"Play That Funky Music" as written by and Robert W. Parissi....
Hey do it now yeah hey

Yeah, there was a funky singer
Playin' in a rock and roll band
And never had no problems yeah
Burnin' down one night stands
And everything around me, yeah
Got to stop to feelin' so low
And I decided quickly, yes I did
To disco down and check out the show
Yeah they was

Dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down that boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, oh till you die

I tried to understand this
I thought that they were out of their minds
How could I be so foolish (How could I)
To not see I was the one behind
So still I kept on fighting
Well, loosing every step of the way
I said, I must go back there (I got to go back)
And check to see if things still the same
Yeah they was dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, ya
Till you die

(Gonna play that electified funky music, yeah)

(Hey, wait a minute)
Now first it wasn't easy
Changin' Rock and Roll and minds and things were getting shaky
I thought I'd have to leave it behind
But now its so much better (it's so much better)
I'm funking out in every way
But I'll never lose that feelin' (no I won't)
Of how I learned my lesson that day
When they were dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die
Oh' till you die

They shouted play that funky music
(Play that funky music)
Play that funky music
(You Gotta keep on playin' funky music)
Play that funky music
(Play that funky music)
Play that funky music
(Come and take you higher, ya)
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right, ya
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right


Lyrics submitted by Raphide, edited by lucyintheSkyWithDiamonds

"Play That Funky Music" as written by Robert W. Parissi

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, LAWRENCE LIGHTER ATTORNEY AT LAW

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Play That Funky Music song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentFirstly, a verse is missing:
    Well, I tried to understand this…Yeah, huh, I thought that they were out of their minds
    How could I be so foolish, [How could I]…tonight's the hours, the one behind
    So still I kept on fightin'…Wow, loosin' every step of the way (Yeah, what'd you do?)
    I said, "I must go back there"[Got to go back]…and check to see if things still the same

    This song means exactly what it says. There's actually a story behind it.
    The band, Wild Cherry, where hired by a club that used to play funk music. And they where a rock band, so it was a bit of a shock for them (and they where rather unknown). So they got on stage, and played some rock, and people left. So the manager of the club said, actually (or so the story goes) play that funky music, white boy. If they didn't, they would get fired. The next night when they where on stage, they played this track.
    Rejacon August 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell whatever he said might be true^
    but an officail statement by the band basically said that they were inspired by the number of times they were told that exact same sentence by different people. They performed that song once, and some hot shot heard it and signed them up immediately.It was they're only charting hit.
    SO play that funky music WHite BOY!
    deludedon October 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems (in the most obvious explanation) about an old washed up guy. He may be a grandfather talking to his grandchildren about when he was once a young guy, "running down the one night stands". He's telling whomever he's talking to, to keep playing music, and never forget it. "Play that funky music 'til you to die."
    Raphideon May 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYup.
    WhiteWolfon August 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it's more about The White Guy who was total like hard rocker... But he felt like something was missing. A boogie singer in a rock n roll band.... you know so he heard about like a club where they played this new music (funk). and he realized this is what he needed you know changing that rock n roll mind... HE wants to associate the funk into rock n roll
    Lostmyconcentron September 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song in THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. . . . . EVER.
    likethecometon February 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis makes me do a little jig. lmfao.
    OTHobsessed31on February 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentman i actually heard this song on that old school dennis the menance movie, i had heard it b4 but that made me download it, good funny song. also going in my car
    J0K3Ron April 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the most awesomest(is that a word??) song in the world! Its is so awesome to play live... with a band... live... on a stage... live...
    The guitar riff gets stuck in your head for ages, It's still in my head from 2004!!!
    Awesome song...
    *****- five Allamah stars.
    Allamahon June 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's kinda funny--when I was little I always thought it was "play that f***ing music, white boy", which would kind of make it like the audience is extremely angry at the band. Hey, it's an easy mondegreen to hear!

    But I digress. I believe the person above me is correct. Though I should note, the people in question doing the shouting actually said "Play SOME funky music, white boy" and not "that".
    0dd1on December 02, 2009   Link

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