♫ Lightnin’ Strikes ♫

Tonight I am taking you guys waaaaaaaay back, back to a time many of you weren’t even so much as a twinkle in your daddy’s eye!  The year was 1965, the artist was Lou Christie.  The song was released as a single on Christmas day 1965, and on February 19, 1966, it hit the top of the pop charts.  Says Christie …

“And they didn’t even like it! Lenny Shear threw it in the wastebasket and said it was a piece of crap! So we put up our own money to get it played around the country, and it started taking off once it got played. Three months later, Lenny was taking a picture with me for Billboard magazine, handing me a gold record. I loved that.”

The song was co-written by Christie and Twyla Herbert, who was at least 20 years older than Christie and came from a classical music background.

Now, I like the beat and the music, but I find the lyrics a bit misogynistic … he’s saying that he’s not ready to settle down, still playing the field, but he expects her to be a good girl and just sit twiddling her thumbs and wait for him to sow his wild oats.  Um … double standard, Lou?  Well, it was 1965, and we have come a long way since then … haven’t we?  Um … well, yeah, perhaps not so much.  Anyway, just listen … it’s good music.

Lightnin’ Strikes
Lou Christie

Listen to me, baby, you gotta understand (ma-me-aah, ooh)
You’re old enough to know the makings of a man (ma-me-aah, ooh)
Listen to me, baby, it’s hard to settle down (ma-me-aah, ooh)
Am I asking too much for you to stick around (ma-me-aah, ooh)

Every boy wants a girl
He can trust to the very end
Baby, that’s you
Won’t you wait but ’til then?

When I see lips beggin’ to be kissed (stop)
I can’t stop (stop) I can’t stop myself (stop, stop)
Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again

Nature’s takin’ over my one-track mind (ma-me-aah, ooh)
Believe it or not, you’re in my heart all the time (ma-me-aah, ooh)
All the girls are sayin’ that you’ll end up a fool (ma-me-aah, ooh)
For the time being, baby, live by my rules (ma-me-aah, ooh)

When I settle down
I want one baby on my mind
Forgive and forget
And I’ll make up for all lost time

If she’s put together fine and she’s readin’ my mind (stop)
I can’t stop (stop) I can’t stop myself (stop, stop)
Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again and again and again and again

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again

There’s a chapel in the pines
Waiting for us around the bend
Picture in your mind
Love forever, but ’til then

If she gives me a sign that she wants to make time (stop)
I can’t stop (stop) I can’t stop myself (stop, stop)

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again and again and again and again
Lightning is striking again and again and again and again

Songwriters: Lou Christie / Twyla Herbert
Lightnin’ Strikes lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

15 thoughts on “♫ Lightnin’ Strikes ♫

  1. Jill, thanks for pointing out the misogyny in the song lyrics. “Live by my rules…,” for example. It tickles me when I hear the song “Love the one you’re with,” by Stephen Stills. Being a man, I can infer from Stills’ song that what he is really saying is it is OK for me to “love the one you’re with,” but not you. Keith

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          • Haha! I grew up on R&B, soul, the Beatles, and American Bandstand. Rock and Woodstock came later. The Who, Stones… Our son begged me for my original Woodstock album. I caved and gave it to him. I remember my Bakelite radio when I was in junior high, where I could get the New York stations at night and listen to the good music black groups were doing. In college, the best groups played at the gym on college campuses. Hard to imagine. Iron Butterfly, Chicago … great list. Thank you, Jill. Sorry for the ramble. 🙂

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  2. What is there to say. Boys were brought up to “sow their wild oats” in those days (yes, many still are today too!) and “good girls” were brought up to save themselves for marriage. I am proud to be part of the first generation to openly challenge those fictions. Yes there were pregnancies along the way, and a lot of “love children” were born (none mine, though there was one abortion forced by her parents), but girls openly learned to enjoy sex as much as the boys, and I don’t know many who regretted enjoying it.
    This song was from before the sexual revolution, and that the singer expected a girl to wait for him while he screwed around was a total downer. (One girl actually told me to do just that, but I didn’t believe her. I stayed committed to her, but eventually the sexual tension grew too strong, and rather than commit a sin she threw me away. She was married to a “nice” man a year later who her parents brought over from the old country. I never heard for sure how that turned out, but I heard rumours. I was not happy.)
    Anyway, enough confessions, but I did not like this song! However, it certainly was the product of an era. And I am glad that era is mostly behind us.

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    • I’m glad you liked it, Patty!!! Good to see you … I’ve missed your comments! How’s it going down there? Yes, I’m relatively well, for an old biddy who spends 90% of her time in the dark world of today’s politics 😉

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