Are You Ready For A Brand New Beat

OK, I know that it is not Summer, that is unless you live in the Southern hemisphere, but I am going with ‘Dancing In The Street’ today and anyways people are getting ready to party for New Years and this is one hell of a party song.  The original version of ‘Dancing in the Street’ by Martha and the Vandellas was produced in 1964 by William ‘Mickey’ Stevenson and released as a single on the Gordy Records label.  The song was written by Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter, and Marvin Gaye. Mickey Stevenson was riding through Detroit with Marvin Gaye when the idea for this song came to him.  It was summer and the city opened up fire hydrants and let the water out in the streets, so children could play in the water to cool off.  They appeared to be dancing in the water.  Ivy Jo Hunter wanted to write a melancholy song, but when Marvin heard it, he said, “That’s not a sad song.  That sounds more like dancing in the street.”  That became the title and half an hour later the song was finished.

This was the biggest hit and trademark song for Martha & the Vandellas.  The group was led by Martha Reeves and her band mates were Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford.  The trio started out backing up Marvin Gaye on some of his songs, and Motown gave them songs to sing on their own, including the hit ‘Heat Wave’.  ‘Dancing In The Street’ reached #4 in the UK and it got to #2 in the US.  Rolling Stone placed the song at #40 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  It is now one of just 50 sound recordings preserved in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.  The song is about love and feeling free enough to dance in the street, not having anything to worry about, so you can just dance while you listen to music.

Several other artists have recorded ‘Dancing in the Street’ over the years, including The Mamas and & the Papas and the Grateful Dead.  In 1985, Mick Jagger and David Bowie recorded a duet to benefit Live Aid.  I made this post short today, so everyone can stop reading now and start dancing.

Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat
Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

They’re dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)
In New York City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They’ll be dancing (dancing in the street)
They’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

It’s an invitation across the nation
A chance for folks to meet
There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging
Dancing in the street

Philadelphia, P-A (dancing in the street)
Baltimore and D.C. now (dancing in the street)
Can’t forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn’t matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They’re dancing
They’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Way down in L.A. (dancing in the street)
Every day, they’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Let’s form a big, strong line (dancing in the street)
Get in time, we’re dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Across the ocean blue (dancing in the street)
Me and you, we’re dancing in the street

Written for 12/30/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “new”.

23 thoughts on “Are You Ready For A Brand New Beat

  1. Martha was a beautiful woman and what a voice. The GD video is delightful. They remind me so much of Pearl Jam when they are being interviewed. The two groups are comparable. It’s a happy song for what I hope proves to be a happy 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Biased against hippies certainly but hate is a strong word. Why do the doc if you hate them? Also, if I’m comparing PJ to GD, then maybe you should. The first one or two are more screamy, but after that they mellow right out.

        Liked by 1 person

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