Be Good Johnny (3:32)

Cover of Business As Usual

From Business As Usual and 37 other releases

“Be Good Johnny” is a 1982 song by Australian band, Men at Work, from their first album, Business as Usual.

The song is written from the viewpoint of a 9-year-old boy who is constantly being told to be good, but prefers to daydream rather than concentrate in class or play sports. Johnny feels like he understands some of his instructions, but also that he is completely misunderstood by the adult world.

The lead singer, Colin Hay, uses his voice in different ways throughout the song to imitate Johnny, Johnny’s mother and father, and his teacher. The song also features spoken dialog by keyboardist Greg Ham as he tries to figure out what Johnny is like. The title of the song is a reference to Johnny B. Goode.

Although the song was played moderately on US radio stations, it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 as it was not released in the states as a physical single, a criterion that was still used by the Hot 100 at the time. The song did chart and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the US.


Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (38)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
Men at Work - It's a Mistake 4:43 57,287
Men at Work - Overkill 3:47 106,684
The Fixx - Saved By Zero 3:40 59,917
The Romantics - Talking in Your Sleep 3:54 102,686
Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight 4:47 103,681
Icehouse - Electric Blue 4:35 30,387

Listening Trend

48,914listeners all time
158,339scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more

Listen to, buy or share


Send Ringtones to Cell

Skip the skip up the road, off to school you go
Don't be a bad boy, Johnny, don't you slip up or play the fool

Oh no, Ma, Oh no, Da, I'll be your golden boy

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


Leave a comment. Log in to or sign up.

Top Listeners