The song I have sung most often in my life is “Louie, Louie.”
I don’t know the words. Really.
There are two sets of lyrics – maybe three.
The original lyrics, written and performed by Richard Berry in 1955, describe a sweet island romance.
In 1963, The Kingsmen covered the song. The lead singer, Jack Ely, slurred the words. The production values sucked. Because of those things, “Louie, Louie” became one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
Oh, by the way, we are writing this in part because Ely just died at the age of 71.
By 1964, rumors spread through my high school: The lyrics of “Louie, Louie” were filthy.
“I promise I’ll never leave her again,” a sailor’s lament, became “I promise I’ll never lay her again.” Which made no sense. Read more