♫ All Night Long (All Night) ♫

Lionel Richie is among my top ten favourite artists, and I was amazed when earlier tonight it was brought to my attention that I hadn’t played any of his songs for a while (actually, it was just over three weeks ago when I played Endless Love, but heck, three weeks is a long time).  At any rate, since I do love Lionel, and since I haven’t yet played this one here …

Written by the man himself, this was Lionel Richie’s fourth solo single – the first being a duet with Diana Ross.  Released in 1983 on the Motown Label, co-produced with James Carmichael, it topped the Hot 100 for four weeks. The song also sold well internationally, and was performed by Richie at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Lionel said this one took him about two months to write because …

“I just couldn’t find the ending – I couldn’t find all night long to save my life. I had everything, the verses, the middle part, all the stuff. I just did not have all night long. It took me forever to find it. And finally one night, the heavens opened up and came through.”

As for the origin of the song, he says he got the vibe for this song from his vacations in the Caribbean …

“I’m one of those guys that – I don’t look for something new. I look for what people do everyday. And I noticed that, anytime I would come on vacation, everybody who can rap is on vacation doing a calypso dance. Everybody who’s singing Opera, they conform to some form of calypso or some form of reggae. So when I went back to do ‘All Night Long’ it was very simple. All I had to do was find that beat that everybody dances to when they go on vacation.”

There is a very multicultural vibe to this song, as Richie mentions joyful words in different languages. “Karamu” is a Swahili word for a party accompanied by a feast; “Liming” is a Caribbean term for getting together, and “Fiesta” is Spanish for party.  Richie explains the lyric “Tambo liteh sette mo-jah! Yo! Jambo jambo” …

“I called the UN and said ‘I need something African for the breakdown in this song I’m writing.’ They informed me that there are thousands of different African dialects. I couldn’t believe it. One region doesn’t have any idea what the other is taking about. So, ‘Tambo liteh sette mo-jah!’? I made it up on the spot. Now I think that ‘Jambo’ might have a meaning in Swahili, but you gotta be careful because it might mean ‘welcome’ in one dialect and you might get your head cut off for saying it in another.”

A young Richard Marx, before he found fame with his own hits such as Right Here Waiting, supplied backing vocals on this track. He said the “jambo” section was a moving target …

“It kept changing. He kept getting different notes from people saying, ‘That’s actually not what that means. Change this vowel.’ So, we had to do it a couple of times on different days.”

Lionel Richie was an early mentor to Richard Marx, who also lent his vocals to several of Richie’s other recordings, including Running With The Night and You Are. Said Marx …

“Working with him in the studio was always just fun. He makes everything fun. He has got an incredible energy about him – positive energy. I can’t say enough about him.”

This song became an anthem for the Iraqi people during the 2003 invasion. Richie told Q magazine July 2009: “Recently I met the commander of the 190 Brigade. He said his troops put speakers on their Humvees and played ‘Dancing On The Ceiling.’ they arrived to hear ‘All Night Long.’ The fall of Baghdad was played out to my songs, which is a bit frightening.”

This was the first Lionel Richie video to make an impact on MTV.

“When MTV started, it wanted nothing to do with black artists.  But then I gave them ‘All Night Long’ after Michael (Jackson) had broken down the door. And from then on I was on MTV.”

All Night Long (All Night)
Lionel Richie


Da Da, ooooh
Well, my friends, the time has come
To raise the roof and have some fun
Throw away the work to be done
Let the music play on (play on, play on, play on…)
Everybody sing, everybody dance
Lose yourself in wild romance
We’re going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along!
We’re going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along!


All night long (all night), All night (all night)
All night long (all night), All night (all night)
All night long (all night), All night (all night)
All night long! (all night), Ooh, yeah (all night)


People dancing all in the street
See the rhythm all in their feet
Life is good, wild and sweet
Let the music play on…(Play on, play on, play on…)
Feel it in your heart and feel it in your soul
Let the music take control
We’re going to Party, Liming, Fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
We’re going to Party, Liming, Fiesta, forever
Come on and sing my song!


All night long (all night), oooh, (all night)
All night long (all night), yeaz, (all night)
All night long (all night), yeah, (all night)
All night long (all night)…(all night)


Yeah, once you get started you can’t sit down
Come join the fun, it’s a merry-go-round
Everyone’s dancing their troubles away
Come join our party, See how we play!


Come on! Come on!
Everybody dance like Jimmy
Come on!


Tam bo li de say de moi ya
Hey Jambo Jumbo
Way to parti o we goin’
Oh, jambali
Tam bo li de say de moi ya
Yeah, Jambo, jumbo


Oh, O, O, O, yes
We’re going to have a party! (Yeah… ugh)


All night long (all night), All night, (all night)
All night long (all night), All night, (all night)
All night long (all night), All night, (all night)
All night long (all night)…


Everyone you meet (all night)
They’re jamming in the street (all night)
All night long! (All night)


Everyone you meet (all night)
They’re jamming in the street (all night)
All night long! (All night)


Everybody come on!
Feel good! Feel good!
Come on!


Come on!


Sing about here, everybody!


All night long (all night), All night, (all night)
All night long (all night), All night, (all night)
Come on now
All night long (all night), All night, (all night)


Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lionel B., Jr. Richie
All Night Long (All Night) lyrics © Almo Music Corp., Larry Spier Music Llc, Brockman Music, Brenda Richie Publishing, Almo Music Corporation, Personal Music, Almo Music Corp. O/b/o Nuages Artists Music Ltd., Glenwood Music Corp, Emi U Catalog Inc, Brockman Music % Provident Financial Mgt, Nuages Music Ltd

12 thoughts on “♫ All Night Long (All Night) ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ All Night Long (All Night) ♫ | The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

  2. I’m actually a bit of an expert on African dialects and traced “Tambo liteh sette mo-jah! Yo! Jambo jambo” to a Swahili saying which translates as “Come on ,try telling me those feet aren’t moving now”. .Lionel Ritchie is one of those artistes who doesn’t seem to have as bad song in him and who just radiates joy and fun and laughter as well as ‘Nakupenda Sana’ with songs like Hello. May his reign go on and on.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhh … you are indeed a man of many talents, not the least of which is being a linguist! Lionel should have called you instead of the United Nations. I had to Google ‘Nakupenda Sana’ … I like that one. I’m really glad you enjoyed the song!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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