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The Coasters Poison Ivy

The Coasters Poison Ivy

R&B

The Coasters are one of the best-loved R&B, doo wop groups. One of their big hits was the song “Poison Ivy.”

That girl Ivy is bad news. She plays around. She’s poison, and “Poison Ivy, Lord’ll make you itch.” The song was written (once again) by the famous duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (e.g., “Hound Dog, “Jailhouse Rock,” “Charlie Brown,” “Stand By Me” to name a few). In 1959, The Coasters recorded “Poison Ivy,” and the song went to #1 on the R&B Chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s also the only song to mention “calamine lotion.” There have been many covers since, including versions by The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, The Hollies, The Nylons, The Kingsmen, The Romantics, Linda McCartney, Manfred Mann, The Lambrettas, and many more. Jerry Leiber has claimed that the “poison ivy” referred to in the song actually meant a sexually transmitted disease. That could be, but it went over the heads of many of us — and the heads of our parents.

Here are the lyrics to “Poison Ivy” by The Coasters:

“She comes on like a rose but everybody knows
She’ll get you in Dutch
Now you can look but you better not touch
Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you’re sleepin’ poison ivy comes a’creepin’
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound
She’s pretty as a daisy but look out man she’s crazy
She’ll really do you in
Now if you let her under your skin
Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you’re sleepin’ poison ivy comes a’creepin’
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound
Measles make you bumpy
And mumps’ll make you lumpy
And chicken pox’ll make you jump and twitch
A common cold’ll fool ya And whooping cough’ll cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord’ll make you itch!!
You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion
You’ll be scratchin’ like a hound
The minute you start to mess around
Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you’re sleepin’ poison ivy comes a’creepin’
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound
Measles make you bumpy
And mumps’ll make you lumpy
And chicken pox’ll make you jump and twitch
A common cold’ll fool ya
And whooping cough’ll cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord’ll make you itch!!
You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion
You’ll be scratchin’ like a hound
The minute you start to mess around
Poison iv-y-y-y-y, poison iv-y-y-y-y
Late at night while you’re sleepin’ poison ivy comes a’creepin’
Arou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ound
La da la da la da
La da la da la da
La da la da la da
La da la da la da”

The Coasters formed in 1955 in as a spin-off of The Robins, which was a Los Angeles-based rhythm and blues group. Only Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn moved to New York. Nunn left the group after a while, and the famous lineup was Gardner, Billy Guy, Will “Dub” Jones, and Cornell Gunter. The Coasters had many hits, including “Charlie Brown,” “Down in Mexico,” “Yakety Yak,” “Searchin’,” “Young Blood,” “Along Came Jones,” and “Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)” among many others. Needless to say, there were plenty of personnel changes after that, and The Coasters still perform today.

Please click here if you would like to read about and listen to their songs “Young Blood” and “Charlie Brown.”

If you are interested in an album by The Coasters, please click on the photo below:

For More Golden Oldies Music        

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Poison Ivy” by The Coasters.

4 Comments

  1. Never knew that about the song. Leiber and Stoller are always fun, as is anything by The Coasters. Top doo wop group.

  2. […] If you want to read about their song “Charlie Brown,” please click here. Or, if you want to read about “Poison Ivy,” please click here. […]

  3. […] more songs by The Coasters: “Young Blood,” “Poison Ivy,” “Little Egypt,” and “Yakety […]

  4. […] you would like to read about and listen to other Lieber and Stoller songs by The Coasters: “Poison Ivy,” “Charlie Brown,” “Young Blood,” and “Yakety […]

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