Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners

So, review one of my new schedule, Come On Eileen, by Dexys Midnight Runners, which, triva-fans, is another way of saying ‘Meth Heads’. Funny thing, the English language…

I heard Come On Eileen a fair few times in my youth, but never really gave it a listen before a few weeks ago. It was one of those songs that I knew was, in some, musically significant, but until recently, I couldn’t see why. Truth be told, I don’t know for sure whether I’ve got it right, but to me, this song is musically significant because its like you can’t understand it, but you know it’s joyful. I can’t really explain it. I know. I’ll use a quote and the first person to comment with what film it’s from, gets entered into a prize draw for our birthday. Not sure what the prize is yet, but there’ll be something…

“I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away…”

So yeah, maybe Come on Eileen isn’t quite the same, but I do get that lovely feeling from it.

Maybe it’s the hook. There’s the whole loo-rah but that grips the audience and to me, its all about this sound we can all make so easily and it unifies everyone who sings it. Simplicity is key to a song and, if you exclude the nonstandard pacing and the choice of lyrics, its a very simple song.

It is, in places, a dirty song too – let’s look at the chorus, should we?

Come on Eileen,
Oh I, swear what it means,
At this moment,
You mean everything,
In that red dress,
Oh my, thoughts I confess,
Verge on dirty,
Come on Eileen…

Yeah. Truth be told, we don’t see the dress, but she looks surprisingly good in those dungarees. Plus, my partner looks stunning in her red dress, so that’s something too. It falls just below her buttocks and I swear to god, if, say, she’s reaching for a cup in the cupboard and hasn’t got tights on, I get the most wonderful view in the world…

Okay, so maybe that’s enough of that for tonight…

There’s a very folk feel to Come on Eileen, helped  lot by the banjo, I think, which is funny, because normally when I think of banjos, I cringe because of that scene in Deliverance, and that’s something no-one likes remembering…

So, now for the negative bit. There is a feeling I get that the song is a bit long. It could be half the length and still get the same feelings across. You don’t need five minutes to say I adore you and we should leave this place because they’re not cheerful like us.

All things considered, its a great song and by my standards, it fills a hole that needed addressing. It does it well, and you all know that, even if it gets stuck in your head and makes you want to stab someone’s eyes out when all you can hear is the opening riff…


That Guy

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