Blitzkrieg Bop

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"Blitzkrieg Bop"
Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop cover.jpg
Single by Ramones
from the album Ramones
ReleasedFebruary 1976
Songwriter(s)Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone[4]
Producer(s)Craig Leon
Ramones singles chronology
"Blitzkrieg Bop"
"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
Music video
"Blitzkrieg Bop" on YouTube

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in February 1976 in the United States. It appeared as the opening track on the band's debut album, Ramones, that was released April 23, 1976.[5]

The song, whose composition was credited to the band as a whole, was written by drummer Tommy Ramone (music and lyrics) and bassist Dee Dee Ramone (lyrics).[6] The song is based on a simple three-chord pattern. The song is popular at sporting events where the iconic chant "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" is sometimes shouted as a rallying cry.

"Blitzkrieg Bop" was number 92 on the 2004 Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[7] In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 31 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and in 2008 Rolling Stone placed it number 18 of the top 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.[8] In 2009 it was named the 25th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[9]

Origin and meaning[edit]

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a reference to the German World War II tactic blitzkrieg, which means "lightning war". The song was mainly written by drummer Tommy Ramone, while bassist Dee Dee Ramone came up with the title (the song was originally called "Animal Hop"). Dee Dee also changed one other line: the original third verse had the line "shouting in the back now", but Dee Dee changed it to "shoot 'em in the back now". The precise meaning and subject matter of the song is, unlike many of The Ramones' other early compositions, somewhat vague and obscure. The idea for a chant at the beginning of the song came from the 1975 Bay City Rollers hit song "Saturday Night", which begins with the chant "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night"; Tommy Ramone wanted the Ramones to have a similarly catchy chant. The lyrics "Hey ho, let's go" were inspired by the line "High, low, tipsy toe" from the 1963 song "Walking the Dog" by Rufus Thomas, and specifically the Rolling Stones' cover of the song; the band had enjoyed mocking Mick Jagger's pronunciation of the line, which they thought sounded more like "hey ho".[10] Tommy stated later that he "came up with the chant walking home from the grocery store carrying a bag of groceries."[11]


"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a 4/4 time song written in the key of A major. It contains four chords; A major (I), B minor (ii), D major (IV), and E major (V).[12][13] The song relies heavily on the I, IV, and V chords, most notably used in the intro and verses in the form of the I–IV–V chord progression. The ii chord appears only briefly towards the end of the refrain.[12][13] Johnny Ramone played the entire song with barre chord shapes, as these were signature to his playing style.[12][14][15][16] Dee Dee Ramone simply played the root note of whatever chord the guitarist was playing.[14] Both the rhythm guitar and bass parts, played using downstrokes exclusively,[14] utilize almost constant eighth notes to generate a "wall of sound". Joey Ramone's vocal melody relies on five of the seven notes found in the A major scale; A, B, C, D, and E. Tommy Ramone maintains a steady backbeat on the kick and snare throughout the entire song. Constant eighth notes are played on the hi hat cymbals during the verses, and on the floor tom whilst Joey shouts "Hey, Ho, Let's Go!", whereas quarter notes are used on the ride cymbal during the refrain. Occasional crashes are used to accentuate certain beats.

The song was originally played at a very fast tempo (roughly 177 bpm). When the band performed the song live, they started to play it at even faster tempos, gradually increasing the speed throughout their career. At the band's final show, they played the song at an extremely fast tempo well above 200 bpm.


Cash Box said the song had "a hard rock style, crudely fashioned, yet infectious in its energy" and said that "the tune is powerful, and the band's street punk stance is all part of the music."[17]

In popular culture[edit]


  • Bessman, Jim (1993). Ramones: An American Band (New York: St. Martin's). ISBN 0-312-09369-1


  1. ^ Robinson, Joe (January 23, 2013). "10 Best Pop-Punk Songs". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Smith, Troy (March 7, 2022). "The 100 greatest pop punk songs of all time". Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  3. ^ Bradley, Michael (March 15, 2016). "The 10 best punk rock singles, by The Undertones' Michael Bradley". TeamRock. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "ASCAP ACE - Search Results". ASCAP. May 30, 2012. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012.
  5. ^ Laitio-Ramone, Jari-Pekka (October 1, 1997). "Something about the Ramones history". Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Bessman (1993), p. 48.
  7. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Ramones, 'Blitzkrieg Bop'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  8. ^ "Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "VH1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Spreadit Music. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  10. ^ Hughest, Rob (July 14, 2014). "The Story Behind The Song: Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones". Louder.
  11. ^ Laitio-Ramone, Jari-Pekka (May 19, 2009). "Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives". Blitzkrieg Bop's chant. Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Hal Leonard (2001). Ramones Guitar Anthology. Hal Leonard Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7692-0594-6.
  13. ^ a b Ubisoft. Rocksmith 2014.
  14. ^ a b c Jim Bessman (May 15, 1993). Ramones: An American Band. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-312-09369-3.
  15. ^ Michael Molenda (2007). The Guitar Player Book: 40 Years Of Interviews, Gear, And Lessons From The World's Most Celebrated Guitar Magazine. Backbeat Books. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-87930-782-0.
  16. ^ Johnny Ramone, "Commando: The Autobiography Of Johnny Ramone", p. 68
  17. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. May 22, 1976. p. 22. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  18. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (October 8, 2015). "Listen: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" & The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" Sung By The Cast Of Joe Wright's 'Pan'". IndieWire. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "Spider-Man: Homecoming Uses Music Perfectly". Den of Geek. September 10, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2021.