael Jackson from having back-to-back number one hits in the US: “Billie Jean” was the number one single the previous seven weeks, while “Beat It” was the number one song the ensuing three.

Backstory courtesy of Wiki

Lyrics
 
Come on, Eileen
Come on, Eileen
 
Poor old Johnny Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
But he moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried, sang along, who'd blame them
 
You're grown (so grown up)
So grown (so grown up)
Now I must say more than ever
(Come on, Eileen)
Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye
And we can sing just like our fathers
 
Come on, Eileen, oh I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
You in that dress, my thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty
Ah, come on, Eileen
 
Come on, Eileen
 
These people 'round here
Were beaten down, eyes sunk in smoke-dried face
They're resigned to what their fate is
But not us (no, never), no, not us (no, never)
We are far to young and clever
(Remember)
Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye
And you'll hum this tune forever
 
Come on, Eileen, oh, I swear (what he means)
Ah, come on let's take off everything
That pretty red dress, Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah, come on let's, ah, come on, Eileen
That pretty red dress, Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah come on let's, ah, come on, Eileen, please
 
Come on, Eileen, too rye aye
Come on, Eileen, too rye aye
Now you're full grown
Now you have shown
Oh, Eileen
 
Said, come on, Eileen
These things they are real and I know
How you feel
Now I must say more than ever
Things 'round here have changed
I say, too ra loo ra, too raloo rye aye
 
Come on, Eileen

Oh, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
You in that dress, my thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty
Ah, come on, Eileen
Oh, come on, Eileen
Oh, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
In that dress, oh, my thoughts I confess
Well, they're dirty
Come on, Eileen
Come on, Eileen
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: James Paterson/Kevin Rowland/Kevin Adams
Come On Eileen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
 

  20 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Come On Eileen

  1. February 16, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Come on, Christine……. xx

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

      🙂👍

  2. February 16, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Can’t help but get 80s-brain when I hear this one!

    Too raloo rye aye! Great share! 😄👍

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 11:01 am

      I always sing that part out loud! 🤣

  3. February 16, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Brilliant choice. I loveDexy’s

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Yes such a great song!

  4. February 16, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Classic choice

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 11:09 am

      It was a great song-a-long song! 🙂

  5. February 16, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Johnny Ray was popular in the 50s and some people say that he was a precursor to what would become rock and roll.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Yes I think you’re right. We had some of his records when I was a kid. They were my mum and dads

    • February 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Christine this wonderful song brings back so many wonderful memories 💜💜

      • Christine Bolton
        February 16, 2020 at 3:46 pm

        Yes this song seems to do that to many of us. Thanks Willow 🥰

      • February 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm

        💜💜💜

  6. February 16, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Took me back to High School. This song always gets stuck in my head!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      That’s good Lisa! Happy memories I hope ☺️

      • February 16, 2020 at 8:44 pm

        Yes happy memories. 😊

  7. February 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    This song has it all. Never knew the name of it or who did it, but every time it came on the radio I got dancing feet. Excellent choice and good to learn about the song.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      I did too. The song just made me so happy! Glad you liked it Lisa 🤣

  8. February 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Every Eileen I know hears me singing this song to them!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 18, 2020 at 7:41 am

      Yes! Funny though because I can’t think of anyone I know called Eileen 😀

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