♫ Loco-Motion ♫

Ever since my post on Monday about the legislation piling up in the Senate because Mitchell McConnell won’t even allow some 250+ mostly bi-partisan bills to be brought to the floor for discussion, I have had that Schoolhouse Rock song in my head … “I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill …”  Not only is it driving me bonkers, but the girls are pretty much sick of it too, especially since I have been singing it while cooking supper, folding laundry, etc.  (Note to readers:  near-deaf people do not sing well … in fact, my singing could win an award for “Worst Warbler of the Year”).  So, in order to exorcise that particular tune, I was planning to play it here tonight.  But, lucky for you guys, a friend and I were talking this evening and another song came up in conversation, and it replaced I’m just a bill in my feeble brain, so …

Tonight I am taking you back in time to 1962, the year Little Eva had a hit with this song, Loco-Motion!  Remember this one?  I was 11 years old, with coke-bottle glasses and braces on my teeth!

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote this song. Little Eva was Eva Boyd, the babysitter – actually more of a nanny – being paid $35/week to watch their daughter Louise and clean the house. They were all young: Eva was 17, King 19 and Goffin 22. One day King came up with a melody that Goffin thought sounded like a locomotive, and when he saw Eva dancing with their daughter to the tune, he got the idea to make the song about a brand new dance – The Loco-Motion. He wrote the lyrics and they brought Eva to the studio and had her record the song as a demo.  They offered the song to Dee Dee Sharp, but she turned it down.  Producer Don Kirshner thought Eva’s vocal was just fine, so they named her Little Eva and had her record the song. The only downside for King and Goffin was losing their nanny: when the song became a million-seller, Eva was able to buy a place of her own.

In 1974, this became an unlikely #1 US hit for Grand Funk Railroad, who did a rock version of the song. It was just the second time a song hit #1 for two different artists – the first was Go Away Little Girl by Steve Lawrence in 1962 and Donny Osmond in 1971. That song was also written by King and Goffin.

I like both versions … I prefer Little Eva’s, but Grand Funk’s doesn’t hurt my ears, so I will offer you both tonight.

The Loco-motion
Little Eva/Grand Funk Railroad

Everybody’s doing a brand-new dance, now
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)
I know you’ll get to like it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)
My little baby sister can do it with me
It’s easier than learning your a-b-c’s
So come on, come on, do the loco-motion with me
You gotta swing your hips, now

Come on, baby
Jump up
Jump back
Well, now, I think you’ve got the knack
Wow, wow

Now that you can do it, let’s make a chain, now
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)
A chug-a chug-a motion like a railroad train, now
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)
Do it nice and easy, now, don’t lose control
A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul

Come on, come on
Do the loco-motion with me

Move around the floor in a loco-motion
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)
Do it holding hands if you get the notion
(Come on baby, do the loco-motion)

There’s never been a dance that’s so easy to do
It even makes you happy when you’re feeling blue
So come on, come on, do the loco-motion with me

You gotta swing your hips, now
(Come on) that’s right (do the loco-motion)
You’re doing fine (come on, do the loco-motion)
Come on, babe (come on, do the loco-motion) hm-hm-hm
Jump up (come on) jump back (do the loco-motion)
You’re looking good (come on, do the loco-motion) hm-hm-hm
Jump up (come on) jump back (do the loco-motion) hm-hm-hm yeah yeah yeah

Songwriters: Carole King / Gerry Goffin
The Loco-motion lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

15 thoughts on “♫ Loco-Motion ♫

  1. To think, Little Eva is only 6 years older than we are. I wonder if she still performs though I never heard any songs by her after this one and surely you can’t make a living from one song. Be very short concerts.
    Thanks for getting my toes tapping,

    Liked by 1 person

    • No she isn’t, for she died in 2003 at the age of 59. I was reading this evening that she is buried in a small cemetery in, I think it was North Carolina, and that her grave had only a small white cross which had fallen victim to the ravages of weather and such. When a local radio station put out the word, donations came rolling in to purchase a headstone. The new headstone has the image of a steam locomotive engraved on the front. I liked that. She did have a number of other songs, but none that I had ever heard of. Glad your toes were tapping, and perhaps you even felt like a bit of dancing?

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.