Random thoughts on art, technology, stuff, and occasionally Real Estate: Friday Classics: Louie Louie

Friday Classics: Louie Louie


"Louie Louie" has become a standard in pop and rock, performed by high school marching bands, rock bands, punk bands, you name it.

"Louie Louie" was originally written by Richard Berry in 1955 as a calypso-style ballad, that told in simple verse-chorus form, the story of a Jamaican sailor returning to the island to see his lady. The singer brags of his "fine little girl" to Louie, presumably a bartender.

A jubilant rock and roll version, with little trace of the song's calypso origins, was recorded in 1963 by The Kingsmen and became a national and international hit.

The Kingsmen's lyrics were widely misheard and misinterpreted and became the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed (but non-existent obscenity) of the lyrics, an investigation that ended without prosecution.

Without further ado ... here is the well-known Kingsmen version:

One by Iggy Pop with some inventive lyrics

The Grateful Dead version is a trip

Here are the original Richard Berry lyrics




Cheryl Johnson // Bob Tayor Properties, Inc.


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Comment balloon 6 commentsCheryl Johnson • November 16 2007 07:00AM


I'm in!  Bookmarked!

The far-reaching power of AR:  Thousands of people scouring YouTube for good stuff like this.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 10 years ago
I remember being at camp and when Louie,Louie came on the radio, we would turn up the volume to try and hear the alleged dirty lyrics. Of course when the imagination kicks in ,we came up with some interesting versions.
Posted by Al Maxwell, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams) over 10 years ago

Hey Cheryl,

Thanks for sharing that classic. Amazing how many different well known bands recorded this song.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 10 years ago
One of my all time favorites. I remember hearing about the investigation and couldn't believe it. I always cranked the volume up when it came on. Don't remember the Shindig version but I am glad you brought it up. I can see how it could get misconstrued. I know we as kids tried. LOL
Posted by Jay McGillicuddy, Real Estate Broker (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 10 years ago
Cheryl, I love that you posted the lyrics, I never could figure them out!  Funny that I don't remember any rumors of them being offensive, I just knew I loved the beat :)  Now I finally know what they were singing!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 10 years ago

Cheryl, I remember those rumoors...LOL! I actually saw the Kingsmen in Concert.... This song is an all time classic..... I become a dancing machine when It comes on.....


Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 10 years ago