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The Coasters: “Yakety Yak, Don’t Talk Back”

Not In The Hall Of Fame

Remember hearing this song and always singing along, “Yakety Yak, Don’t Talk Back?”…

Yakety Yak” is a song written, produced, and arranged by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for The Coasters and released on Atlantic Records in 1958, spending seven weeks as #1 on the R&B charts and a week as number one on the Top 100 pop list. This song was one of a string of singles released by The Coasters between 1957 and 1959 that dominated the charts, one of the biggest performing acts of the rock and roll era.


The song is a “playlet,” a word Stoller used for the glimpses into teenage life that characterized the songs Leiber and Stoller wrote and produced. The lyrics describe the listing of household chores to a kid, presumably a teenager, the teenager’s response (“yakety yak”) and the parents’ retort (“don’t talk back”) — an experience very familiar to a middle-class teenager of the day.

The threatened punishment for not taking out the garbage and sweeping the floor is, in the song’s humorous lyrics:

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)
Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)
You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)
Don’t you give me no dirty looks
Your father’s hip; he knows what cooks
Just tell your hoodlum friend outside
You ain’t got time to take a ride
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)
Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak
https://youtu.be/-WfDYssJMqs

 

ALSO READ: SHOW BIZ PAIRINGS THAT CALLED IT QUITS

 
 

 


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