"Zoot Suit Riot" as written by and Steve Perry....
Who's that whisperin' in the trees?
It's two sailors and they're on leave
Pipes and chains and swingin' hands
Who's your daddy? Yes I am
Fat cat came to play
Now he can't move fast enough
You'd best stay away
When the pushers come to shove

Zoot Suit Riot (RIOT!)
Throw back a bottle of beer
Zoot Suit Riot (RIOT!)
Pull a comb through your coal black hair

A whipped up jitterbuggin' brown-eyed man
A stray cat frontin' up an eight piece band
Cut me Sammy and you'll understand
In my veins hot music ran
You got me in a sway
And I want to swing you dove
Now you sailors know
Where your women came for love

Zoot Suit Riot (RIOT!)
Throw back a bottle of beer
Zoot Suit Riot (RIOT!)
Pull a comb through your coal black hair

You're in a Zoot Suit Riot!

Lyrics submitted by asutbone

Zoot Suit Riot song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentdid anyone know what the zoot suit riots were about? probably not, so ill tell you. during world war II, there was lots of dicrimination based on race. Hispanics who lived in southern cali who wore suits called "zoot suits" much like the hip harlem people. they had greased hair combed back into a ducktail and long waisted suit coats with baggy pants pegged at the ankles. youknwo what im talking about right? so then LA passed a law making it a crime to wear these outfits. people still wore them as a so called sign of rebellion. then some sailors from the local navy base invaded a hispanic neighborhood because allegedly they had attcked some servicemen. these sailors beat the zoot suiters up, tore their clothes and cut their hair. then when the hispanics fought back, they got arrested and all the newspapers lied about what happened.
    so thats what the song is about. and i guess its like a funny get back because theyre saying that all the while they were screwing the sailors wives hehehe so there sailor suckers!!!!
    RoxyFemme84on April 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcherry poppin' daddies is a dirty name.... think about it ; D
    DreamofGlycerineon June 18, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThey were not almost always black. In fact, the more colorful the zoot suit, the more stylish it was considered to be. It wasn't unusual to see a yellow zoot with an orange hat and a green shirt. When it came to zoots, the gaudier the better.
    voodoochildeon November 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI remember I used to love this song. The music video was great. It was when everyone was listening to swing music for some reason.
    DrFeelgood03on March 26, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentzoot suits were outlawed because, since the world was in the middle of a war, good fabric was scarce and hard to come by. zoot suits required a lot of fabric, and were therefore considered a waste of fabric. some people believed that those who continued to wear the suits were being unpatriotic and used that as an excuse to beat them up.
    mourningthebestofmeon June 21, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, RoxyFemme84, why do you hate America?

    Anyway this is just a song to dance to, that references the zoot suit riots of 1943.

    (if you folk happen to be interested in another swing song that was popular when swing got popular again, that one week, have a listen to "Hey Pachuco" by Royal Crown Revue)
    Hraesvelgon March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUh, actually, RoxyFemme84 is right. The zoot suit riot in California had absolutely nothing to do with supposed patriotism; it was completely about racial discrimination. I'm glad, also, that someone else caught on that Zoot Suit Riot actually references that unfortunate incident.
    voodoochildeon March 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, uh. When I said "why do you hate America?" I was joking.
    Hraesvelgon March 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, uh, I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to mourningthebestofme. I realized you were joking.
    voodoochildeon March 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a fun song, we always play it in pep band. We used to have a sax player and he would shout out "Riot!" in a really high pitched voice at that part of the song. It was really funny.
    jessyon April 03, 2006   Link

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