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Going Down by The Monkees

Album: B-side of Daydream BelieverReleased: 1967
  • Peter Tork says this was based on Mose Allison's "Parchment Farm." It's about a drunken guy who "ends it all" by jumping into the river, and immediately regrets it as he's "Goin' Down."
  • Drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead.
  • All the Monkees got writer's credit on this song.
  • This was released as the B-side of "Daydream Believer." (thanks, Barry Kesten - Bellmore, United States, for all above)
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Comments: 21

Uhm, yes. The Monkees were a Beatles knock off. And points to you if you get the "manufactured band" ref. But somehow the whole thing worked insanely well. I remember Mickey saying once on a rock 'n' roll review show that (paraphrasing here), "We were hired to be actors on a TV show and then we became a real band. As if Starsky and Hutch became real cops." So why the Hell was this only a B side?? It was the best thing they ever did, and that is saying a LOT. Okay, okay. The "manufactured band" reference is from the soundtrack to the wondrously bizarre Monkees movie, "HeadB - Austin, Tx
So all this time I just assumed that the Monkees, who I absolutely adored when I was a kid, were just a cute, happy TV band who put out a few dippy bubblegum pop ditties. Sure they were fun but not to be taken seriously. And then...a few days ago I happened upon "Goin' Down." Mind officially blown. I will never again view the Monkees as a contrivance. I am dying to stray further from the well-worn path cut by "Daydream Believer" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and discover new (to me) thrills like this!Rachel - Nashville, Tn
Over 12 yrs ago my musician husband who was 11 yrs younger than I, heard this song for the first time. Deeming it an awesome song from such an inferior band. He proceeded to work it up for his Jazz band. Needless to say he never achieved it. I have loved the Monkees since the first time their show aired and I fought with my dad to watch it. I loved them more than the Beatles who happened to be banned at our Southern Baptist home. RIP Davy Jones, miss your sweet face. This music was sooo great. So happy to have lived in this time when 45's were $.50, and my grandmother would sneak me a couple of Quarters and off I would go to the nearest 5 & 10 to spend it on a record. Great Times.Gail - Nashville, Tn
I've been a fan since the very beginning (the '60s). My 6-year-old daughter has actually asked for her own copy of this song, so I'm passing the torch along. (Incidentally, she's quite the music connaisseur, as some of her absolute favorites are the Beatles and Elvis as well!)Karen - Manchester, Nh
This is one crazy piece of songwriting.What makes it work is Mickey Dolenz's vocal performance.It is dynamite the way Mickey handles the singing with skill.The words are sung fast,like the song is being speeded up.I think it is a very interesting and entertaining piece of music.Listening to this song is like a surreal experience.George - Belleville, Nj
Although the song starts out with the subject attempting suicide, in the last few verses he discovers that he can float on his back and then rides the river down to New Orleans, presumably to start a career in jazz and then to write this song...Charles - Bronxville, Ny
All the Monkees had talent - that's why they were picked for the show/band! I think people forget that because they didn't write all their own songs and were largely compared to bands that did - so the kinda got written off.Linc - Beaumont, Tx
Marty,CT-----I agree! Even though Nesmith was basically more the songwriter/musician/producer of the quartet; and wrote alot of really great material...Micky had the vocals DOWN, man.
To me, his vocal tracks were synonymous with the major hits that the Monkees had.
Sam - Hipsville, Ca
It's about Suicide.I hear in the lyrics,mama cow and downstream.I also heard Sock It to me in the beginning!Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
I have always been a fan of Mickey. He is, was and always will be the consumate showman. Given the opportunity, I could listen to him scat for hours. I have always thought that this song served as absolute proof that he had talent. Every word is there! Amazing.Marty - Naugatuck, Ct
Agreeing with many here, I think Micky Dolenz is one of the most underrated people in the entertainment business--music, acting and comedy. But he will always be branded a "Monkee", so he will never be taken seriously. Goin' Down is his finest hour.John - Cincinnati, Oh
i loved this song! I think the vocals are so cleverly done and soulfull . great song.Rachel - North Jersey, Nj
This was one of the only songs all four Monkees were credited to writing together. I personally love this song.Lyndsey - Corinth, Ms
I always thought the lyrics were pretty clear, a girl told him to get lost, he was distraught, he "jumped" and thought he would drown, instead if floated down to New Orleans.

Also, why do people refer to them as the "Monkeys", it's MONKEES!
Pmcountry - Small Town, Pa
I never really thought much of The Monkees when I was a kid (I was too loyal to the Beatles to appreciate what I thought of as an American knockoff) but I recently saw a documentary about them on the Biography channel and that made me go back to listen to some of their music again. "Goin' Down" just blew me away--it's not only a great Monkees' song, it's a great song, period. Dolenz' vocals are amazing.Joe - St Louis, Mo
The Monkees were always under-estimated, and Micky really is an amazing, talented guy - those lyics go on for ages (that's a lot of words to commit to memory); he sings very fast and that is a feat in itself (requires a very lucid tongue and a quick and agile mind); and he remains committed and interested in the song from start to finish. I always remember ". . . I can't believe they drink this stuff in town, this dirty brown. Going Down."Lance - Adelaide, Australia
I didn't appprciate this when I was 14, but now I realize showed the versitality the Monkees had! It's a great song Jazz, blues, boogie all mixed into one!Pj - Okc, Ok
Actually, Micky did a stream of consciousness thing while recoding this. It actually was supposed to be 'Parchment Farm' but Mike being the consumate business man, suggested that they come up with lyrics and make it their own song. Diane Hilderbrandt, a Kirshner writer, and friend of Peter's came up with the general plot of the song, and Micky 'rapped' it. Waaaay back in 1967.Richard - Lansing, Mi
Brings back memorys. Grew up with the MONKEES (13 yrs old). In about 1966 they did a concert at the FOREST HILLS TENACE STADIUM. Mom was a waitress, me a bus boy.(she also was sole waitress for the BEATLES when they played). Had employees pass to all areas. Here we come, walking.......... I ran up the block to catch opening. This was the show that HENDRIX was opening act. He walked off stage to chants of "WE WANT DAVIE"Robby - Nyc, Ny
I have to say that when I was a kid my grandmother used to buy me 45s for my entertainment. She gave me a copy of "Daydream Believer" along with others I believe she liked because of their title. I always listened to the "B-side" just to see how it went. I never understood all the lyrics to "Goin' Down" But I always considred it to be above the usual things that "The Monkeys" did (and, believe me, as a kid I remember some good work from them). I am thankful and humbled to finally know what some of those fast lyrics said. It is profound as well as being very memorable in its sound and style. John, 44, Fort WorthJohn - Fort Worth, Tx
For a manufactured band..this is one GREAT song. for almost 40 years, it's still one of my favorite songs of all time.Ron - Malone, Ny