This was written by the songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had written Elvis Presley's hits "Hound Dog
" and "Jailhouse Rock
." "Yakety Yak" was one of several hits they wrote for The Coasters. In the song, a kid is being scolded by his parents for not doing his chores. There are lots of social implications that can be read into this song, which was written by two Jewish men and sung by a black vocal group. In the book The History of Rock
, Bill Millar writes: "The Coasters were clearly irreverent and opposed institutions that white adults held in high esteem. Authority, parents, fidelity, hard work, piety and the suppression of risky pleasures were questioned with a blood and subversive wit. Jews (Leiber and Stoller) and Southern blacks (the Coasters) were expected to show gratitude towards the system. Instead they stood up and criticized it, a theme that can be recognized in almost all their songs."