Come On Eileen

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"Come On Eileen"
Single by Dexys Midnight Runners
from the album Too-Rye-Ay
B-side "Dubious" (7" & 12")
"Liars A to E (New Version)" (on 7" only)
Released 25 June 1982
Recorded 1981–82
Genre
Length 3:28 / 4:12 (single versions)
4:28 (album version)
Label Mercury
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Certification Gold (CRIA)
Platinum (BPI)
Dexys Midnight Runners singles chronology
"The Celtic Soul Brothers"
(1982)
"Come On Eileen"
(1982)
"Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)"
(1982)

"Come On Eileen" is a song by English pop group Dexys Midnight Runners, released in the UK on 25 June 1982[3] as a single off their album Too-Rye-Ay. It was their second number one hit in the United Kingdom, following 1980's "Geno". The song was written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson, and Billy Adams; it was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.

"Come On Eileen" won Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards.

Composition[edit]

There are various versions of the song, some in addition to the main section featuring either an intro of a Celtic fiddle solo, or an a cappella coda both based on Thomas Moore's Irish folk song "Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms".

The main section begins with a Celtic-style fiddle played over a drum beat, with the bass guitar and piano providing accompaniment.

The lyrics of the song begin with the lines:

Poor old Johnnie Ray

Sounded sad upon the radio
Moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried, sang along

Who would blame them?

The phrase "Come on Eileen" is used as the chorus to the song, which was loosely inspired by the song "A Man Like Me" by the 1960s British soul group Jimmy James and the Vagabonds.[4][5]

The bridge of "Come On Eileen" features an improvised counter-melody which begins in a slow tempo and gets faster and faster over an accelerando vocal backing. The chord sequence of the bridge is actually the same as the verses, but transposed up by a whole tone. The bridge is based on the Irish folk melody "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral". Throughout the song, there are numerous tempo changes and key changes:

Key changes throughout the song
Section Introduction Verses Chorus and bridge
Key F major C major D major

The song was inspired by a childhood friend with whom Kevin Rowland had a romantic, and later sexual, relationship in his teens. Rowlands' Catholic upbringing led to a fascination with the taboos surrounding sexuality.[6]

Single and album versions[edit]

  • The 7" vinyl single released worldwide (except the US) was a 3.28 edit of the main section of the song[7] featuring neither the intro nor the coda. Dexys Midnight Runners' CD compilations again omit the introduction and coda but use the unedited main section (4.06).[8]
  • The worldwide 12"[9] and US 7"[10] singles featured the intro and the unedited main section (4.12). This version has only been released on CD on a Kevin Rowland CD single "Tonight".[11]
  • The album version features the unedited main section and the coda (4.32).[12] An exception to this is the 2002 US only release of Too-Rye-Ay which uniquely features both introduction and coda (4.47).[13]

Music video[edit]

The music video to accompany the single was directed by Julien Temple. It features members of the band wearing sleeveless shirts and dungarees. The "Eileen" as featured in the video (and on the record sleeve) is Máire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey, former singer with Bananarama and Shakespears Sister. The American singer Johnnie Ray, an early crooner mentioned in the opening lyrics, is seen greeting his emotional fans at the beginning of the video using film footage of his arrival at Heathrow Airport in London in 1954.

Filming took place on Brook Drive, Kennington, London.

Chart success[edit]

In a poll by Channel 4, a UK TV channel, the song was placed at number 38 in the 100 greatest number one singles of all time.[14] Similar polls by the music channel VH1 placed the song at number three in the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders of all time,[15] number 18 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980's [sic][16] and number one in the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.[17] It has sold 1.33 million copies in the UK as of June 2013.[18]

The song reached number one in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 charts during the week ending 23 April 1983. "Come on Eileen" prevented Michael Jackson from ever having back-to-back number one hits in the US: "Billie Jean" was the number one single the previous week, while "Beat It" was the number one song the following week.

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
1 November 1982 – 29 November 1982 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth
Preceded by
"Private Investigations" by Dire Straits
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
30 October 1982 – 6 November 1982 (2 weeks)
Belgian VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
30 October 1982 – 6 November 1982 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"Maneater" by Hall & Oates
Canadian CHUM number-one single
15 January 1983 (1 week)
Preceded by
"Da Da Da" by Trio
New Zealand number-one single
7 November 1982 – 28 November 1982 (4 weeks)
South African number-one single
27 November 1982 – 4 December 1982 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Words" by F. R. David
Preceded by
"Fame" by Irene Cara
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
8 August 1982 – 29 August 1982 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
UK Singles Chart number-one single
7 August 1982 – 28 August 1982 (4 weeks)
Preceded by
"Words" by F. R. David
Swiss number-one single
28 November 1982 – 5 December 1982 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club
Preceded by
"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
23 April 1983 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Beat It" by Michael Jackson
US Cash Box number-one single
23 April 1983 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Mr. Roboto" by Styx
Preceded by
"Don't You Want Me" by The Human League
1981
UK Singles Chart best-selling single of the year
1982
Succeeded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
1983

Other uses[edit]

The second single by ska band Save Ferris was a cover of the song in 1997.[47]

In 2004, the band 4-4-2 was formed to cover the song as "Come On England" with altered lyrics to support the England national football team during their appearance in the 2004 European Championships.[48]

On 7 August 2005, the song was used to wake the astronauts of Space Shuttle Discovery on the final day of STS-114 in reference to commander Eileen Collins.[49]

The song was used in the films Tommy Boy (1995),[50] This Is England (2006), Get Him to the Greek (2010), Take Me Home Tonight (2011),[51] The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).[52] and in the TV show Spaced (1999–2001).

Musicians (band members)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mann, Brent (2003). 99 Red Balloons...and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders. Citadel Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8065-2516-7. New Wave spawned some of pop music's classic one-hit wonders, artists who are vividly remembered today: Dexys Midnight Runners ("Come on Eileen"), Nena ("99 Luftballons"), and Thomas Dolby ("She Blinded Me with Science"), to name just a few. 
  2. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. on Allmusic "Dexys Midnight Runners – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 July 2013. "Come on Eileen," a distinctive fusion of '80s pop, Celtic folk, and blue-eyed soul. 
  3. ^ NME (London, England: IPC Media): 34. 19 June 1982. 
  4. ^ Jimmy James - A Man Like Me. YouTube. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Audio at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 March 2009). Dexys.co.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners". Songfacts. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Dexys Midnight Runners & Emerald Express, The – Come On Eileen". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dexys Midnight Runners – The Very Best Of Dexys Midnight Runners". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dexys Midnight Runners & Emerald Express, The – Come On Eileen". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kevin Rowland Of Dexys Midnight Runners – Tonight". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay". Discogs. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Channel 4 - 100 Greatest Number One Singles in the UK". Classic Whitney. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Lists :: Best :: VH1 - 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders". Dave Tompkins. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's". TheCelebrityCafe.com. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Ali, Rahsheeda (2 May 2013). "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s". VH1. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Lane, Daniel (27 June 2013). "Daft Punk's Get Lucky becomes one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Australia No. 1 hits -- 1980's". World Charts. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 30 oktober 1982" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  23. ^ CHART NUMBER 1356 – Saturday, January 15, 1983 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6194." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  25. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "Dexy's Midnight Runners" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  27. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Come On Eileen". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express - Come On Eileen search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  30. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  31. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (D)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  32. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Dexys Midnight Runners & The Emerald Express – Come On Eileen". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  34. ^ "Archive Chart: 1982-08-07" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  35. ^ a b c "Too-Rye-Ay – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  36. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 23, 1983 at the Wayback Machine (archived 13 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  37. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1982" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  39. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 39, No. 17, December 24, 1983". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "Single Top 100 1982" (PDF) (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1982" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  42. ^ Lane, Dan (18 November 2012). "The biggest selling singles of every year revealed! (1952-2011)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  43. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1983". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  44. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1983 at the Wayback Machine (archived 25 December 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  45. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen". Music Canada. 
  46. ^ "British single certifications – Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Come On Eileen in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  47. ^ Bush, John. "Save Ferris – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  48. ^ Come on England – 2004 at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 October 2013). Hamptons.org.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  49. ^ Fries, Colin, NASA History Division (15 July 2011). "Chronology of Wakeup Calls" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  50. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Original Soundtrack – Tommy Boy (Music from the Motion Picture)". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  51. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Original Soundtrack – Take Me Home Tonight". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  52. ^ Berardinelli, James (19 September 2012). "Perks of Being a Wallflower, The". Reelviews.net. Retrieved October 2012. 
  53. ^ "Dexys Diary". Dexys.org. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 

External links[edit]