Poetry in Motion (song)

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"Poetry in Motion"
Single by Johnny Tillotson
B-side "Princess Princess"
Released 1960
Format 7"
Label Cadence (US)
London (UK)[1]
Writer(s) Mike Anthony, Paul Kaufman[1]
Producer(s) Archie Bleyer[1]
Johnny Tillotson singles chronology
"Earth Angel"
"Poetry in Motion"
"Jimmy's Girl"

"Poetry in Motion" is a UK number-one hit single in 1961, recorded amongst others by Johnny Tillotson.[1]


The song was written by Paul Kaufman (1930–1999) and Mike Anthony (born 1930),[1] who said that the inspiration for it came from looking up from their work and seeing a procession of young ladies from a nearby school pass by on the sidewalk outside each afternoon.[2] Bill Porter supervised the recording session in Nashville, Tennessee, which featured saxophonist Boots Randolph and pianist Floyd Cramer. An alternative version, with King Curtis on saxophone, was recorded some weeks earlier and published by Bear Family Records in 2011. In the US Billboard Hot 100, "Poetry in Motion" peaked at number 2 in November 1960; in the UK Singles Chart it hit No. 1 in January 1961,[1] and also made the charts on reissue in 1979.[3]

The song "Love Potion No. 9" is referenced in this song. ("No Number Nine Love Potion/ Could make me love her more" )

Cover versions[edit]

"Poetry in Motion" was also recorded by Bobby Vee as track No. 8 on his 1961 album, Bobby Vee and was also recorded by Chilean singer Pat Henry. There was another cover version made titled "Pejskové se koušou" ("Dogs Bite Each Other") by the Czech singer Marie Pojkarová.[4]

The song was covered by Swedish pop group Ola & the Janglers in 1966 and went to no 1 in the Swedish voted chart "Tio i Topp" but only reached no 7 in the sales chart "Kvällstoppen".

The song was covered by Mud in 1982.

Ralf Arnie wrote German lyrics. Entitled "Deine roten Lippen" it was recorded by Gerd Böttcher and released on the single Decca D 19 131 i 1960.

Chart peaks[edit]

Chart (1960) Peak
US Billboard Top 100 Singles 2
US Billboard R&B Singles 27
Belgian Ultratop 50 (predecessor) 9
German Media Control Charts 38
Dutch Singles Charts (predecessor) 14
Norwegian VG-Lista Charts 4
U.K. Singles Charts 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 55. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "Cadence Records Story". Bsnpubs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  3. ^ Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann. "Johnny Tillotson | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  4. ^ "Marie Pojkarová". Mariepojkarova.cz. Retrieved 2014-04-04.