Wordy Rappinghood

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"Wordy Rappinghood"
Single by Tom Tom Club
from the album Tom Tom Club
Released February 17, 1981
Recorded 1980–1981
Length 6:27
  • Chris Frantz
  • Steven Stanley
Tom Tom Club singles chronology
  • "Wordy Rappinghood"
  • (1981)

"Wordy Rappinghood" is a song by American new wave band Tom Tom Club. The song was the lead single from the band's debut studio album, Tom Tom Club. It uses part of a traditional Moroccan children's song and game, "A Ram Sam Sam", made popular by the 1971 Rolf Harris recording. In the United States, the song was released as a double A-side with "Genius of Love" and topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Structure, instrumentation and production[edit]

The song opens with the sound of a typewriter and features jarring synthesizer chords and a distinctive drum break. The words of the fifth verse are spoken in French: "Mots pressés, mots sensés, mots qui disent la vérité, mots maudits, mots mentis, mots qui manquent le fruit d'esprit"[1] which translate as: "hurried words, sensible words, words that tell the truth, cursed words, lying words, words that are missing the fruit of the mind."

The chorus is generally noted as:

"Ran sumsumsa Ran sumsum
Hootycooty hootycooty Ran sumsum
Hi kye yay yippie yi kye yay
Awoo awoo ayee kie chi."

Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Tom Tom Club had bought a house in Nassau, Bahamas, next door to Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Records, and it was Blackwell who arranged the recording in his Compass Point Studios. Frantz and Weymouth brought in Steven Stanley, a 21 year-old keyboard player who had been the sound engineer on Ian Dury's album Lord Upminster, and bass player, Monte Browne, a former member of T-Connection.[2]

Track listings[edit]

  • US 12" single[3]
A. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Special 12" Version) – 6:39
B. "Spooks" – 6:28
  • European 7" single[4]
A. "Wordy Rappinghood" – 3:50
B. "Wordy Rappnghood" (You Don't Ever Stop) – 4:05
  • European 12" single[4]
A. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Remix) – 6:42
B. "Elephant" – 5:11


Chart (1981–82) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[6] 1
France (IFOP)[7] 9
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 10
Italy (FIMI)[9] 9
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 35
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 7
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[13] 1
Preceded by
"One Day in Your Life" by Michael Jackson
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
September 12, 1981 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"One Day in Your Life" by Michael Jackson
Belgian VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
September 5, 1981 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Your Love" by Lime
Preceded by
"You Can" / "Fire in My Heart" by Madleen Kane
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(with "Genius of Love")

January 16, 1982 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" by Hall & Oates

Chicks on Speed version[edit]

"Wordy Rappinghood"
Single by Chicks on Speed
from the album 99 Cents
Released 2003
Recorded 2003
Genre Electroclash
Length 6:26
Label Chicks on Speed
  • Tina Weymouth
  • Chris Frantz
  • Steven Stanley
Producer(s) Glove
Chicks on Speed singles chronology
  • "Wordy Rappinghood"
  • (2003)
  • "Flame On"
  • (2004)
Music video
"Wordy Rappinghood" on YouTube

"Wordy Rappinghood" was covered by German electroclash group Chicks on Speed and released as the second single from their album 99 Cents in 2003. Their version featured guest vocals by other female musicians such as Miss Kittin, Kevin Blechdom, Le Tigre, Adult.'s Nicola Kuperus, and Tom Tom Club founding member Tina Weymouth.[14]

This cover was sampled in the song "Really Rappin' Something" by The Kleptones from the album From Detroit to J.A. in 2005. In 2007, the Playgroup remix of Chicks on Speed's version appeared on the compilation album FabricLive.33 by Spank Rock.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Christopher Lloyd of Drowned in Sound described the song as an "ultra-catchy seven minute dancefloor killer".[16]

Track listings[edit]

  • European CD maxi single[17]
  1. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Radio Edit) – 4:20
  2. "Wordy Rappinghood" (The Playgroup Remix) – 5:23
  3. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Dave Clarke's Non Techno Mix) – 3:37
  4. "Wordy Rappinghood" (The Playgroup Instrumental Mix) – 5:24
  5. "Wordy Rappinghood" (music video)
  • German 12" single[18]
A1. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Album Mix) – 6:26
A2. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Acapella Version) – 4:10
B1. "Wordy Rappinghood" (The Playgroup Remix) – 5:23
B2. "Wordy Rappinghood" (Dave Clarke's Non Techno Mix) – 3:37


Chart (2003–04) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Dance Flanders)[19] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 66

Uffie version[edit]

"Wordy Rappinghood"
Single by Uffie
Released April 18, 2011
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Length 3:08
  • Tina Weymouth
  • Chris Frantz
  • Steven Stanley
Producer(s) DJ Mehdi
Uffie singles chronology
  • "Wordy Rappinghood"
  • (2011)

French-American electronic artist Uffie covered the song in 2011. The single, produced by labelmate DJ Mehdi, was released on April 18, 2011, through Ed Banger Records, Because Music and Elektra Records.[21] Her version was used in Evian adverts in the UK.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gorin, François (January 21, 2013). "Tom Tom Club : ratiocinations lexicologiques". Télérama (in French). Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kutner, Jon (May 27, 2012). "Wordy Rappinghood". Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Charts.org.nz – Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 5 september 1981" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "Tom Tom Club" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Wordy Rappinghood". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1982" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Archive Chart: 1981-07-18" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Tom Tom Club – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Chicks on Speed – 99 Cents". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Spank Rock – FabricLive. 33 (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  16. ^ Lloyd, Christopher (October 13, 2003). "Chicks on Speed – 99 Cents". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chicks On Speed – Wordy Rappinghood (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Chicks On Speed – Wordy Rappinghood (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be - Chicks On Speed – Wordy Rappinghood" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Chicks On Speed: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  21. ^ "Wordy Rappinghood (Evian Mix) – Single by Uffie". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]