November 8th, 2012

Just for fun: streetwalking

[NOTE: We need a little relaxation today, don’t we? Here’s a repost of something I wrote in January of 2010. Enjoy.]

See the way he walks down the street
Watch the way he shuffles his feet—

He’s a Rebel” was one of those wonderful girl-group numbers that entertained us in the early 60s. It’s also one of a host of rock songs that walk the walk in addition to talking the talk—that is, they feature the words “walk” and “street” (or its variant, “road”), either in title or lyrics.

That got me to thinking of all the other oldies but goodies (or in some cases not-so-very-oldies, and sometimes not-so-very-goodies) that contain the words “walk” or “street.” “He’s a Rebel,” with its glorification of the perennial bad boy, almost inevitably led me to the Shangri-Las‘ paean to another rebellious-but-lovable hottie: “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” (“he’s good-bad, but he’s not evil”):

And now let us shift from badass street-walking boys to alluring street-walking (although not in the professional sense) girls—or shall we say “women:”

And just as The Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” led to the Shangri-Las’ “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” the great Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” (“walkin’ down the street…I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth/
No one could look as good as you) almost inevitably leads to The Doors’ “Hello, I Love You” (“she’s walkin’ down the street…sidewalk crouches at her feet/like a dog that begs for something sweet”)…

And then, if you want to continue to talk about resemblances (in theme, if not in musical style), there’s also “The Girl From Ipanema” (“the girl from Ipanema goes walking…And when she passes, he smiles/but she doesn’t see”):

Which leads us to the newer hit “You’re Beautiful” (“she caught my eye/As we walked on by…And I don’t think that I’ll see her again”), which to me seems to express a version of the same unquenched yearning:

And here, without further ado or commentary (but with You Tube links for every one), and in no particular order, are the others that popped into my head:

Love Street
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Boogie Street
I Get Around
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Long and Winding Road
Walk on By
When You Walk in the Room
You’re So Vain
Country Roads
Blowin in the Wind
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

But that’s just my little list. It turns out the someone else has been down this road before. And a much much longer road than mine it is.

[ADDENDUM: How could I have left out “Walk Away Renee?” To remedy that shameful omission, I’ll post the You Tube video:

26 Responses to “Just for fun: streetwalking”

  1. Donna B. Says:

    “Walking After Midnight”

    ~I walk for miles, along the highway~

  2. parker Says:

    Thanks for the memories. I have no Shangri-las songs stuck in my brain so I haven’t thought about them for decades. Walk Away Renee is a haunting song. Jackie’s When You Walk in the Room is a wonderful pop song that has been recorded by many over the years. The Searchers did my favorite version.

    And then there is walking on the moon.

  3. david foster Says:

    Jackson Browne, Take it Easy (runnin down the road)

    Lots of good trucking songs, for example, David Lynn Jones’s “Bonnie Jean”

  4. LAG Says:

    I love women with hips. Thanks for the Shangri-Las.

  5. parker Says:

    Hips are a good thing to hold onto.

  6. parker Says:

    My all time favorite trucking song and Sawyer Brown’s version is better than the original:

  7. The Judge Says:

    This post is one of the reasons I love this blog. One can take only so much of today’s punditry. What a breath of fresh air! Thanks!

  8. physicsguy Says:

    Damn Neo! Now I’m off to spend money to put some of these on my iPod! How could I forget them???

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    Dr. Hook – Walk right in 1977

    James Taylor – Walking Man

  10. Judith Says:

    Look Through Any Window by the great Hollies has “walkin’ down the street”

    Although my favorite one of theirs is Bus Stop – which clearly takes place on the street, but doesn’t contain the word:

    Then there’s Walk Right In – Rooftop Singers:

    And, Walk Right Back – The Everly Brothers:

  11. davisbr Says:

    Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman has been my favourite song since the second I first heard it pouring on a cheap Japanese AM radio that was my pride.

    I wore out the first 45 single of it that I purchased. I played it over and over (I was a hopeless geek romantic from the git-go, and that song captured my yearnings like no other).

    …his original version is still the best (the one listed isn’t my favourite: too much noodling, not enough pop).

    I like this one much better; a younger Orbison, original band, original release.

    Here’s a 1964 version, that I recall seeing on TV back then.

    The song the reason the movie ranks high on my romantic-comedy favourites list too (yeah, yeah: I know, I know …I’m not happy about the cast’s politics either …so what’s new).

  12. Gringo Says:

    I didn’t know about Dionne Warwick singing a song by the title of Walk on By. I must have heard it. I just don’t remember it. I knew a different song by the title of Walk on By as sung by Leroy Van Dyke.

    Our Dodger posted a version of “Walk Right In.”Many years ago I was fond of a version of the SAME SONG- in contrast to Warwick/Van Dyke- by Gus Cannon. It was on a Country Blues album.

  13. Gringo Says:

    I don’t know if driving a team of oxen/mules? is the equivalent of walking on a street, but here is Odetta singing I’ve Been Driving on Bald Mountain. So goes free association.

  14. M J R Says:

    Roy Orbison was known for his quasi-operatic ballads (Oh Pretty Woman is not one of those (smile), even if it was his biggest hit) — such as “Running Scared”, “Crying”, “In Dreams”, “It’s Over”. [NOTE — I’ve been a ^major^ Roy Orbison fan since 1960’s “Only The Lonely”.]

    Neo and any others so inclined, try “Walk On”, a single from 1968 that was one of his very ^smallest^ hits:

    (There’s a brief advertisement before the music begins; sorry. — M J R)

    Small sales but a big voice.

  15. parker Says:

    Look Through Any Window is a fantastic pop song. The opening chords and the great harmonies of the Hollies make it a classic. Thanks for the reminder.

    Dinosaurs may return before another man can pack as much emotion into a song as Roy Orbison. One of his last songs rivals the beauty of Blue Bayou for me. Perhaps because reflects how I feel about my girl.

    “I live my life to be with you.”

  16. Judith Says:

    This is addictive – one more:
    “Here Comes My Baby” – The Tremeloes:
    (Walking with a love that’s oh so fine, never to be mine)

  17. M J R Says:

    parker, 12:10 am writes,

    “One of [Roy Orbison’s] last songs [“You Got It”] rivals the beauty of Blue Bayou for me. Perhaps because reflects how I feel about my girl.”

    Try on for size, if you will, another beaut from the same LP (1989, posthumous) — “California Blue”:

    M J R

  18. parker Says:


    I have Here Comes My Baby on vinyl! Dig this one:


    That is another great one from Roy. This Ray Davies/Kinks classic is probably obscure to most people, but a classic IMO:

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    These boots were made for walking, and walkings what they do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you…

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    i was thinking…
    that music has something important to say
    and if we deviate from walking only…
    we can hear its messages.

    [for the purists, you cant go by a tavern unless your moving. presumably walking not driving… ]

    Mary Hopkin Those were the days

    but that was not the original!!
    i think its apropos that we hear the original

    Those were the days (The original Russian song) – Дорогой длинною

    From art, and music, we never realized we were singing the same songs… Sadly, when one does this, one romanticized the living condition of the other, and so it becomes desired and copied. which was the purpose of doing so…

    Walters & Kazha – The War Is Not Over

    i said it before. and i will say it again.
    American freedom fighters died almsot 300 years ago..

    Latvian freedom fighters are still alive today

    300 years ago, many Americans died for liberty. less than 30 years ago, Latvians died for liberty that Americans just tossed away this election.

    so i decided to put this up in honor to the five who lost their lives in the struggle for Independence on 20 January 1991, so that someone will remember them as brothers in freedom…

    Vladimir Gomanovich
    Sergei Kononenko
    Andris Slapins
    Edijs Reikstins (high school student)
    Gvido Zvaigzne

    Edijs Reikstins was killed by soviet special forces. its very hard to find stuff about him. a lot in books, but almost no articles.

    Photo Exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the barricades of 1991


    So firm was our stubbornness, our resolve, our will – to be free

    We would be free

    That conviction came from our parents, and grandparents stories, from our ancestral legends, from our memories of our childhood and our youth which had taken root in our senses and our conscience so forcibly that even an axe could not excise them, from old photographs or the pages of a book that bear testimony that once there was a Latvia

    On Sunday, January 20, 1991, the black berets attacked and took over the Interior Ministry in Riga, Latvia.

    Five people were killed, all by gunfire, and ten were wounded. Three of the dead were killed in a park near the
    Ministry, apparently by sharp-shooters. The three were Andris Slapins and Gvido Zvaigzne, two Latvian members of a film crew working for the well-known Soviet film director Juris Podnieks, and Edijs Riekstins, a high school student, who was shot in the abdomen. Vladimir Gomonovich, a Senior Lieutenant of Police, was shot in the neck, and Sergei
    Kanonenko, a police inspector, was shot in the head.

    The sixth fatal casualty in Latvia occurred earlier in the week, on January 16, when 39-year-old Roberts Murnieks, chauffeur for the Latvian Minister of Transportation, was stopped for unknown reasons by Soviet troops. He died after being shot in the back of the head.

    Before the attack on the Interior Ministry building, Soviet troops arrested five people, charging them with
    possession of weapons.

    Until June 1991, the central government was silent about the events of January 1991. The Soviet prosecutor’s office, headed by General Nikolai Trubin, issued a statement on June 3, 1991, that denied all reports that victims of the January 13 attack were crushed by tanks or shot by Soviet troops.

  21. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Walkin’ After Midnight, sung by the great Patsy Cline. I can’t figure out how to post a link on the tablet I’m using, but it’s on YouTube and worth looking up.

  22. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Also, it’s WELL worth looking up for those of you who mentioned an interest in hips. 🙂

  23. M J R Says:

    parker (2:17 am) recommended a “Ray Davies/Kinks classic [that] is probably obscure to most people, . . .” including to M J R. So thanks for the recommendation! — M J R

  24. parker Says:

    “Also, it’s WELL worth looking up for those of you who mentioned an interest in hips.”

    We evil white males be lost without those shapely hips.

  25. rickl Says:

    I seem to remember you saying awhile back that you were thinking of writing a post about “Walk Away Renee”. I don’t remember seeing it.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible that you wrote it, I read it, and even commented on it. My memory is notoriously untrustworthy.

    P.S.: Another vote for hips here.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl: good memory! You are correct. I have a draft of a post, waiting for a slow day. There haven’t been too many slow days recently :-).

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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