top of page
Lola
Song

Lola

The Kinks
Album:
Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One,

Song Meaning and Background of Lola by The Kinks


"Lola" is a song written by Ray Davies and performed by English rock band the Kinks on their 1970 album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.


The song details a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible trans woman, whom he meets in a club in Soho, London.


In the song, the narrator describes his confusion towards Lola, who "walked like a woman but talked like a man".


Ray Davies said, “It was a real experience in a club. I was asked to dance by somebody who was a fabulous looking woman. I said "no thank you". And she went in a cab with my manager straight afterwards. It's based on a personal experience. But not every word.


Ray Davies has claimed that he was inspired to write "Lola" after Kinks manager Robert Wace spent a night in Paris dancing with a cross-dresser.


Davies said of the incident, "In his apartment, Robert had been dancing with this black woman, and he said, 'I'm really onto a thing here.'


And it was okay until we left at six in the morning and then I said, 'Have you seen the stubble?' He said 'Yeah', but he was too intoxicated to care, I think".

 

Drummer Mick Avory has offered an alternative explanation for the song's lyrics, claiming that "Lola" was partially inspired by Avory's frequenting of certain bars in West London. Avory said:


We used to know this character called Michael McGrath. He used to hound the group a bit, because being called The Kinks did attract these sorts of people.


He used to come down to Top of the Pops, and he was publicist for John Stephen's shop in Carnaby Street.


He used to have this place in Earl's Court, and he used to invite me to all these drag queen acts and transsexual pubs.


They were like secret clubs. And that's where Ray Davies got the idea for 'Lola'. When he was invited too, he wrote it while I was getting drunk.


Ray Davies claimed to have done "a bit of research with drag queens" for the song's lyrics.


He has denied claims that the song was written about a date between himself and Candy Darling – Davies contends the two only went out to dinner together and that he had known the whole time that Darling was transgender.


In his autobiography, Dave Davies said that he came up with the music for what would become "Lola", noting that brother Ray added the lyrics after hearing it.


In a 1990 interview, Dave Davies stated that "Lola" was written in a similar fashion to "You Really Got Me" in that the two worked on Ray's basic skeleton of the song, saying that the song was more of a collaborative effort than many believed.


"Lola" was a big hit and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

Lyrics of Lola by The Kinks


I met her in a club down in old Soho

Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola

C O L A cola

She walked up to me and she asked me to dance

I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola

L O L A Lola la-la-la-la Lola

 

Well I'm not the world's most physical guy

But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine

Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand

Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man

Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

 

Well we drank champagne and danced all night

Under electric candlelight

She picked me up and sat me on her knee

And said little boy won't you come home with me

Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy

But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola

La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

I pushed her away

I walked to the door

I fell to the floor

I got down on my knees

Then I looked at her and she at me

 

Well that's the way that I want it to stay

And I always want it to be that way for my Lola

La-la-la-la Lola

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls

It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola

La-la-la-la Lola

 

Well I left home just a week before

And I'd never ever kissed a woman before

But Lola smiled and took me by the hand

And said dear boy I'm gonna make you a man

 

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man

But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man

And so is Lola

La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola


Release Date

1970

Songwriter/s

Ray Davies

Producer/s

Ray Davies

Label/s

Rye, Reprise

Other Songs

bottom of page