Editor’s note: This article is definitive proof that my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied will never run out of material. The world is a bottomless pit of content, man.
So yeah, there have been a ton of great songs that feature stuttering. Again, I know this is an odd topic but this website is an eclectic and sometimes mystifying place so deal with it. Hey, you clicked on the link for some reason, not me. So without further ado, I give you my Top 12 songs that include stuttering. I can’t believe I just typed that.
12. Saturday Night – Bay City Rollers
Gonna rock it up
Roll it up
Do it all, have a ball
Note: These guys were actually advertised as being the next Beatles. Hilarity. Catchy tune though.
11. My Sharona – The Knack
Never gonna stop, give it up.
Such a dirty mind. Always get it up for the touch
Of the younger kind. My my my i yi woo!
M M M My Sharona.
Yeah, I know. Those lyrics don’t really hold up well. Still, you can’t beat the “My my my I yi woo!” though. Timeless.
Note 2: These guys were also lauded as the new Beatles. They weren’t. Fun band though.
10. Lola – The Kinks
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
Believe me when I say that the lyrics get even more interesting from there.
9. Movin’ Out – Billy Joel
Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin’ his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door
She said, Sonny, move out to the country
Workin’ too hard can give you
A heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack
You oughta know by now.
That’s really sort of a backwards stutter though, right? It’s at the end rather than the beginning. Still a stutter to me and it’s my site so there.
Update: Billy actually stutters another time in the song when he sings “M-m-m-Mamma Leone left a note on the door …”. Just noticed that.
8. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman Turner Overdrive
Oooh, oooh she looked at me with big brown eyes and said,
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
Here’s something that you never gonna forget
B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet.
Just stuttering aplenty in this one. It’s also a great, great song.
7. Jaded – Aerosmith
Hey j-j-jaded, you got your mama’s style
But you’re yesterday’s child to me
You think that’s where it’s at
But is that where it’s supposed to be
You’re gettin’ it all over me and serrated.
Did I ever tell you the story of meeting the boys from Aerosmith? Of course I did. Still, here’s the link from February of 2016.
Here it is: Back around 1978 Aerosmith was on a bit of a downward spiral. Something about drug addictions and whatnot. Anyway, it was after “Dream On” but before the album “Permanent Vacation” marked their return to prominence. A friend of mine was a regional roadie, one of those guys who doesn’t travel with the bands but works a certain area where he helps set up shows and the like. Well, he had backstage passes to Aerosmith and asked if I wanted one.
I watched the show (not so good actually – something about drug addictions and whatnot) then headed backstage for the festivities. I don’t really know how to explain it other than saying it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. Lots of girls, drugs, alcohol, and things I didn’t recognize and haven’t seen since. Rock and Roll decadence at its highest form. Back in those days I blended right in. My hair was as long as theirs and I looked like a taller Charley Manson, minus the God complex and murderous intentions (well, maybe just the murderous intentions).
I worked my way over to Steven Tyler and struck up a conversation, probably saying something witty and insightful like “nice show” which incidentally would have been a complete lie. He looked at me through glazed-over eyes and offered me a beer (for the record, it was a Stroh’s – dead serious). One thing led to another and I ended up on a couch sitting between Tyler and Joe Perry.
Kids, there once existed a picture of me, between those two, all three of us holding up a beer for the camera with half-crazed smiles on our faces. Later, in one of the dumbest moves of my life, I gave the picture to a girl I was dating, who displayed it proudly on her apartment wall. Sadly, when we had an ugly break-up, she hit me where it hurt most – she burned the picture.
For years I waited for her to show up and say she had really kept the picture, then hand it to me with a smile. That moment never happened, but there’s still hope, right? Right?
6. My Generation – The Who
Why don’t you all f-fade away (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Don’t try to dig what we all s-s-s-say (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I’m not trying to ’cause a big s-s-sensation (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation (talkin’ ’bout my generation).
Quite possibly the first stuttering song I ever heard. The Who used to use it to end their shows, just before they destroyed everything on set.
PS – Thanks to Paul Cunningham for pointing out I forgot to include it originally!
5. Katmandu – Bob Seger
I think that’s where I’m going to
If I ever get out of here
I’m going to Katmandu!
I’m pretty sure Seger had never been to Katmandu (Kathmandu is the correct spelling by the way) but he’s said it just sounded like an exotic and cool place to want to go to.
4. Back in the U.S.S.R. – The Beatles
Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-my mind.
You knew I’d include The Beatles, right? Again, sort of a reverse stutter but I love it.
3. Changes – David Bowie
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes, don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes, just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time.
Such an iconic song and one of my all-time favorites. I read a great story about the time Bowie was at rehearsals, paused, and asked his backup singers to sing without accompaniment. Turns out that for 2 1/2 months they’d been singing “turn and face the strain” rather than “turn and face the strange.” On a related note, now that I read that back it’s not that interesting. Gorgeous song though.
2. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood
On the day I was born
The nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said “leave this one alone”
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone.
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone.
One of the greatest rock songs ever, I always loved this George Thorogood cover. I also love the “B-B-B-B-Bad” repeated over and over. Good stuff.
And now, here’s #1 …
Bennie and The Jets – Elton John
Say, Candy and Ronnie. Have you seen them yet?
Ooh, but they’re so spaced out
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Oh, but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh, Bennie. She’s really keen
She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
Bennie and the Jets.
One of my favorite Elton songs, and it reminds me of a few years ago when I had a kid from Seneca H.S. in northern Ohio come to one of my basketball camps. His name was Bennie, and of course I sang “B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets” to him constantly. Kid had no idea was I was singing about.
So there you go kids. What did I miss?
Dave Shoemaker is a retired teacher, athletic director and basketball coach with most of his professional years spent at Paint Valley. He also served as the national basketball coach for the island country of Montserrat in the British West Indies. He lives in Southern Ohio with his best friends and companions, his dogs Sweet Lilly and Hank. He can be reached at https://shoeuntied.wordpress.com/.