The Wall Street Shuffle
by 10cc

Album: Sheet Music (1974)
Charted: 10

Songfacts®:

  • 10cc members Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart wrote this song. Gouldman told the The Daily Mail, May 27, 2007: "We were crossing New York's Wall Street in a cab one day and someone said, 'Do the Wall Street Shuffle.' That song just built from there."

    The someone was Lol Creme, who along with Kevin Godley rounded out the band. In a BBC Radio Wales interview, Eric Stewart explained: "We were crossing Wall Street in New York in a stretch limousine, celebrating the fact that we'd got in the charts with 'Rubber Bullets,' and we'd gone across the big financial district of America there, and just as we were going across the street, Lol said 'Wall Street! The Wall Street Shuffle!' And I said, 'Do the Wall Street Shuffle.'

    I had the melody in my head, but it was Lol's words. Wall Street Shuffle. And by that time I'd started writing more so I was getting a little bit more competent in what I was doing in, in the writing partnerships. And those things stay with you. If someone says a nice line to you or you hear something on radio, there's a part of your brain suddenly locks it in if it's good, and you'll never forget it. Until you get into the studio and start to write. And we got to the studio to, to start writing our second album, Sheet Music, and I said to Lol, 'Remember that idea, Lol, Wall Street Shuffle?' He said 'Yeah, yeah, it's a great idea, great title, but I don't think I really, I don't feel right like writing. I don't think I have anything to put in that in terms of words.' So I said, 'Well, anybody else want to write? Is anybody gonna go for this?' and Graham says 'Yeah, yeah, okay, yeah, let's try and write it.'"
  • There is some financial parlance in the lyric, with a mention of "greenbacks," but the band didn't have any particular industry insights - they just used terms often bandied about on Wall Street. The line, "need a Yen to make a Mark" is a reference to currency trading, the Japanese Yen and German Deutschmark."
  • This was inspired by the downfall of the British pound that was happening at the time. Eric Stewart explained to NME in 1976: "It was a very heavy run and the mark and the yen were getting stronger, and all these words you could use in other ways. So it was just a comment really on the financial time."
  • The song was a breakthrough for Eric Stewart as a songwriter. He'd previously penned songs as a member of the '60s band, The Mindbenders, but Graham Gouldman was an already established songsmith, having written hits for The Hoillies ("Bus Stop") and the Yardbirds ("For Your Love"). Up to this point, the other two band members, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, had done much of the writing for 10cc. However, Stewart came up with a lot of the ideas for this song and its success gave him a lot of confidence as a writer.
  • This song is set in New York City, but it tanked in America, failing to chart. 10cc was much more appreciated in their native UK, where the song went to #10.

Comments: 2

  • Glenn from Auckland, New Zealandhow topical the song is these days e.g. Corporate meltdowns, Bernie Madoff, financial mismanagement etc. It's a wonder the song isn't used as a sound byte on the news when referring to the Wall Street and the current economic situation.
  • N from Staten Island, NyMost of the financial firms mentioned in the lyrics have either merged with other firms or no longer exist. That's the real "Wall Street Shuffle".
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