La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

All my lazy teenage boasts
Are now high precision ghosts
And they're coming 'round the track to haunt me
When she looks at me and laughs I remind her of the facts
I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
Up from suede shoes to my baby blues

Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

The dream helps you forget you ain't never danced a step
You were never fleet of foot, hippy
All the pathos you can keep for the children in the street
For the vision I have had is sweeping
New broom, this room, sweep it clean

(Hot dog)

Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

High kickin' dandy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah
Long legged candy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah

Now my rhythm ain't so hot, but it's the only friend I've got
I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
All the pretty birds have flown, now I'm dancing on my own
I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
And I'm up from suede shoes to my baby blues

(Hot dog)

Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

(Now you're lonesome)

High kickin' dandy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah
Long legged candy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah

Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque (la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la)
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque (the king of rock 'n' roll)
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque (la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la)
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque (the king of rock 'n' roll)
Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque


Lyrics submitted by a town like paris

"The King of Rock 'N' Roll" as written by Paddy Mcaloon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The King of Rock 'n' Roll song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment'high precision ghosts' refers to old songs being re-released on the 'precision' format of CD. The character in the song is clearly an aged rock n' roll star who is being irked by being reminded of his once glory days by his back catalogue being released again (probably on cheap compilations) on what was a new format when this song was written. He regrets that he now is alone when he once had many pretty hangers on surrounding him.
    The nonsense words are the sorts of throwaway lyrics that the character sings in his hits.
    He was once called a king of rock n' roll but that is an ironic memory now that he cuts a figure so in contrast to the strutting youth he once was.
    Spuffon April 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThe song is about a one-hit wonder stuck performing his silly novelty song on the nostalgia circuit forever.

    This was taken from the Biography on Spotify:
    "The "proper" follow-up to Steve McQueen was 1988's From Langley Park to Memphis. Although it was their biggest hit, thanks to the massive U.K. chart success of "The King of Rock and Roll" (about a one-hit wonder stuck performing his silly novelty song on the nostalgia circuit forever; ironically, it was the band's sole U.K. Top Ten hit and remains their best-known song) and the U.S. college radio success of the genial Bruce Springsteen parody "Cars and Girls," many Prefab Sprout fans consider this the group's weakest album due to the too-slick production and a few subpar tunes."

    He keeps mentioning he's the king of rock n roll completely, clearly implying a link to his status at the time his song was in its infancy / prime. He also states now his rhythm ain't so hot but its the only friend he's got - again talking about how he's stuck in this loop because his limited success is what he's reliant on.

    Again his reference to all the pretty birds have flown and his dancing on his own also supports the idea he's been doing this for some time and his audience is now a different one to what it once was.

    I believe the constant singing of Hot dog, jumping frog, albuquerque is hammering home the repitition involved in his performances and how its the same loop over and over.
    Theonuson July 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningWhat do hot dogs, jumping frogs and Albuquerque have in common? They are all American (and the names sound rather quaint to the UK ear). I don't think anybody will argue about 'Hot Dogs' and 'Albuquerque' but just to clarify, in the UK there is only one type of frog and it jumps so calling a UK frog a "jumping frog" is like calling a fish a "swimming fish". Thus the chorus is a random collection of Americanisms thrown together in a hapless attempt to appeal to the American market.

    When the song was released, Prefab Sprout had had reasonable success in the UK album charts but had not done well in the US. Like the title of the album ' From Langley Park to Memphis' the song is about a UK singer wanting to make it big in the USA and therefore become 'The King of Rock and Roll - completely' (his claim actually to be so is ironic). But the singer has met with a cool and indifferent reception in the US ("When she looks at me and laughs ...") so has become self-critical and critical of his past songs.

    Possibly the song is written from the perspective of someone who never made it, as other interpretations suggest, but I think it is more a reflection of the writer's aspiration at that time to break-in to the American market.
    alan114169on October 30, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Elvis and how no one recognizes his serious mature work, only the playful and silly songs from his early years. Blue Suede Shoes vs It's Now or Never. Paddy is not the king of rock n roll.
    charterchapon February 02, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt’s about a one hit wonder who is in denial about the fact that he isn’t the best musician ever. “When she laughs I remind her of the facts”: She is laughing at him because she views him as a cheesy one hit wonder like Take On Me (you have to laugh at that) but he thinks he is better than that.
    thestun06on January 04, 2019   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation... V1
    All my lazy teenage boasts
    Are now high precision ghosts
    And they're coming 'round the track to haunt me
    When she looks at me and laughs I remind her of the facts
    I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
    Up from suede shoes to my baby blues
    ... V2
    The dream helps you forget you ain't never danced a step
    You were never fleet of foot, hippy
    All the pathos you can keep for the children in the street
    For the vision I have had is sweeping
    New broom, this room, sweep it clean
    ... V3
    Now my rhythm ain't so hot, but it's the only friend I've got
    I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
    All the pretty birds have flown, now I'm dancing on my own
    I'm the king of rock 'n' roll completely
    And I'm up from suede shoes to my baby blues
    ...
    ... C1 (main)
    Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
    ...
    ... C2 (refrain)
    High kickin' dandy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah
    Long legged candy, fine figure fine cut a fine figure fine, oh yeah

    ...
    ...
    ...

    So, in V1, some stuff he wrote and sang long ago has been worked into a well-oiled machine, he's kind of tired of it, it took off, now he can't escape it, but, hey, it made him a lot of money and got him a lot of status and fame. He holds onto that and sort of bitterly asserts it whenever someone - possibly his partner - thinks he's a bit corny. "Suede shoes" and "Baby blues" are sort of stock images of a rock icon. Elvis' "Blue Suede Shoes," and, I dunno, "blue eyes" as a stereotypically attractive Western (read: ... eek) feature. If it means "up from" in the sense of "started from the bottom," uh... I dunno? Maybe he means he brought his own spin to rock 'n roll? So he's not creatively empty, but commercially succesful, not really?

    V2. Speaks to me. "The dream" is what bubblegum-manufacturers like he create for consumption as escapist fantasy. In this case, it's maybe a washed-out, burnt-out hippy? Or maybe it's a dig at someone who fancies themselves counter-cultural and rebellious by one of their "capitalist overlords," sneeringly reminding them that their self-concept and ideals are as much of an idle fantasy as the bubblebum creation they get (profitably, at least for the creator and the "business") lost in. The Speaker here is more interested in a specific creative vision of a higher order than just putting his heart on his sleeve and pouring it out and throwing it against the wall and seeing what sticks, like he did in his earlier works. He wants to "sweep clean" what currently constitutes his ouevre and do something new - or maybe it's something more cynical or sinister? Some dark, far-reaching vision he's now had from the vantage point his earlier succeses allowed him to reach? Echoes uncomfortably with the "baby blues" line from earlier - oh, no - he's gone Nazi, like Pink from Pink Floy'd film of 'The Wall!' Get me Geldof!

    V3. Oh, nope - nevermind, it didn't go anywhere. Whatever vision he had, it didn't coalesce, or he's too dissipated by the absurd luxuries he can now afford. Either way, he's neutralized, but - you know, did what he did. Has some accomplishments you can never take away. And that's fine. Better than getting weird and fascey and high on the cult of his own personality. Eh?

    C1 (main) is straight-up absurdist, surreal - something like that. "Hot dog!" is a folksy exclamation, a "jumping frog" is... Cool? Maybe the Speaker thinks so. "Albuquerque?" Beats me. Maye the frog is a Warner Bros. thing and "Albuquerque" is a reference to Loony Tunes' Bugs Bunny's "left turn at Albuquerque" bit? That bit is about getting ludicrously lost - so, maybe? Or maybe it's just an exclamation, a random thing he likes, and a random, sort of ridiculous, word that fits the remaining musical space? He can have whatever he wants, however ludicrous it is, because it sounds good in a song, and he can afford it? Hence the butler-frog, the dancing hot dogs, and the sexy diver who reminds me a bit of Rocky from 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show?' Nice little obvious film manipulation of his gesture to be the visual equivalent of the synthesizer (I think) line. Also, there's a Mark Twain short story, "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" which is sort of about tall-tale-telling and reputation and waffle and stuff. That's sort of a staple of the mainstream American cultural canon (at least it came up in my American Lit class in high school and one I took in college).

    C2 is just a riff on lookin' pretty.

    ...

    There's always a bit of avant-garde, Modernist, etc., dissembling and mixing-it-up with Paddy McAloon, as I understand it. Thing about that is there'll be chunks of poetry you can read sort of traditionally mixed in with some seemingly random, open-to-interpretation stuff that you can't really pin down. The point is to interpret. This helps keep things fresh - clean, clear, and vital - like fresh, opened, unclogged arteries, so we can all think and breathe fully and be really as alive as we can be. I used to say "Avant garde is just a genre, like any other genre. You take a 'normal' work of art, then throw random shit in there, now it's avant garde. There's no 'next level' or 'new art' that's better than art was before to get it. It's not like medical science, where new cures need to be found and there's vertical progress. There's no up or down in art - it just keeps going, around and around and around." I was bitter and disillusioned, and wrong ; not uncommon bedfellows, those qualities. Things get stale. Hollow. Wasteful. Numb. Bad, dangerous, toxic and inhumane ideas come to dominate. It's good to shake it up, "sweep it clean," once in a while. Gotta watch, though - whose mouth are these words coming out of? Could get creepy. Or not. Need specifics.

    Anyway, them's the thoughts of cows.
    oscardiogeneson July 16, 2020   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI saw this on Spaced, it was awful and yet compelling at the same time.
    SanjuroSeaCowon May 06, 2010   Link
  • -2
    Song MeaningIt is about a dream the lead singer had
    chowdergrrl101on May 06, 2009   Link
  • -2
    General CommentI've been to Albuquerque, its not like the song at all.
    Whovian12on May 22, 2012   Link

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