Sunday, July 21, 2013

Story Songs: Under the Boardwalk

I think one of the coolest songs to listen to on a hot summer day is "Under the Boardwalk," a hit song for the fabulous Drifters in 1964.

The smooth-sounding song, with Johnny Moore the lead vocalist, was written by Arthur Resnick and Kenny Young. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard pop chart. 

The opening lines set the mood for a sweltering day, probably on the Jersey shore:

"Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire proof"

And from under the boardwalk, you hear and smell the activity on the boardwalk:

"From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel
Mmmm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and french fries they sell."

But it's being with his girl that provides that great escape from the heat:

"Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be."

There were three versions of the song,  according to Wikipedia, and they had to do with the line:

"(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love"

The original had "...we'll be falling in love"

The second had "we'll be making love"

And the third had a combination of the three.

The second was considered too controversial, and was banned by many radio stations. In the combo, "making love" was in the first two verses and "falling in love" in the last.

The song has been covered by everyone from The Rolling Stones to Lynn Anderson to the Tom Tom Club. Rolling Stone magazine ranks it No. 489 on its top 500 songs of all time.

The Drifters, who were formed in 1953, have gone through numerous personnel changes through the years. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Among the famous members have been Clyde McPhatter, Bill Pinkney, Ben E. King, and Rudy Lewis. 

I've included a version of the song by the current Drifters.

"Under the Boardwalk" lyrics




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