The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
The intelligence agency was tasked with analysing the song to see if it contained hidden obscene language as part of their work tackling obscenity, The Smithsonian reported.
Composer: Singer-songwriter Richard Berry wrote controversial hit Louie, Louie
The song, sung by the Kingsmen, has notoriously mumbled lyrics that are difficult to make out.
But according to FBI files, a teacher from Sarasota High School, in Florida, wrote to them in February 1964 to insist something was done to ‘stamp out this menace’.
The teacher, whose name has been redacted from the files, said: ‘Who do you turn to when your teenage daughter buys and bring home pornographic or obscene materials being sold along with objects directed and aimed at the teenage market in every City, Village and Record shop in this Nation?
‘My daughter brought home a record of ‘Louie Louie ‘ and I, after reading that the record had been banned from being played on the air because it was obscene, proceeded to try to decipher the jumble of words. The lyrics are so filthy that I can-not enclose them in this letter…’
LOUIE LOUIE: THE ACTUAL LYRICS
Louie, Louie, me gotta go. Louie, Louie, me gotta go. A fine little girl, she wait for me; me catch a ship across the sea. I sailed the ship all alone; I never think I’ll make it home Three nights and days we sailed the sea; me think of girl constantly. On the ship, I dream she there; I smell the rose, in her hair. Me see Jamaica moon above; It won’t be long me see me love. Me take her in my arms and then I tell her I never leave again.
He added: ‘We all know there is obscene materials available for those who seek it but when they start sneaking in this material in the guise of the latest teen age rock & roll hit record these morons have gone too far.’
The suggested lyrics, which are too explicit to publish, are featured in the FBI report.
A cover letter addressed to the FBI laboratory which analysed the song described it as ‘a calypso-type song’ that was ‘very popular with the high school students’.
It added: ‘The words are hard to recognise.’
Analysts spent two years playing the record at different speeds but were unable to come to a decision on what the words were.
They never contacted the original singer Jack Ely for confirmation, The Smithsonian reported.
Instead, they concluded: ‘The lyrics of the song on this record was not definitely determined by this Laboratory examination, it was not possible to determine whether this recording is obscene.’
‘Dirty’ versions of the tune have appeared in popular culture including the film Animal House.
Things that make you go… stop wasting taxpayer dollars? Of course, that was in 1964. These days they’d need to spend two years looking for a hit song without have any obscene lyrics.