Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

This was a very enjoyable song by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. It was very different than what was on the radio at the time. It was released in 1982 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK Charts, and #2 in Canada. The song was written by lead singer Kevin Rowland.

I really thought this band would score another hit but they ended up a one hit wonder…one thing that didn’t help was when they were opening up for David Bowie in France, Kevin Rowland called Bowie a bad copy of Bryan Ferry and later he told the British press: “We only agreed to the show because France is an important market for us – not because I have any respect for Bowie”… Not a smart thing to do.

From Songfacts.

This song is based on a true story. Eileen was a girl that Kevin Rowland grew up with. Their relationship became romantic when the pair were 13, and according to Rowland, it turned sexual a year or two later.

Rowland was raised Catholic and served as an altar boy in church. Sex was a taboo subject, and considered “dirty” – something that fascinated him. When he wrote this song, Rowland was expressing the feelings of that adolescent enjoying his first sexual relationship and dreaming of being free from the strictures of a buttoned-down society:

You in that dress
My thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty

The song describes the thin line between love and lust.

 

“Come On Eileen”

Come on Eileen

Come on Eileen

Poor old Johnnie Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
But he moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried
Sang along
Who’d blame them?

You’ve grown (you’re 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
Oh, come on Eileen

Come on Eileen

These people ’round here
Wear beaten-down eyes sunk in smoke-dried faces
They’re so resigned to what their fate is

But not us (no, never)
No, not us (no, never)
We are far too young and clever
Remember

Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye
Eileen I’ll hum this tune forever

Come on Eileen
Oh, I swear what (what he means)
Ah, come on let’s take off everything
Pretty red dress
Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah, come on let’s
Ah, come on Eileen

Pretty red dress
Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah, come on let’s
Ah, come on Eileen, please

Come on Eileen, too-loo-rye-aye
Come on Eileen, too-loo-rye-aye
Now you’re all grown
Now you have shown
Oh, Eileen

Say, 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-ra-loo-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

Ah, come on Eileen
Oh, I swear (what he means)
At this moment you mean everything
You in that dress,
My thoughts I confess
Well, they’re dirty
Come on Eileen

Come on Eileen

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

19 thoughts on “Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen”

  1. Great tune and one that represents what was best about the ’80s musically… a sense that rules didn’t have to be followed, an openness to new ideas and sounds. As for the band, I’ve read several lengthy articles on them and consensus is Kevin Rowland is one of the least likeable and hardest to work with men in the business. Take a look at the list of “past members” if in doubt…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a big Bowie fan here, so I had a chuckle at that. I love this song and video. The intersection in the video is on my list of places to go in London, just to say I’ve been there. I’d love to know what their other hits would have sounded like. It’s a shame this was the only one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They had a few UK hits but nothing here… I just can’t believe he would do that opening up for him lol.
      I like the sound of the song… my goal is to go to London and Liverpool one day…when that day is I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You hit on a love of mine. I’ve read so much about them. Is there not any of them still open in the same place? The Ad Lib Club is another one. Just to be in there with the history.

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      2. I don’t know of any that are still there from the 60s, but there may be something still open. It’s almost a tragedy that the most important ones have all closed. But who knew at the time they would be sought out now.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You know I may check that out.
        I was going to blog about Carnaby Street but I need to find out more… Maybe it’s just me but it looked so cool back in the 60s…now it looks like any other shopping complex…it doesn’t look special anymore from the pictures. I loved the poka dotted buildings and designs… I’m odd though…I love nehru jackets.

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      4. That is my impression of Carnaby Street now–that there are some shops with unique merchandise, but it’s not the place it was in the 60s.

        Abbey Road Studio and the crossing are cool places still. And, I can say, “I went to the Chelsea Drug Store,” with the caveat that it’s actually a McDonalds now. :/ Portobello Road is still authentic too, I think. That’s on my list of places to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Granny Takes a Trip and shops that use to be…I sometimes ebay things that came from there…of course they are crazy high. Just to have a part of history.

        I can’t believe it’s a McDonalds. My favorite part of Clockwork Orange is the record scene filmed in there.

        I would have to go to the Abbey Road crossing. They have a 24 hour web cam there…you can see people almost get hit by cars while getting photographed.

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      6. I can confirm that the crossing is just as hectic in person, haha. I haven’t looked at the webcam in awhile, but it’s always a hoot. I have actually never seen Clockwork Orange. So many people have told me how good it is, but something about the premise turns me off. I need to get over that and just watch. The Chelsea Drug Store-McDonalds looks like a ‘normal’ McDs upstairs where the entry and cashiers are, but there’s another eating area downstairs that is in very cool 60s decor. You will think you are back in the 60s. So, they’ve done their thing to make it worth a visit, imo.

        My fave movie that shows Carnaby Street in its heyday is ‘If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium’. I’ve got a draft blog post on that movie… to be finished and published one of these weeks. When I’m looking for sewing design inspiration, I often pour over internet pictures of the clothes from those 60s Carnaby Street shops, and pictures of people on the street.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Clockwork Orange…it’s a very violent disturbing movie. The violence is more real than the cartoon violence we see on movies today. I like it but I wince at times watching it. The Chelsea Drug store is the cool mirrored record shop…you probably know that though.

        I’ll have to put that movie on my list.
        I love the clothes of that era. The design of shirts, jackets etc. It was different and had personality. The Mod clothes are probably my favorite. My son goes to second hand stores looking for mid sixties looking mod clothing.

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      8. The disturbing stuff is what has kept me from watching. If It’s Tuesday, is a fun, feel-good late-60s movie. In addition to having a bunch of movie stars in their early days, there are cameos by Joan Collins and Donovan.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. That is on my list now…I like Joan Collins…I like the British anthology horror movies from the early seventies and she is in a few of them.

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      10. One of my favorite actresses is in it also…Suzanne Pleshette…
        I’m such a seventies fan (nut) that my wife and I actually looked for her bedding line that came out in the seventies on ebay…she designed all the bedding on the Bob Newhart Show. I loved the patterns.

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      11. I had no idea about her designing the bedding on the show. That’s cool! If I ever knew she designed bedding, I’d long forgotten it. Now I’ll be on the lookout for for pictures of her items. She was really perfect in this role.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. As a kid I was in love with her lol. The bedding is noticeable right away on that set. Maybe you know this company but it was her line listed as “Utica JP Stevens”… sorry if I’ve commented you to death…you hit upon subjects I love.

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