Hey Nineteen

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"Hey Nineteen"
Hey Nineteen cover.jpg
Single by Steely Dan
from the album Gaucho
B-side"Bodhisattva" (live)
Released21 November 1980[1]
GenreJazz fusion, soft rock
Length5:06 (Album version)
4:44 (7" version)
Producer(s)Gary Katz
Steely Dan singles chronology
"Hey Nineteen"
"Time Out of Mind"
Official Audio
"Hey Nineteen" on YouTube

"Hey Nineteen" is a song by the band Steely Dan from their album Gaucho (1980).


According to one reviewer's interpretation, the song "was about a middle-aged man's disappointment with a young lover".[2]

The lyrics are about an aging hipster attempting to pick up a girl who is so young that she does not recognize "'Retha Franklin" playing on the stereo.[3] The song closes with the ambiguous line, "The Cuervo Gold, the fine Colombian, make tonight a wonderful thing," leaving the listener to decide whether the narrator is consuming tequila and drugs with the love interest, or if he is in fact alone.[3][4]

The B-side is a previously unreleased 1974 live version of the song "Bodhisattva", recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, with drunken host Jerome Aniton.[5]


"Hey Nineteen" peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1981,[6] number 11 on the Adult Contemporary chart,[7] and number 68 on the R&B Singles chart.[8] With a chart run of 19 weeks, "Hey Nineteen" is tied with "Peg" and "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" for being their longest-running chart hit.


Chart history[edit]


  1. ^ "Steely Dan - Hey Nineteen". hitparade.ch.
  2. ^ Layman, Will. "Jazz Today: The Strange, Mixed Fate of Steely Dan" (April 10, 2006). Accessed July 31, 2006. Archived June 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Allmusic song review: "Hey Nineteen."
  4. ^ "Remembering Walter Becker Of Steely Dan: 'Hey Nineteen' Banter". JamBase. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  5. ^ Sweet, Brian (August 16, 2018). Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9781787591295 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Steely Dan Chart History: Hot 100, Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 228.
  8. ^ a b Steely Dan Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Billboard. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1981-12-09. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  10. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART.
  11. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  12. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 2/14/81". tropicalglen.com.
  13. ^ The 1981 Top 100 Singles chart is identified by the RPM Year-End article "Top 100 Singles (1981)". RPM. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981 | Music Outfitters". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  15. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1981". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2018.

External links[edit]