Yakety Yak

Album: Greatest Hits (1958)
Charted: 12 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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 2 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."
  • King Curtis, who recorded as a solo artist for Atlantic Records in the '60s, played the famous saxophone solo. In 1963, Boots Randolph used this song as the basis for his instrumental "Yakety Sax."
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Comments: 5

  • Esskayess from Dallas, Tx"Just tell your hoodlum friend outside..."

    Always cracked me up.
  • Cristian from Santiago, ChileA new dance version was release this year (2011) by The Drapers.
  • Jas from Clifton, TxRecording this as a rap song would be considered a crime against humanity. It's basically a protest song that was so catchy that people didn't realize it was actually criticizing them.
  • P from Chicago, IlSomeone needs to record this as a rap song. "Just tell your gangbang friends outside..."
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumSuper good song of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
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