Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Walk Like an Egyptian; The Bangles

“Walk Like an Egyptian” is the first song from The Bangles to reach #1 on the charts around the world. It did it in U.S. Billboard Hot 100, Australian, Dutch and German Singles Chart, reaching 2nd and 3rd places in many other countries. According to Wikipedia, it was the first song of an all-women band that peaked the Billboard’s top.

Songfacts stated that the “songwriter Liam Sternberg wrote this. He got the idea when he was on a ferry boat, and saw people struggling to keep their balance. The way they held out their arms and jerked around made it look like they were doing Egyptian movements, and if the boat moved suddenly, they would all topple over.”

But The Bangles’ girls didn’t like to play this song. One of the reasons was that “Walk Like an Egyptian” was a cover, not theirs. Another reason is that it supposed to be just a fun song and not a top hit. We can see this in an interview for PopEntertainment.com:

“‘I was coming from the point of view of a songwriter,’ admits singer/guitarist Vicki Peterson. ‘I wanted to be given respect and recognition as [one]. I thought the band itself had a point of view and a voice and something to say that was being underestimated by our label. I kept looking to bands like R.E.M., who never went outside the band, really, to write. Maybe I’ve since learned that was not actually true. But, the perception was, it was the band’s voice. I wanted that for the Bangles.’

“Particularly weird was the number one smash ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’. The band had heard the demo sung by singer Marti Jones and thought it would be fun to record. But, suddenly, they were best known for the song that was a bit of a novelty. Their fourth single, ‘Walking Down Your Street’ was the Hoffs composition and became a minor success. Then as a soundtrack single for the movie Less Than Zero, the group recorded Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’, which just missed hitting the top spot.

Well, below I put the original videoclip in which Debbi Peterson pretends to be whistling when there is a synthesizer doing it.

All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance dont you know
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
Theyre 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 oh
Walk like an egyptian

The blonde waitresses take their trays
They spin around and they cross the floor
Theyve 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 oh
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
Theyre hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
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 oh
Walk like an egyptian
Walk like an egyptian

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