THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
913-Dexys Midnight Runners-Come On Eileen.
1982-Number 1 single.Best Bit-At 3.32. You must have to have a lot of patience, if you are a lady called Eileen, because every time some joker thinks that they are the first to shout at you, ‘Come On Eileen,’ you have either got to smile, or laugh, and remain polite.
Dexys Midnight Runners (see also best songs 104,) were formed in Birmingham, England in 1978 by Kevin Rowland, and Kevin Archer, there have been many lineup changes over the years, with Rowland being the only constant.
‘Come On Eileen’ is the only major hit in America for the band, where they are regarded as one hit wonders, where as here in the UK, the song gave them their second chart topper after 1980’s Geno. The rumour is that the song is based on Kevin Rowland’s first sexual encounter with a childhood friend called Eileen, but there was probably no Eileen. In fact Eileen is a metaphor about Rowland’s Catholic upbringing, and it’s views on sexual relationships.
Some versions of the song open with a Celtic fiddle solo, this is based on Thomas Moore’s Irish Folk song ‘Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms.’ written originally in 1808. The songs chorus ‘Come On Eileen’ is said to be loosely based on the Northern Soul song ‘A Man Like Me,’ by Jimmy James and The Vagabonds. Kevin Rowland was very much influenced by Soul Music of the 1960’s. The songs opening line, ‘Poor old Johnny Ray,’ is probably a way of Rowland telling us that he wont be repressed, as the previous generation were. Johnny Ray was a very big star for a short while in the early 1950’s, before suffering from alcoholism,
‘Poor old Johnny Ray sounded sad upon the radio,he moved a million hearts in mono, our mothers cried.’