Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dreadlock Holiday


Have you ever sung along to 10cc’s Dreadlock Holiday and wondered what the lyrics meant?  Or even just sung along to the bit that most people know – “I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it” – and not even bothered to listen closely to the rest of the song’s lyrics?  A feel good song, right?  Well, not exactly.

It was 10cc’s last major hit after a string of 1970’s Top Ten and some number ones, and was written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman in 1978.  Lead vocals are by Graham Gouldman.  The lyrics are about a white man lost in Jamaica who gets mugged and is approached to buy drugs.  That is what happened to Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward and Eric Stewart in Barbados.

According to Eric Stewart:

Dreadlock Holiday is an interesting song because it came from 3 different sources. I had seen a white guy trying to “Truck“ down a street in Barbados, had been threatened with a knife on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and I had been asked "Have you got everything you need?" from a “Dealer“ on the beach in Barbados. Graham Gouldman had the line "I don't like cricket, I love it" quoted to him on Jamaica, and the “Don't you walk through my words“ came from a Radio DJ from Newcastle who was challenged when he walked through a group of black guys talking together.

See the song performed by 10cc at:

The lyrics are:

I was walkin' down the street
Concentratin' on truckin' right
I heard a dark voice beside of me
And I looked round in a state of fright
I saw four faces one mad
A brother from the gutter
They looked me up and down a bit
And turned to each other


I say
I don't like cricket oh no
I love it
I don't like cricket oh no
I love it
Don't you walk thru my words
You got to show some respect
Don't you walk thru my words
'Cause you ain't heard me out yet


Well he looked down at my silver chain
He said I'll give you one dollar
I said you've got to be jokin' man
It was a present from me Mother
He said I like it I want it
I'll take it off your hands
And you'll be sorry you crossed me
You'd better understand that you're alone
A long way from home

And I say
I don't like reggae no no
I love it
I don't like reggae oh no
I love it
Don't you cramp me style
Don't you queer on me pitch
Don't you walk thru my words
'Cause you ain't heard me out yet

I hurried back to the swimming pool
Sinkin' pina coladas
I heard a dark voice beside me say
Would you like something harder
She said I've got it you want it
My harvest is the best
And if you try it you'll like it
And wallow in a Dreadlock Holiday

And I say
Don't like Jamaica oh no
I love her
Don't like Jamaica oh no
I love her oh yea
Don't you walk thru her words
You got to show some respect
Don't you walk thru her words
'Cause you ain't heard her out yet

I don't like cricket
I love it (Dreadlock Holiday)
I don't like reggae
I love it (Dreadlock Holiday)
Don't like Jamaica
I love her (Dreadlock Holiday)


Final bit of trivia:  the common belief that the name 10cc refers to the average ejaculate of semen is an urban myth.  First, the average ejaculate is 3cc but, more importantly, the name came from the band’s manager Jonathan King, who had the name come to him in a dream.  King dreamt that he saw an advertising hoarding with the words “10cc The Best Group in the World” on it.  The group said it sounded okay so they adopted it.


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