Released today in 1980: De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

1205

A&M AMS7578

No, The Police weren’t submitting an early entry for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with this second single from their album Zenyatta Mondatta – although the chorus, from which the song’s title was taken, sounded like they might be. The type of simplistic, sing-a-long compositions that feature at Eurovision was what the song parodied. “I got flak for that one,” said Sting in an interview with Q in 1993. “I always thought it was an articulate song about being inarticulate. The first thing you have to consider is that this was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic. I was intrigued with why songs like that worked. Why Da Doo Ron Ron, why Doo Wah Diddy Diddy, why Be Bop A Lula, why Tutti Frutti worked. I came up with the idea that they worked because they were totally innocent. They weren’t trying to tell you anything or distort your vision – it was just sound.” So that’s how Herrey’s won Eurovision.

Back at the time of the single’s release, Sting was rather more defensive about the song. “Almost everyone who reviewed it said, ‘Oh, this is baby talk’,” he told New Musical Express. “But they’re the same people who would probably never get through the first paragraph of Finnegan’s Wake, because that’s ‘baby talk’ too. I know that sounds pretentious….” (No, not a bit!) “…pretentious, but in that song I was trying to say something which was really quite difficult – that people like politicians, like myself even, use words to manipulate people, and that you should be very careful. It’s quite a serious song.”

Sting denied it was all his own work. “My son came up with it,” he said of the titular phrase in The Independent in 1993. “I’ve never paid him – so that’s another possible lawsuit.”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 5
1980
BAUHAUS Telegram Sam (4AD AD17)
The BEAT Too Nice To Talk To (Go Feet FEET4)
The POLICE De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (A&M AMS7578)
The SPECIALS Do Nothing (2-Tone CHSTT16)
1988
U2 Angel Of Harlem (Island IS402)

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