Bedbugs And Ballyhoo

Album: Echo & the Bunnymen (1985)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • You may find some meaning in this song if you open your mind wide enough, but the lyric is really just a series of images lead singer Ian McCulloch for the sake of wordplay. "I don't even know how the hell I made that crap up," he said in a Songfacts interview. "Maybe it is about imperialism, in a way, or the way people just cower when there's a bully. Or someone who's giving you something and you're down on your knees saying, 'Please, yeah, yeah, yeah,' and then, 'No, no, no.'"
  • The band recorded this because they needed a B-side for their "Over Your Shoulder" single. They found a studio near Manchester and did it in a day. It started with a bassline Les Pattinson developed; Ian McCulloch came up with the lyrics, rhythm and chords. The entire band is credited for writing the track.
  • McCulloch refers to this kind of song as "gibberish and genius." One of its naysayers was Jake Drake-Brockman, who played keyboards with the band. McCulloch told Songfacts: "This Jake fella, we were close, but I never trusted his judgment on anything because he had a hyphenated name and he was from the south of England - he was from a posh village. So, I never trusted his taste or what he had to say. He said, 'That song's rubbish.' He ridiculed it. And I said, 'No, Jake, it's about imperialism.'"
  • This was first released in 1985 as the B-side of Australian and UK issues of "Over Your Shoulder." A new version was included on the group's fifth, self-titled album in 1987 and also issued as an A-side that year with various mixes.
  • Ray Manzarek of The Doors played keyboards on the 1987 version of this track. Around the same time, Manzarek collaborated with the band on a new version of The Doors song "People Are Strange," which was used on the soundtrack of the 1987 movie The Lost Boys. Released as a single, that song went to #29 in the UK.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.

Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"They're Playing My Song

With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.