…So strike a pose on a Cadillac

Along with such patently disturbing numbers as:  In the Year 2525; Imagine; Morning Has Broken and that subversive classic What a Wonderful World, today’s selection was one of the songs that was deemed inappropriate for radio play by Clear Channel Communications after the 2001 September 11 attacks.  Not to worry, a decade later it enjoyed a huge surge in popularity among younger protesters during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

It all began when American songwriter Liam Sternberg observed people on a ferry walking in an awkward manner to keep their balance.  It reminded him of ancient Egyptian reliefs and that old British music hall act, Wilson, Koppel and Betty, whose claim to fame was an Egyptian parody called the “sand dance”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq7DGvfnr3U

Sternberg offered the resulting song to Toni Basil, who declined. Then he turned to the Bangles, who were recording their third album, “A Different Light”.  When they released it as the album’s third single in 1986, “Walk Like and Egyptian” reached Number Three on the UK Singles chart and became the first song by an all-female group playing their own instruments to top the U.S. Billboard singles chart.

You may remember the music video (nominated for Best Group Video at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards) featuring people shuffling and posing like those Ancient Egyptian reliefs, interposed with members of the Bangles singing and playing. One of these scenes includes Susannah Hoffs, filmed in a close-up with her eyes exotically moving from side to side…looking left and right.

When later asked about the popular scene Hoffs explained that she was unaware that the camera was filming a close-up and that she was actually looking at individual audience members during the live video shoot as this was her technique for overcoming stage fright… switching between an audience member on her left and one on her right.

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SONG – Wednesday 7 March 

Walk Like an Egyptian

 All the old paintings on the tombs

They do the sand dance don’t you know

If they move too quick (oh whey oh)

They’re falling down like a domino

 All the bazaar men by the Nile

They got the money on a bet

Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)

They snap their teeth on your cigarette

 Foreign types with the hookah pipes say

Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey ooooh

Walk like an Egyptian

 The blonde waitresses take their trays

They spin around and they cross the floor

They’ve got the moves (oh whey oh)

You drop your drink then they bring you more

All the school kids so sick of books

They like the punk and the metal band

When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)

They’re walking like an Egyptian

 All the kids in the marketplace say

Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey ooooh

Walk like an Egyptian

 Slide your feet up the street bend your back

Shift your arm then you pull it back

Life is hard you know (oh whey oh)

So strike a pose on a Cadillac

 If you want to find all the cops

They’re hanging out in the donut shop

They sing and dance (oh whey oh)

They spin the clubs cruise down the block

 All the Japanese with their yen

The party boys call the Kremlin

And the Chinese know (oh whey oh)

They walk the line like Egyptian

 All the cops in the donut shop say

Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oooooooh

Walk like an Egyptian

Walk like an Egyptian

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