The Streak

Album: Boogity Boogity (1974)
Charted: 1 1

Songfacts®:

  • Stevens was inspired to write this after reading an article about streaking, which was a fad among college students where they would run around naked in public.
  • By the time Stevens recorded this, a bunch of other songs about streaking had already been released. He took it to a Nashville radio station, and the song got a great response when they played it.

    Stevens recalled in an interview with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International: "There were about a dozen other records about streaking on the market before I could get mine out, and I was pretty fast! I wrote the song the minute I heard about streaking, and got in the studio and cut it. "

    "People were just … I don't know how they got their records out so fast, but maybe they weren't all that good. When mine came out, it took the market. It was the one that radio liked."
  • Five days after this was released, one of the most high-profile streaks took place at the Academy Awards, when advertising executive Robert Opel streaked past David Niven on live TV. This added to the public's fascination with streaking and helped make the song a huge hit.

Comments: 8

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaThis man always makes me laugh Look out Ethel. wonder however, who his back up singers were, and who were the actors on his videos?
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenWhenever I hear this, I think of something that actually happened during the early-to-mid-70s "streaking" craze. Many here may remember the way Safeways (the ones with the arched roofs) were laid out at that time – a door on the left and right sides of the building with a wide aisle between them that passed in front of the checkout counters. In my neck of the woods, a favored way of streaking was for a car to let the streaker out at one of the doors. The au buffo individual would run past the checkouts, during which time the car would quickly drive over to the other door and pick him/her up and peel rubber before anyone could react. A friend of my older sister's had learned that her boyfriend was two-timing her, but had not yet revealed her knowledge to him. Wearing a poncho and "just his tennis shoes," he got into her car and she drove him to the local Safeway. He shed his poncho, jumped out and streaked past the checkouts and out the door, only to find that his (ex-) girlfriend had driven off without him. Best breakup ever!
  • Farrah from Elon, NcOne Of the funniest songs ever. Ray Stevens is The King Of Country Comedy in my opinion.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis is a funny song! I saw the streaker on a flashback David opal run past David Nivin at the academy awards.I wish I put it on dvr,maybe when the academy awards moments comes on.I'll put it on.I'll print the words to it.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaThis, as well as being a funny song, hearkens back to the days when a song told an actual story, rather than being a collection of hooks & refrains -- he(the storyteller) is watching a game, when a streasker runs through; his first thought is for his wife's sensibiklities, so he holers, "Don't look, Ethel!" eventually we find out in a bit of comedy irony that the streaker IS his wife Ethel! Too cute!
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis song is so goofy. Ray Stevens is also a redneck, as we can VERY clearly hear. "Disco Duck" cracks me up; "The Streak" is goofy too, but in a different way. "Disco Duck" uses a "duck-voice"; "The Streak" is merely making a farce out of a news incident. It's fun to listen to.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkThis was the goofiest song about one of the stupidest fads of the 70s. Even pet rocks made more sense. I knew every word of it along with all of my classmates. Football jocks made it a rite of passage to run through a study hall wearing a ski mask and a smile. Everybody would yell "DONT LOOK ETHEL!"
  • Don from Newmarket, CanadaDavid Niven's comment about the streaker as he was being led away "Now that man has allowed the world to see his shortcomings."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

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

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.