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Blitzkrieg Bop: The 40th anniversary of the classic self-titled record, “Ramones”

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Featured image via Rolling Stone

Originally released on April 23, 1976, American punk band, the Ramones, debuted their inaugural album 40 years ago. Since then, you can’t discuss punk music or rock bands in general without discussing the Ramones. They’ve inspired the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks, The Clash and remain a zeitgeist of 1970’s punk and rock history.

While not an immediate commercial success, the self-titled record has since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2014.

Their lyrics were simple, catchy, and full of moodful energy that to this day gets replicated. They didn’t write complicated soliloquies, but they really didn’t have to.

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of their first album, here are some classic lyrics from the record that would sound ridiculous if they weren’t uttered from Joey or Dee Dee’s mouth. The members may have changed throughout the years, but their sound never quite did. Here is their first introduction into the world as a band, the Ramones.


“Blitzkrieg Bop”

Named after a WWII tactic, blitzkrieg, which refers to a “lightning war”, it is the band’s quintessential sound and song, with many people familiar at least with the opening chant, “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!”

In the novel “Ramones: Soundtrack of Our Lives,” Tommy Ramone explains the creation of the defining lyric of their career, “I came up with the chant walking home from the grocery store carrying a bag of groceries. It was based on the line: ‘High Hose nipped her toes’ from the song, “Walking The Dog” by Rufus Thomas.”

“Blitzkrieg Bop” only contains four chords. It only needs four chords.

“Hey! Ho!/Let’s Go!”


“Beat on the Brat”

Featured in the film, “Billy Madison,” this song tells a very simple story of beating on a child with a baseball bat.

Joey Ramone claims the background is about the lower class of New York and the horrible brat children he had to grow up with. So much so, sometimes all you need is a bat.

“Beat on the brat/Beat on the brat/Beat on the brat with a baseball bat”


“Judy is a Punk”

The song may be a telling of a true story or it could be a fabricated collection of words. Either way, the Ramones clearly had a sense of humor about their sound with the tongue in cheek lyrics:

“Second verse, same as the first /[Repeats first verse]/Third verse, different from the first/Jackie is a punk/Judy is a runt”


“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”

Ramones wanted a lot of things, one of those things from time to time was to be your boyfriend.

“I wanna be your boyfriend/Do you love me babe?/What do you say?”


“Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”

The lyrics are minimal. In fact, there are only four. Hence the beauty of many of the Ramone’s discography. A tale of boredom and youthful drug use. Many of the Ramone’s songs begin with the phrase “I Don’t Want to…”. In this case, with it being titled “Now I Wanna…”, it may be a rather positive song for them. Even if it is about sniffing glue.

“All the kids wanna sniff some glue/All the kids want somethin’ to do”


Like many bands that become the face of a music genre or a music scene, the reason the Ramones connect with so many people is less about the work in standalone, but about what it comes to represent in connection with their image, their attitude, the era they came to rise and the oh-so-catchy chants of the leather clad Ramones “brothers.” (None of the members are actually related.)

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