De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

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"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da"
Single by The Police
from the album Zenyatta Mondatta
  • "A Sermon" (UK)
  • "Friends" (US)
ReleasedOctober 1980[1]
FormatVinyl record (7")
LabelA&MAMS 9110
The Police singles chronology
"Don't Stand So Close to Me"
"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da"
"Invisible Sun"
Alternative cover
US 7-inch cover
US 7-inch cover

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" is a song by The Police, released as a single in December 1980. Released as the British second single from the album Zenyatta Mondatta, the song was written by Sting as a comment on how people love simple-sounding songs. The song was re-recorded in 1986 as "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da '86" but was not released until 1995.


According to lead singer Sting, the song is about the attraction that people have to simple songs.[2] Sting later criticised those who labelled the lyrics of the song as "baby talk," claiming that the song was grossly misunderstood.[2] He evaluated, "The lyrics are about banality, about the abuse of words," saying that "the lyrics have an internal logic."[2]

I was trying to make an intellectual point about how the simple can be so powerful. Why are our favourite songs 'Da Doo Ron Ron' and 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy'? In the song, I tried to address that issue. But everyone said, 'This is bullshit, child's play.' No one listened to the lyrics. Listen to the lyrics. I'm going to remake it again and put more emphasis on what I was talking about.

— Sting, Rolling Stone, 2/1988[2]

The phrase "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" supposedly was made up by Sting's son. Sting said of this, "In fact, my son came up with it. I've never paid him – so that's another possible lawsuit. He writes songs himself these days. He's got a lot of self-confidence – I don't know where from."[2]

Its B-side, "A Sermon," was originally written by Stewart Copeland in 1977 and is a parable about a band ruthlessly making it to the top. Copeland played most of the guitar as well, including the intro riff, while Andy Summers can be heard in the middle.[3] Sting said of the song, "It's arrogant, but Stewart is good at being arrogant in a funny way – as in that Klark Kent line about 'If you don't like me, you can suck my socks'."[2] In the US version of the single, "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" was paired with "Friends", a composition by Andy Summers.

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" was released as the follow-up single to "Don't Stand So Close to Me" in Britain, and was released as the debut single from Zenyatta Mondatta in America. Upon its release, the became a top ten hit in the United Kingdom and the United States (their first in said country), reaching number five on the UK Singles Chart[4] and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to its English-language release, both a Spanish-language and Japanese-language version of the song were recorded and released in their respective markets in early 1981. Actual 45RPM copies are extremely rare to find and are not even included on their "complete" compact disc box set Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings.

The cover was designed by Hipgnosis and use the title of the song to justaxpose an image of the band with one of a woman's hand reaching out to a telephone to call the police.

The song was prominently featured in the 1982 film The Last American Virgin and on its soundtrack. It also appeared in the pilot episode of the medical drama St. Elsewhere.


The song is composed in the key of A major with the chord progression of Asus2-F#m7(add4)-C#m7 in the verses and Asus2-A-Asus2-A-E-D in the chorus.[5] The song uses guitar reverb and echo in the verses.

"I've danced in the Caribbean for weeks to that song," remarked Joni Mitchell. "I'm an old rock and roll dancer, you know. The stops, the pauses, in that one are really fun. I appreciated the rhythmic hybrids, the gaps between the bass lines, the repetitive figures with space between them. James Taylor and I had dinner with Sting once at our mutual manager's place. He was quite effusive about us being his heroes. So I always think of him as our son."[6]


Track listing[edit]

7" – A&M / AMS 9110 (UK)

  1. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" – 4:09
  2. "A Sermon" – 2:34

7" – A&M / AM 2275 (US)

  1. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" – 4:09
  2. "Friends" – 3:35

7" – A&M / AM 25000 (US)

  1. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" (Spanish Version) – 4:00
  2. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" (Japanese Version) – 4:00


"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da '86"[edit]

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da '86"
Song by The Police
from the album Every Breath You Take: The Classics
Released1995 (1995)
GenreRock, new wave
Producer(s)Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers, Laurie Latham

The song was re-recorded in 1986, alongside "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86," for inclusion on the Every Breath You Take: The Singles compilation but was ultimately excluded from the album. It was released on the DTS-CD and SACD release of the Every Breath You Take: The Classics album.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f "'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' / 'A Sermon'".
  3. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (1993). "The B-sides and Other Obscure Releases." In Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (pp.57–59) [Boxed set booklet]. A&M Records Ltd.
  4. ^ The Police in the UK Charts, The Official Charts.
  5. ^ "The Police "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" Sheet Music in A Major - Download & Print - SKU: MN0068300". 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  6. ^ Guitar World, September 1996
  7. ^
  8. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 24, 1981
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1981