Produced by

Too Rye Ay

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The hip insiders at Pitchfork recently gave high marks to a reissue of "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels," the 1980 debut album from Dexys Midnight Runners. But most Americans know this British pop-soul group as a one-hit wonder that brought us something else: the oft-covered '80s standard "Come on Eileen." Squaring off on this karaoke staple are: Steve Almond, author of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Live and music writer Gary Burton.

Today's Playlist:

1. "Come On Eileen" - Dexys Midnight Runners (Too-Rye-Ay)

2. "Come On Eileen" - Save Ferries (It Means Everything)


Steve Almond and Gary Burton

Comments [21]

Mary Crescenzo from Peekskill, NY

I tuned in a bit late but was wondering if anyone mentioned that the reference to Johny Ray had significance in the fact that his career was destroyed when he was accused of child molestation. "Come on, Eileen," takes on a different meaning with this in mind.

Oct. 27 2010 01:31 PM
Marygold H. from Bklyn

'not a "butt end" of one-hit-wonder-jokes'

Maura, I totally agree w/ you and here Kevin is alive in UK.

Oct. 26 2010 03:52 PM
Maura from Brooklyn

I neither love nor hate "Come On Eileen," but it's always bothered me that so many Americans think it's the only thing Dexys Midnight Runners ever did. Dexys were an often brilliant, always distinctive hybrid of punk, soul, and Celtic influences, and their first album in particular was (much as I hate to agree with Pitchfork about anything) a great record, start to finish. Listen to "Burn It Down" or "Geno," and you'll be left with a very different impression of the band. Kevin Rowland is a true original, for better and for worse, and the band deserves to be remembered for more than "Come On Eileen."

Oct. 26 2010 02:42 PM
art525 from Park Slope

John you mocked the band names from the 80s. How bout Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and all those other bands whose names are a whole sentence. I always imagine some guy from a band sitting next to some guy on an airplane. "What do you do"? and having to rattle off the name of his group-"...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead".

And you mention Kajagoogoo- how bout Lady Gaga?

Oct. 26 2010 02:34 PM
Marygold H. from Bklyn

Ladies and gentlemen, remembering this tune as just one hit wonder is very limited American imagination. Kevin Rowland has reached his rock royalty status in UK scene years before--I am not sure if this is his kind of thing, though, given his ultimate rebel posture; anybody knows his days of crack addiction and drag phase before his real come back?--- and the reason is simply his very embodiment of UK rock history. Irish-Irish folks do love him as well for his 'Celtic Soul' statement and his representation as Irish descent grew up in UK. "Eileen" is simply his representative song, not an end of one hit wonder jokes.

Oct. 26 2010 02:33 PM
Mike from Tribeca

I disagree with some of the comments here decrying the inanity of the subject of this segment. I'd love to hear an entire show on supremely silly 1970's Brit pub rock bands. If nothing else, it would be funny as all get out.

Oct. 26 2010 02:26 PM
Rabbi Dan from New York

It never occurred to me before your show, but the actual melody that undergirds "Come On Eileen" is actually a rhythmic augmentation of the catchy Blues Brothers vamp. Think about it... Thank you Oberlin for giving me the tools to uncrack the code!

Oct. 26 2010 02:26 PM

while this sound does not merit a whole conversation on this show, i don't mind if you discuss it, just please don't play it again - not even for a second...please!

Oct. 26 2010 02:21 PM
Frank Grimaldi from East Village

That riciculous look that you guys are referring to was worn by ever other club kid. (Remember Dancetaria which you discussed last week) There were several bands wearing that look as well including members of Culture Club other than Boy George.

Oct. 26 2010 02:20 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Brits heh? Since first seeing the cover art for "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels" I've always thought they were Irish.

Oct. 26 2010 02:18 PM
Emily from ny

its fun!

Oct. 26 2010 02:17 PM
a g from n j

is not part of the "problem" that we unfairly evaluate a tune simply because it is a one hit wonder. rock snobs just can't wrap their cynical little neurons around that.

Oct. 26 2010 02:13 PM

The sax player in Dexy is the sax player in Black 47...Geoff (can'gt remember his last name). Any similarities in Celtic plus punk...

Oct. 26 2010 02:13 PM
linda from ocean, NJ

I can't believe you are doing this show! My husband and I joke about this song all the time. It is our benchmark song we against which we measure all things unlistenable in pop music. Except MAYBE "Lady in Red".

Oct. 26 2010 02:12 PM
mjfrombuffalo from NYC

It's fun and peppy and gets your toe tapping for the first 20 seconds, but like honey straight from the jar, it becomes cloying and sickening really fast.

Oct. 26 2010 02:11 PM
Elwood D. Pennypacker from Brooklyn

Really? A whole segment on this song? Really?

Anyway, my girlfriend is named Eileen and dislikes any mention or reference to this song (except for when she sang it to herself at karaoke). So of course now I'm sick of it. Still this improvement over the situation with my previous girlfriend, whose name was Roxanne. I hate THAT song.

Oct. 26 2010 02:09 PM
Freddy Jenkins

I was a child when this song came on the radio and recall my siblings and I getting raucous to this.
I still love this song!

Oct. 26 2010 02:09 PM
Lisa from US

"Come on Eileen" is an over-played college bar song. AND The words are offensive (if you can even understand them).

Oct. 26 2010 01:43 PM
Pete from London

I think the name Dexy's Midnight Runners comes from dextroamphetamine/dexedrine, a speed like drug use at Northern Soul nights in the UK in the 70s. So it's not quite as nonsensical as those other names that UK bands had in the 80s.

Oct. 26 2010 12:56 PM
Orla from manhattan

John, not Jon, Schaefer. Sorry!

Oct. 26 2010 12:47 PM
Orla from manhattan

Mention of that song brings me back. It was one guaranteed to get everyone onto the floor at my teen discos.
All this just an excuse to make a general observation that Jon Schaefer you do a fabulous job of making a music program interesting--this from someone who's not particularly into music and never, before now, could endure prorgrams about music.

Oct. 26 2010 12:45 PM

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