"Johnny Strikes Up The Band" as written by and Warren Zevon....
Dry your eyes my little friend
Let me take you by the hand
Freddie get ready Rock steady
When Johnny strikes up the band

They'll be rocking in the projects
Walking down along the strand
Freddie get ready Rock steady
When Johnny strikes up the band
Johnny strikes up the band
When Johnny strikes up the ...
When Johnny strikes up the ...
When Johnny strikes up the band

And Johnny is my main man
He's the keeper of the keys
He'll put your mind at ease
He's guaranteed to please
Back by popular demand

Look around, my little friend
Jubilation in the land
Freddie get ready Rock steady
When Johnny strikes up the band
Johnny strikes up the band
When Johnny strikes up the ...
When Johnny strikes up the ...
When Johnny strikes up the band



Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

"Johnny Strikes Up the Band" as written by Warren William Zevon

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Johnny Strikes Up The Band song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe song is about Johnny Carson. Way back when, people tuned into the Tonight Show to 'get away from it all', to put our mind at ease. And Johnny delivered night after night - the keeper of the keys, back by popular demand. Jubilation refers to his hilarious show. Fred de Cordova was Johnny's long-time, unflappable producer (Freddy get ready, rock-steady). In the Excitable Boy version, Warren even exclaims... Heeeeeeere's Johnny, like Ed McMahon used to do. If you grew up watching Carson and enjoy the song in this context, it may quickly become one of your favorites.
    briarpedon August 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song always struck me as a middle class anthem. reminded me of block parties and dancing, the power music has to draw communities together.
    scumbagstyleon February 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI often thought the Johnny in this song might be John Lennon and the band he strikes up would be, of course, none other than Elephants Memory (heehee, just kidding, the Beatles). I'm a big W.Z. fan but this was never one of my favs.
    hankoon February 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always interpreted this song as an ironic nod to Johnny (Rotten) Lydon. About the time Excitable Boy came-out, the Sex Pistols were completing their tragic arc to destruction...
    hopsodaon October 20, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think it's a hybrid with elements of the Tonight Show, but mainly taking his son for a walk and seeing life and music outside.

    "Dry your eyes my little friend
    Let me take you by the hand."

    He and his son are on a walk:
    "Look around my little friend
    Jubilation in the land."

    I think it has a lot of emotion in it.
    snapbackon June 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimple song about the power of music.
    Smokleron September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMe neither. Possibly the worst song on the Excitable Boy album. But still better than most of the trash lesser songwriters get vaway with. I'd take this song over most of what's in the Top 20 now-a-days any time.
    TheThornBirdson March 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso meant to mention that The Sex Pistols evolved from The Strand, a London band formed in 1972 with Steve Jones on vocals, Paul Cook on drums.
    hopsodaon October 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song about a drug dealer, kids.

    It's a great song.
    TedPikulon October 19, 2013   Link

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