Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (3:42)

Cover of Do It Yourself

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“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” is a song and single by Ian Dury & The Blockheads, first released November 23, 1978 and was first released on the 7” single BUY 38 Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick / There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards by Stiff Records. It went to number 1 on the UK popular music charts in January 1979, and is the band’s most successful single ever. It also was named best single of 1979 in the Pazz & Jop poll.

Its lyrics mix various locations across the world and a number of phrases in non-English languages (including French and German). According to its author Ian Dury, the song has an anti-violence message. Its music is noteworthy for bassist Norman Watt-Roy playing 16 notes to the bar and saxophonist Davey Payne playing two saxophones at once.


Co-writer Chas Jankel has repeated a story both in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: The Life of Ian Dury and Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song by Song that the song was written in Rolvendon, Kent during a jamming session between him and Dury. Jankel relates that the music was inspired by a piano part near the end of Wake Up And Make Love With Me (a song on Dury’s solo debut New Boots and Panties!! that Jankel had co-written) and that after listening to it, Dury presented the lyrics for Rhythm Stick to him the same afternoon. This was later corroborated by Dury.


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