Browsing the "Cover Song" Tag

A Continuing, Very Serious Anthropological Study: Where Did the Special Lyrics in Billy Idol’s Version of “Mony Mony” Come From?

January 1st, 2018 | by Alan Cross

It was probably in the spring of 1987 when I first heard the special audience lyrics in the Billy Idol version of the Tommy James classic, "Mony Mony."  I was hosting one of the old CFNY Video Roadshows at a high school somewhere in Southern Ontario. When Martin Streek, the guy in charge of playing the videos, flipped to this clip, the dancers erupted.

At first, I couldn't make how what they were yelling.  "What are they shouting?" I asked Martin.  He helpfully translated with the appropriate arm gestures.

Billy:  Here she come now singing Mony Mony
Dancers:  HEY MOTHERF*CKER GET LAID GET F*CKED!
Billy:  Well, shoot 'em down, turn around, come on Mony
Dancers:  HEY MOTHERF*CKER GET LAID GET F*CKED!
Billy:  Hey she give me love and I feel alright now
Dancers:  HEY MOTHERF*CKER GET LAID GET F*CKED!

I looked at him weird.  "How do they know what to say?"

A puzzled look came across Martin's face for a moment; it was apparent that he'd never considered the question before. Then he just shrugged and turned to deal with a very angry principal who was appalled that such obscenities would be chanted by his students in his gym at his school.

The question of the origins of the special audience participation lyrics has been in the back of my mind ever since.  Perhaps it's time to address it once and for all--if that's even possible.



Back to Top ↑