"A Message To You, Rudy" as written by and Robert Livingstone Thompson....
Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)
Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)

Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you

Stop your fooling around (ah-ah-ah)
Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
Else you'll wind up in jail (ah-ah-ah)

Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you

Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)
Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)

Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
Oh, it's a message to you, Rudy
Yeah, it's a message to you, Rudy
Yeah, it's a message to you, Rudy
Oh, it's a message to you, Rudy
Yeah, it's a message to you, Rudy
Oh, it's a message to you, Rudy


Lyrics submitted by aj2828aj

"A Message to You Rudy" as written by Robert Livingstone Thompson

Lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC

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A Message To You, Rudy song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentthis is actually a cover song, as is most of the specials songs. the original was done by dandy livingston. the link to the past is rico rodriguez who also played trombone for dandy on the original cut of the song. he appears on the specials version as well, and even toured with the band. monkey man was also a cover song, originally done by the Maytals. and is a great song for all rude boys and rude girls.
    devilreggeaon November 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBoss Man, I think your statement, 'most of the specials songs were self-penned' is incorrect. "Too Hot", and "Gangsters" were both originally by Prince Buster, "Guns of Navarone", was originally by The Skatellites. Those are the few i could think of off the top of my head. Once you start listening to first wave ska, you'll realize how many 2tone songs are covers.
    waste_on August 28, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes the Specials balanced own songs with ska covers. Two-tone was a hybrid of punk, RnB (blues derivative not the hijacked term for modern soul sounds) and UK Punk. Two-tone was founded on mixing the styles of predominately "white" punk with that of "black" ska/reggae - it did not want to associate itself with right-wing intentions (although some of the bands did have this fan base - Madness as an example).
    This is a great song like many other danceable two-tone songs.
    CharmingManon February 14, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTHIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DANDY LIVINGSTON(E?) AND HIS VERSION IS THE BEST!!!!
    jpr227on June 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe first time I heard this song was when Lynval Golding featured on the Pogues concert, Live at the T&C. I loved it from the first. Thanks to all for the info about who wrote this song, I'll have to look up the Dandy Livingstone version - after all, he did it first. Out of the Specials and the Pogues/Golding version, I actually like the latter - it's more punchy or something. I reccomend it to all. "Rudie Can't Fail" is another great song. By the way, are the themes for all ska or ska influenced songs about rude boys and girls pretty much about getting a job and settling down? It would seem so . . .
    NellieWhiskeyon November 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, Rudy (or Rudi or Rudie, however you choose to spell it) does refer to "rude boys/girls." During the early ska (well, more to the rocksteady time at this point) years in Jamaica, there was a lot of unemployment, and as such many turned to a life of crime. Wearing suits and such, they were dubbed "rude boys." Later, when Jamaican ska became reggae, ska started up in the UK during the second wave, or "two-tone" era. They adopted the rude boy image with the suits and such, and checkered pattern to go a long with 'two-tone,' which also applied to their goals of racial equality. Heh, ok, I'll shut up now with the history lesson and go sleep or something... anyway, great song. And check out Rudi, What Happened To You? by the awesome ska band, Secret Agent 8. It pays homage to this and other two tone songs, plus it just rocks with layered horns and such. uh... yeah.
    Gamzilla0on August 16, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis, dubiously, is my favourite song by the Specials. I am lucky enough to have a mother who is very into ska and early punk (believe it or not!), and she turned me on the Specials. I am glad she did, too, because it opened my eyes to a lot of other great ska bands, like the Selecter. Hurrah for Two-Tone.
    __bleederon May 09, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGamzilla0 and neverSOULEDout are dead on. im a skinhead. coming up on 5 years now. and skins came from the rude boys so dont even try to think im a nazi. go educate yourself id u do. if not for rudeboys there would not be as much if any ska,regge, and 2tone depending on artist and who you ask. great song. greater band
    j0k3r_31on May 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwicked ass song
    thisisnotmynameon December 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is about rude boys/girls saying they have to change their was or they'll end up in jail rudy means rude boy/girl
    soragarzaon July 15, 2010   Link

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