Bedbugs And Ballyhoo

Album: Echo & the Bunnymen (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Movie Stars In Music Videos

Movie Stars In Music VideosSong Writing

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and John Malkovich are just a few of the film stars who have moonlighted in music videos.

Janis Ian

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Butch Vig

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song Spoofs

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.

Howard Jones

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.