April 11, 2013
Happy International Louie Louie Day!
For a silly song about a sailor returning to his long lost love this song has gotten a lot of odd press.
In February 1964, an outraged parent wrote to Robert Kennedy, then the Attorney General of the United States, alleging that the lyrics of “Louie Louie” were obscene. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the complaint. In June 1965, the FBI laboratory obtained a copy of the Kingsmen recording and, after two years of investigation, concluded that the recording could not be interpreted, that it was “unintelligible at any speed,” and therefore the Bureau could not find that the recording was obscene. In September 1965, an FBI agent interviewed one member of the Kingsmen, who denied that there was any obscenity in the song.
The lyrics controversy resurfaced briefly in 2005 when the superintendent of the school system in Benton Harbor, Michigan, refused to let the marching band at one of the schools play the song in a parade. She later relented.
April 25, 1987 was declared as “Louie Louie Day” in Washington state as declared by the Washington State Senate. This was as far as the legislature was willing to go along with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek campaign to make Louie Louie the official state song of Washington. On that day, a rally and performance were held at the State Capitol in Olympia, which featured a number of performers including the Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Thurston County Commissioner George Barner.
Here are the lyrics in case you want to sing it loud and proud! I honestly didn’t know there were any actual words to this song except Louie Louie. I also think the louder you play this song the better it gets!
Louie Louie, oh no
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Louie Louie, oh baby
Me gotta goFine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it homeCHORUS
Three nights and days I sail the sea
Think of girl, constantly
On that ship, I dream she’s there
I smell the rose in her hair.
Okay, let’s give it to ’em, right now!
See Jamaica, the moon above
It won’t be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I’ll never leave again
Let’s take it on outa here now