The KKK Took My Baby Away – Ramones

This is the best seven inch single song ever recorded. No. It’s fine. I’ll give you a moment.

This song. Is the best song. To have on 45 revolutions per minute, seven inches of black (it doesn’t have to be black) vinyl.

I know that’s a big claim. I know that it’s taking on some serious competition (Heartbreak Hotel is great but it’s a bit slow). I know it’s not an all humanity together unifying ‘I want to buy the world a coke’ anthem so it won’t be for everyone (Angels by Robbie Williams was mostly sold on CD) but it is an entire melodrama of a movie all in one song (The Shangri-Las Leader Of The Pack is, I will admit, tough competition). But The KKK Took My Baby Away is the peak of 50’s rock and roll coming in a little late in 1981. It is the stripping away of genre and specialism and angle and the boiling down of the art form to what it was always meant to be (A-Ha’s Take On Me doesn’t even come close)

That’s why it’s the best song. For a seven inch single ever.

Dunna Nunna Nunh! Dunna Nunna Nunh!

It’s not Bohemian Rhapsody (too long for a seven inch, the grooves are crowded) but its a great intro.

‘She went away for the holiday, said she was going to LA, but she never got there, she never got there, she never got there they say…’

Come on! As opening lyrics go that’s an episode of Murder She Wrote. It’s got travel, intrigue, adventure and plot.

The KKK Took My Baby Away is the punk rock Mississippi Burning. It’s contentious. It’s star crossed lovers. Is she black and he white? Did they kill her? Did they steal her away into slavery? Or (as rumour has it) did a conservative guy in the band steal liberal Joey’s girl from right under him?

So the song is now autobiographical? Joey’s girl stolen by his less than progressive more right wing band mate. But the vibe is pure 50’s rock and roll. Pure ‘Where oh where can my baby be?’ this is Last Kiss meets New Rose. This is just the best thing ever.

If I ever need lifting up, If I ever need to clear my head. If I ever need to find out what I want, need or have to do about something, I go up into the room where the records are kept in our house and  I listen to The KKK took My Baby Away.

And then I know what to do.

6 thoughts on “The KKK Took My Baby Away – Ramones

  1. The Ramones legend lives on! I must admit I don’t own not one of their records, but I am familiar with a lot of their punk rock classics. Shame they split up over a girl, well that’s the rumour I hear anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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