Dexie's Midnight Runner's

Its one of my favorite 80’s songs, but there is a questionable line. I am not very fluent in as many languages, (not even english sometimes) so I thought maybe the line ment something. This is what the line is printed as: “Go toora loora toora loo rye aye”. Is this just gibberish

Ahh. The memories flood back from Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s lone hit “Come On, Eileen”

As for the line you mention, I think it’s sole purpose was to fit the meter of the song. I don’t think it means anything.

Well, considering that they’re an Irish band…

Besides fitting the meter of the song, I would think it also has some reference to “Tura Lura Lura”, the Irish folk song. I have no idea what “Tura Lura Lura” means, other than “An Irish Lullaby”.

I’m sure Kevin Rowland and the rest of the Dexy’s will be very surprised to hear that they are or were an Irish band. IIRC, Kev hailed from the English midlands. Of course he adopted different sounds and looks as he took his band in different directions, and there was certainly a degree of Celtic influence during the ‘Come On Eileen’ phase.

As for the line… no it doesn’t mean anythng. It’s just a singalong chant that fits the song.

I thought they were Irish, too. I think the accents (which are horrible to differentiate when people are singing), along with the Celtic influence, as well as the fact that their one American hit was credited as “Dexie’s Midnight Runners and the Emerald Express”, tends to point people’s minds in that direction.

Was the title of the song “Come On Eileen” a purposeful dirty pun (“ejaculate on Eileen”), or was it just my dirty imagination?

Very vivid imagination I think. The lyrics are quite innocent and the video was also. But those were the early 1980s. Times were different then.

This reminded me of a really stupid joke that was popular among schoolchildren at that time (when I was one):

What’s more disgusting than Michael Jackson beat it?

Cum on Eileen.

Hey, I said it was stupid. Sometimes I wish I could clear my wetware hard drive of stuff like this and make room for important things like anniversaries and birthdays…

And I can’t let this thread die without mentioning that line from the Simpson’s episode when Lisa was referring to the Grammy’s:
[something to the effect of:]

“Ah, Dexy’s Midnight Runners: That’s one group we haven’t heard the last of…”

According to the group in a conversation aired on VH1 the lines are just nonsense syllables that the lead singer thought sounded good with the song.

Well, if that’s the case, I stand corrected. I would have sworn I heard mention of them being Irish when the song was popular. I may have been mislead by un-informed DJs, who knows? Plus the “Tura Lura” etc, coupled with the rather Irish-sounding inflection of some of the lyrics. Fooled me!

FWIW, according to VH-1’s Pop-Up Video, the words were entirely made up and mean nothing.

Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, according to, and Kevin Rowland is from Wolverhampton, also in the West Midlands. His “Irish influences” haven’t extended into what, IMHO, is a truly terrible solo career.

      • It began to grate on ya after hearing it twenty or thirty thousand times (and it’s not any better today played during “oldies” programs), but I always thought it was an example of better pop music writing because considering the oddball instrument ensemble they had, it really didn’t sound all that bad. ~ It was certainly a welcome break from the monotonous Stray Cats (ahem) music played during the same time period.
  • MC

Having seen him in drag at the Reading festival in 99, I’d say “truly terrible” doesn’t even begin to describe his solo career.

Might wanna rethink that whole “innocent lyric” thing there, BobT. You can find the lyrics here (, and they’re somewhat racy. The singer is trying to get Eileen to take off her dress, and tells her that he’s having dirty thoughts about her. By today’s standards, you’re right; it’s tame. But I wouldn’t classify them as “innocent” either.

But, Revtim … sorry, he’s not saying he’s gonna ejaculate on her. He’s pleading with her to get naked.

Yeah, times were more innocent then - that’s why ZZ Top came out with “Pearl Necklace” and “Tube Snake Boogie” just a couple of years earlier. (Yes, it is snake - it’s from the El Loco CD - look it up) And there weren’t any sexual overtones to the “Cold-Hearted Snake” video either.

:grumble, grumble: You kids think you invented sex. Bah - y’all didn’t invent sex… We did! :grumble, grumble:

I feel so old, somehow

Also, according to “Pop-Up Videos,” Kevin Rowland acknowledged that the band was dishonest to marketitself as a bunch of Irish peasants, and he apologized for the deception.

I’m 100% Irish, and didn’t really care. I’m USED to rock and pop bands making up phony images! The Beatles weren’t REALLY nice boys-next-door (they were tough street kids from Liverpool), the Rolling Stones weren’t really street punks (they were 4 art school wussies fronted by a skinny economist)… in the end, image means nothing. The BEatles and Stones made dozens of great records, so no one cares if their image was a fraud.

But if your image is ALL you have (e.g. Vanilla Ice), and you don’t have much good material, people will get tired of you in a hurry, and revelations that your image is phony will send your career plummeting FAST. “Come On Eileen” was a good song. Dexy’s problem was that it was their ONLY good song.

I’m almost positive Bing Crosby sang a song called “Tura Laura”, probably in a movie. Wasn’t he the younger Priest in “Boystown”? Quickly Robin, to the Internet Movie Database and see if there was a soundtrack! I always thought it was a traditional Irish folk song. Any of the ‘older folks’ remember this better than I?

Oh, what was I thinking?! Boystown? From the IMDB entry for “Going My Way”:

                          by James Royce Shannon
                          Sung by Bing Crosby

Now, if I can only reach my utility belt.