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Jailhouse Rock
Song

Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley
Album:
Jailhouse Rock

Song Meaning of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley, and what it is about


Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had previously composed a some of Presley hits including “Hound Dog,”


"Jailhouse Rock" is a song recorded by American singer Elvis Presley for the film of the same name. RCA Victor released the song in 1957, as the first single from the film's soundtrack EP.


Some of the characters named in the song are real people. Shifty Henry was a well-known Los Angeles musician, not a criminal. The Purple Gang was a real mob. "Sad Sack" was a U.S. Army nickname in World War II for a loser, which was also the name of a popular comic strip and comic book character.


Gender studies scholars cite the song for "its famous reference to homoerotics behind bars," while music critic Garry Mulholland writes, "'Jailhouse Rock' was always a queer lyric, in both senses."


Douglas Brode writes of the filmed production number that it's "amazing that the sequence passed by the censors".


The single, with its B-side "Treat Me Nice" (another song from the film's soundtrack) was a US number one hit for seven weeks in the fall of 1957, and a UK number one hit for three weeks early in 1958.


Song Lyrics of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley


The warden threw a party in the county jail.

The prison band was there and they began to wail.

The band was jumpin' and the joint began to swing.

You should've heard those knocked out jailbirds sing.

 

Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.

 

Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,

Little Joe was blowin' on the slide trombone.

The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang,

The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.

 

Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.

 

Number forty-seven said to number three:

"You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see.

I sure would be delighted with your company,

Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me."

 

Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.

 

Sad Sack was a sittin' on a block of stone

Way over in the corner weepin' all alone.

The warden said, "Hey, buddy, don't you be no square.

If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair."

 

Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.

 

Shifty Henry said to Bugs, "For Heaven's sake,

No one's lookin', now's our chance to make a break."

Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, "Nix nix,

I wanna stick around a while and get my kicks."

 

Let's rock, everybody, let's rock.

Everybody in the whole cell block

Was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

Release Date

1957

Songwriter/s

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Producer/s

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Label/s

RCA Victor

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