The KKK Took My Baby Away

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"The KKK Took My Baby Away"
Single by Ramones
from the album Pleasant Dreams
A-side"We Want the Airwaves"
GenrePunk rock
Songwriter(s)Joey Ramone
Producer(s)Graham Gouldman
Ramones singles chronology
"Rockaway Beach"
"The KKK Took My Baby Away"
"Pet Sematary"

"The KKK Took My Baby Away" is a song written by Joey Ramone. It appears on the Ramones' 1981 album Pleasant Dreams.


The protagonist sings that his girlfriend has been kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan on her way to Los Angeles for the holidays and pleads with the listener to call federal authorities to find out where she is and whether she is still alive.

In a documentary film about the Ramones, it was claimed by an interviewee close to the band that it seemed clear to him that Joey must have been obliquely referring to Johnny Ramone (who used to tease Joey for being Jewish) "stealing" away his girlfriend, Linda.[1][2]

Joey's brother Mickey Leigh has disagreed, saying that the song had been written before Joey learned of their affair. Leigh explains that the song was in response to Joey's relationship with a black woman, whose parents disapproved of the interracial relationship. Leigh asked Joey what happened to the girl and Joey responded by saying "the KKK took my baby away."[3]

Former Drummer Marky Ramone claimed in an interview for website Loudwire that the song was inspired by Joey's experience at a mental institution. Reportedly, the lead singer befriended an African-American woman who was also in the same institution. A few days later the woman left the institution making Joey depressed. As a result, the lead singer - according to Marky Ramone - wrote the song about this episode.


Like almost all Ramones songs, the time signature is 4/4. It alternates two verses with a chorus; the second chorus is followed by a bridge, after which the first verse and the chorus are repeated with a change of key.

In the documentary End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, Johnny Ramone states that the guitar riff of "The KKK Took My Baby Away" was inspired by the riff of Cheap Trick's "He's a Whore"

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Album
1999 Face to Face Standards & Practices
1999 MxPx At the Show
2001 Loose Change Ramones Maniacs
2003 Marilyn Manson We're a Happy Family
2011 Shonen Knife Osaka Ramones
2011 NOFX I Heard They Suck Even Harder This Time
2013 New Found Glory Mania


  1. ^ Spitz, Marc (November 2004). "The Last Testament of Johnny Ramone", Spin (magazine)
  2. ^ "'End Of The Century': The Ramones' Long, Sad Trip, By Kurt Loder". MTV. 9 September 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  3. ^ Leigh, Mickey. I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, p. 216 (2009)