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Sheena Is A Punk Rocker by Ramones

Album: Rocket To RussiaReleased: 1977Charted:
  • This was the first punk song to hit the pop charts. The name "Sheena" came from Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, who was kind of a female Tarzan character. It was a popular comic book and TV series in the '40s and '50s.
  • Joey Ramone: "'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' first came out as a single. I played it for (Sire Records President) Seymour Stein. He flipped out and said 'We gotta record that song now.' It was like back in the '50s; you'd rush into the studio because you thought you had a hit, then put it right out. To me 'Sheena' was the first surf/punk rock/teenage rebellion song. I combined Sheena, Queen of the Jungle with the primalness of punk rock. Then Sheena is brought into the modern day: 'But she just couldn't stay/she had to break away/well New York City really has it all.' It was funny because all the girls in New York seemed to change their name to Sheena after that. Everybody was a Sheena." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Katie - Gasoline Alley, Australia
  • This runs 2:45, which is fairly long for a Ramones song.
  • Tommy Ramone helped produce this track. He his credited on the album under his real name, Tommy Erdelyi.
  • While this was the first punk rock song to hit the Hot 100, it was not the first song on the chart with the word "Punk" in the title: Barry Mann made #78 in 1976 with "The Princess And The Punk," a song that about mismatched lovers that was certainly not a punk rocker.
  • The Polish band Armia (translation: The Army) covered this, with most of the lyrics translated to Polish. It appears on two of their albums: Antiarmia and the concert album Soul Side Story. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Krzysiek - Lublin, Poland
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Comments: 30

As far as female rockers, what about Joan Jett? Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart? Lita Ford maybe? I'm more curious why there aren't more female guitar heroes. All I can really think of is that Orianthi (sp?) girl that was going to be Michael Jackson's lead guitarist before he died. Usually girls/woman play bass, keyboards or sing. Or play acoustic/rhythm guitar. Maybe it's because rock is a predominately male genre as there are probably more female Jazz, flamenco, and classical guitarists. Idk....Zero - The Abyss, Nj
I don't know about you guys, but occasionally I'll start randomly singing this song, especially the chorus. Lol.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I want to second LJ's story about there being a real Sheena, and she did live in Moscow Idaho in 1979. I've been looking for years for any reference to this! We must have met at one point Lj. I recall the real Sheena was one real HOT punk rock girl.
I remember her last name and have tried to google for more info, without any luck.
It would be very cool to find out more about this history. The girl was very connected,she moved to San Francisco and we didn't hear much about her after that.
Deadflo - Spokane, Wa
Great song! As Tre Cool once said, "The world is a better place because of Joey Ramone".Sc - Anchorage, Ak
This is a GREAT song!! just b.c it has my name in it SHEENA!! love it!!

Sheena - Salineville, Oh
everytime i hear Shena, i love the pure contempt during the line ''got their surfboards & they're goin' to the discoteque-a-go-go''. when i sing along i cant help but sneer & knash my teeth!...absolutely adore the ramones!Pynes - Military Brat, Currently In Al,
I love the Ramones and this song is one of my favorites...unfortunately everytime I listen to it the first image that comes to mind is from the movie Stephen King's Pet Sematary when little Gage Creed (Miko Hughes) gets hit by that damn Orinco truck!!!! (For whoever didn't watch the movie,there is a scene when the truck driver was singing along to this tune before he ran over the baby.)Michelle - Linden, Nj
I love this song. No matter what you call it, punk, rock n' roll, pop, whatever, its the best of all those worlds. A great record in my opinion!Malicious Matt - Squatney
"But she jus couldn't stay she had to break away"
the way its beautifully and painfully sung hooked me instantly! I CANT IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT THE RAMONES.
Dave - San Antonio, Tx
Tha Ramones rock. Good tune to party to all niteVinnie - Manhattan, Ny
I meet Sheena in Moscow Id. in the early 80's. Man that girl could party...She was a one of a kind person, could (deleted) like a tiger...Good fun memories...Thanks Sheena
lj Moscow Id.
Lj - Moscow, Id
I discovered the Ramones way back in high school and loved them. I recently rediscovered them when my son started listening to them and fell in love all over again. Sheena is the ultimate surf/feel good song!Judy - Rochester, Ny
I know Janice Joplin is considered a blues singer, she's loved by rock audiences as well. As far as female rock legends goes, I guess Grace Slick could fit in that category? I don't know.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
As far as rock legends, Galena, you missed one Janice Joplin. She's a female.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Don't forget Patti Smith.Brandon - Malvern, Ar
To say something to matthew,way down at the bottom, I have noticed that many rock legends are male, (in exeption to The Bangles). Doesn't that seem a little wierd? If there are anymore female rock legends that I have missed, please tell me.Galina - New London, Ct
When I did horse back riding I got to wear cool boots that went up to my knees, and my dad saw me then said "you are a punk rocker", then he hummed the song for the rest of the day.Galina - New London, Ct
I first heard this song when I was 15 on a mix tape someone loned me, and fell in love with it. When I was 21 I was given a kitten as a gift and named her Sheena. She is a punk rocker.Sarah - Kalamazoo, Mi
this song is amazing i love the ramonesMaria - Los Angeles, Ca
Also it got to #81 on the charts-- the most successful Ramones song. u_uMaya - San Francisco-ish, Ca
This song has the coolest guitar part; if you've seen the music video, you can see Johnny's spazzing hand. I think this was one of the Ramones's first big hits. Great, catchy song.Maya - San Francisco-ish, Ca
if you love a band you can cover their songs all you want thats just showing respect. amen.Yolanda Morphinite - Bountiful , Ut
This song is so massiveMichael Picard - Lapwai, Id
i agree, Sbrmf, i don't think that anyone should copy songs that are really popular because everyone obviously liked it the way it was so no matter how well you do it they'll always be like, "oh that's that queen song, those posers."Amelia - Kremmling, Co
Ramones is the band! Nobody can compare! Every band pays tribute and covers the Ramones, but they will never be the Ramones!!! Tribute bands can be cool, but most have done really crappy jobs!!!Sbrnrmf - Norfolk, Va
Let's face it, Rancid (I love 'em) is just one big Ramones tribute band. 'Sheena' is my favorite Ramones song. It's amazing that a song as repetetive as this can be so enjoyable.Steph - Ottawa, Canada
the return of Jackie & Judy is not the sequel to this. it is the sequel to Judy is a Punk.Tanner - Pleasant View, Ut
According to legend, Joey Ramone felt that every genre had its female hero: Soul had Aretha Franklin. Motown had Diana Ross. Blues had Janis Joplin. Jazz had Ella Fitzgerald. Folk had Joan Baez. And so on. He wanted to create a female hero for punk, and since he felt he couldn't create a "real" hero, he'd just write about one. Hence, Shena was born.Matthew - New York, Ny
This song was covered by Rancid , the Tribute To Ramones - We're A Happy Family album.Andy - Halifax, England
check out it's sequel, the return of jackie & judyLucas - Buenos Aires, South America
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